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Ecuadori police coup:CIA


John Dolva
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Report confirmed: U.S.

intelligence penetrated the heart of the Ecuadorian police force

Jean-Guy Allard

THE uprising against President Rafael Correa by a coup faction within the Ecuadorian police force is confirmed in an alarming report into the infiltration of this force by U.S. intelligence services published in 2008, which states how many members of the police departments were developing a "dependency" on the U.S. embassy in that South American country.

The report specifies that certain police units "have an informal economic dependence on the United States in terms of paying informants, training, equipment and operations."

The systematic use of corruption techniques on the part of the CIA in order to secure the "good will" of police officers was exposed on many occasions by former CIA agent Philip Agee who, prior to leaving the agency, was assigned to the U.S. embassy in Quito.

In his official report, published at the end of 2008, Ecuadorian Defense Minister Javier Ponce revealed how U.S. diplomats dedicated themselves to corrupting police officers and also officers within the Armed Forces.

Confirming that fact, the leadership of the Ecuadorian police force then announced it intended to sanction its agents who were collaborating with Washington, while the U.S. embassy declared the "transparency" of its support for Ecuador.

"We are working with the Ecuadorian government, the military and the police, for very important security purposes," declared Heather Hodges, the U.S. ambassador in Quito.

However, the diplomat told journalists that she would make no comment "on intelligence issues."

For her part, press attaché Marta Youth categorically refused to discuss the Ecuadorian government’s condemnations, which include the CIA’s participation in an operation with Colombia which resulted in the Colombian military attack against FARC guerrillas on Ecuadorian territory on March 1 of that year.

Army intelligence chief Mario Pazmiño was removed from his post for concealing information related to the attack on the FARC.

In the past few months, U.S. officials have appeared in Ecuador on the pretext of strengthening relations between Ecuador and the United States.

Arturo Valenzuela, assistant secretary of state for Western hemisphere affairs, traveled to Ecuador and met with President Correa with a view to securing a visit by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to that country.

Valenzuela was accompanied by Todd Stern, "special envoy for climate change", is also known for his affinity to the CIA."

http://www.granma.cu/ingles/ouramerica-i/7octubre-40intel.html

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Is there any confirmation not from a dictatorial state run news service of these allegations? The article cited a 2008 report but provided no links or information to track it down. It is hard to believe that after nearly 4 years in power and two years after such a report Correa would have been unable to counteract the supposed CIA attempts to “penetrate” the police since he appointed the high command of the armed forces. And though I’m quite disappointed by Obama I doubt he would have sanctioned a coup against Correa.

It isn’t even clear there was a real coup attempt according to all other accounts the police were upset of a proposal to cut their pay. Shortly after the incident Correa announced he was reconsidering the plan. The author’s failure to mention this shows he is more interested in propaganda than truth. Even according to the government’s estimates “only 600 police officers out of a force of some 40,000 took part in the uprising” though Agence France-Presse estimated up to 2300 participated

Correa is hardly a poster boy for democracy he has taken action against the country’s media and congress. He filed a “criminal defamation complaint…against a top newspaper executive over a critical editorial” based on a law that makes “threats or libel would offend the president” punishable by 6 month to 2 years imprisonment a move “denounced” or criticized by the Committee to Protect Journalists, Inter American Press Association, AEDEP (Ecuadoran Periodical Editors Association) and the World Press Freedom Committee. The president’s legal counsel said “We are prepared to take such action against any news outlet.” He also expropriated various TV stations but this might have been legitimate because they were owned by a company that owed the government large sums of money but was declared “arbitrary” by the Human Rights Foundation and Correa’s finance minister refused to sign the order and resigned in protest. Correa also threatened to dissolve congress and rule by decree. According to the CPJ the president used “police to prevent several anti-referendum legislators from entering Congress. The referendum was ultimately scheduled in April, and the measure was approved by a wide margin. Fifty-seven legislators were removed from office during the crisis.”

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0229397820101002

http://news.brisbanetimes.com.au/breaking-news-world/ecuador-police-trio-arrested-over-plot-20101002-161dk.html

http://cpj.org/2007/05/ecuadoran-president-correa-should-drop-libel-suit.php

http://www.sipiapa.org/pressreleases/srchcountrydetail.cfm?PressReleaseID=1904

http://web.archive.org/web/20070320112609/http://www.aedep.org.ec/paginas/aedep62.htm

http://www.wpfc.org/?q=node/121

www.humanrightsfoundation.org/InsulzaLetterNov18.pdf

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I don't know. Most of the news here is from dictatorial states media outlets like our own and other western dictatorial states news organs, mostly US or UK based but I'll try to see what the other progressive media outlets have to say.

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Some background. Sunday, October 3, 2010

Len perhaps you could indicate an other non dictatorial media outlet to consider (apart from Cuba)?

Ecuador: Right-wing coup attempt defeated

Sunday, October 3, 2010 By Duroyan Fertl

ecuador.jpg

Demonstration against the coup attempt outside the Ecuadorian embassy in Sydney, October 1. Photo by Pip Hinman On September 30, Ecuador descended into chaos as a protest by sections of the police force and army turned into a potentially bloody coup against left-wing President Rafael Correa.

At about 8am, sections of the Ecuadorian Armed Forces and the national police went on strike, occupying police stations and barracks in the capital Quito, in Guayaquil and in at least four other cities. They set up road blocks with burning tyres, cutting off access to the capital.

They also stormed and occupied the National Assembly building and took over the runway at Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport.

Schools and many businesses in Quito shut down early, as opposition protesters attempted to take over and sabotage broadcasts from television station Gama TV.

The protests were in response to a new public service law designed to harmonise income and benefits across the Ecuadorian civil service. Many police and troops, however, believed the law would remove their benefits and bonuses, as well as delay promotions.

In an attempt to end the strike, Correa went in person to the main police garrison in Quito to convince the police there was a misunderstanding — and their benefits were safe and their wages would in fact increase.

The situation spiralled out of control when a number of rebel police pointed their guns at Correa and threatened him. A tear gas canister was thrown, exploding only centimetres from the president’s head.

When Correa donned a gas mask, it was ripped from his head.

Stunned and overcome by the gas, the president was rushed to a nearby hospital. The hospital was soon surrounded by rebel police and opposition protesters. The rebels refused to allow anyone to enter or leave the building — imprisoning the elected, constitutional president.

As news got out, tens of thousands of Correa’s supporters took to the streets across the country, chanting “Correa, hang in there, the people are rising up!” and demanding that Correa be freed.

Rebel police attempted to force their way into the hospital through windows and the roof.

In a phone interview with Radio Publica from the hospital, Correa said he would refuse to negotiate with the rebels, despite the danger to his life, for as long as they held him captive.

Correa insisted he was still the president and the “citizen’s revolution” of social justice reforms that began with his 2007 election would continue — with or without him.

“I'm not going to back down”, Correa said. “Kill me, but as [Chilean poet] Pablo Neruda said, ‘You can cut all the flowers but you cannot hold back Spring’.”

Correa blamed the attempted coup on Patriotic Society Party leader Lucio Gutierrez, a former neoliberal president overthrown in a popular uprising 2005.

The Army Chief of Staff declared his support for Correa. However, the president refused to call on the army to rescue him until he discovered that government supporters outside the hospital were under fire from the rebel police.

A state of emergency was declared and loyal sectors of the army finally launched an attack on the hospital, forcing their way through the protesters and rebels, and freeing the president.

During the day’s violence, at least five people were killed and about 200 injured. Bullets were fired into the hospital room where Correa was holed up. Bullets also hit the army vehicle carrying Correa after his rescue.

After his release, Correa was greeted by a crowd of thousands of supporters chanting “the people united will never be defeated”.

Speaking from the Presidential Palace that evening, Correa said there would be "no pardon or forgiveness" for those involved in the coup and promised a deep “cleansing of the national police".

The national police chief General Freddy Martinez has already resigned, citing the insubordination of junior officers.

Some analysts have argued the incident was merely a protest that got out of control. Correa and his government, however, insisted it was a coup attempt — including an attempt to murder the head of state.

Prominent opposition leader and Guayaquil Mayor Jaime Nesbot denied any involvement in the protests. However, foreign minister Ricardo Patino joined Correa in accusing Gutierrez of initiating a coup d’etat.

Gutierrez, who implemented polices favourable to US corporations during his time in power, described the accusation as “totally false” in an interview from Brazil.

However, Gutierrez said “the end of Correa’s tyranny is at hand”. He called for the National Assembly to be dissolved and early presidential elections as a “solution” to the “crisis”, for which he blamed Correa.

The United States has also been accused of involvement in the attempted coup against Correa.

After the US-backed 2009 military coup in Honduras against elected left-leaning president Manuel Zelaya, Correa claimed to have intelligence that “after Zelaya, I am next”.

The initial reaction of the US to the coup attempt was non-committal, as it was during the Honduras coup. Other countries, such as France and even Colombia, immediately condemned the actions against Correa, but a US state department spokesperson merely said the Obama administration was “closely monitoring” the situation.

A statement in support of Ecuadorian democracy was made only several hours later.

Correa was elected in 2006 promising to lead a “citizen’s revolution” to eradicate poverty, deepen grassroots democracy and build a “socialism of the 21st Century” — echoing his allies Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Bolivian President Evo Morales.

All three oppose US domination of the region and support Latin American unity and integration.

As in Venezuela and Bolivia, the Correa government opened the way for a constituent assembly to draft a new progressive constitution then approved by popular vote.

In 2009, Correa removed an unconstitutional US military air base from the coastal town of Manta, removing US forces from the country.

Correa had offered the US government, which wished to keep its presence, a choice: the US military could stay if Ecuador was allowed a military base of its own in Florida.

However, US presence in Ecuador continues, mainly through two key sources of US government funding for Ecuadorian non-governmental organisations — the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

Both are run out of the US Embassy and have been implicated in coup attempts against Chavez and Morales.

Correa has also repeatedly accused the US of infiltrating his security and public services.

Journalist Jean-Guy Allard said an official 2008 report from Ecuador’s defence minister Javier Ponce revealed how “US diplomats dedicated themselves to corrupting the police and the Armed Forces” — including providing independent training, funding and equipment.

US infiltration of the Ecuadorian military has a long history. Thousands of Ecuadorian officers have been trained at the infamous US-run School of the Americas (SOA), which has been involved in military coups and dictatorships across the continent for decades.

Interior minister Miguel Carvajal said: “We're faced with a process of destabilisation of the national government and democracy in Ecuador.”

The attempted coup in Ecuador took place in a volatile regional context. On September 26, pro-Chavez forces won hard-fought parliamentary elections in Venezuela against the US-funded right-wing opposition.

The following day, Colombian Senator Piedad Cordoba, a strong proponent of a peaceful resolution to Colombia’s decades-long civil war, was dismissed as a senator by Colombia’s inspector general, on the basis of falsified evidence.

The violence in Ecuador appears to be part of a regional offensive to roll back the gains of Latin America’s progressive movements and governments.

The rebellion also exposes some of the weaknesses of Correa’s “citizen’s revolution”.

Ecuador’s powerful indigenous federation, the CONAIE, issued a statement strongly condemning the coup attempt and declaring its support for democracy. But the CONAIE was also highly critical of Correa, accusing him of undermining the social movements while not weakening the forces of the state that oppose them.

“While the government has dedicated itself exclusively to attacking and delegitimising organised sectors like the indigenous movement, workers' unions, etc.”, the CONAIE said, “it hasn't weakened in the least the structures of power of the right, or those within the state apparatus.”

Correa has clashed repeatedly with the CONAIE — who supported his election — over a number of issues such as mining, indigenous rights and water.

The CONAIE, which represents Ecuador’s forty percent indigenous population, helped lead the overthrow of the three Ecuadorian presidents before Correa.

Correa’s popular support is likely to increase as a result of the coup attempt, giving him an opportunity to drive his reform agenda further. However, the ambiguous position of the CONAIE underscores the weak relationship Correa enjoys with Ecuador’s important social movements.

If Correa fails to keep them on side, a better coordinated coup attempt may well be successful, and the revolutionary project in Ecuador could falter.

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From GLW issue 855

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Apparently GLW doesn’t have any correspondents in Ecuador and is basing its account on media reports. Though it labeled the incident a “Right-wing coup attempt” it provided no evidence it was an attempted coup or led by right-wingers. Its version of events was not that different from that in the MSM. It started as a riot of policemen who believed his reforms would cut their wages etc. To me it doesn’t seem that different from the violent protests in Greece which had similar motivation except that it was police instead of teachers and office workers thus they were armed. A couple of years ago there was a shoot out in front of the Governor’s palace here between striking police officers and their senior commanders, it was not a “coup attempt” it was about wages and benefits.

The claim that the army and other elements of the armed forces were involved seems to be false because it is not collaborated by any of the reports I’ve seen which only mention the National Police. Since only a small fraction of the police (not including its CO) and apparently no one in the military participated I don’t see how this could be considered a coup attempt. Since he was surrounded by armed men but not shot at there doesn’t seem to have been an attempt to kill him. Even if they had killed Correia his VP LENIN Morreno would have taken over. Hate to judge a book by its cover but based on his name and the facts he hobnobbed with Castro and is a member of the president’s political alliance I doubt he would be considered an improvement by right-wingers. Also I don’t see how the ‘coup plotters’ could have anticipated Correia would go to the police garrison, his “kidnapping” seems to have been spontaneous.

The attempted take over of Gama TV was news to me, don’t forget that it was one of the stations Correia seized supposedly over the previous owner’s debts but was labeled “arbitrary” by a free press group and led to the resignation of his finance minister. Even according to a pro-Chavez and Correia website “The government had ordered that all stations transmit the content of TV Ecuador and the other state owned channel Gama TV. The police tried to take the station off air.”* If the seizure of the station was to satisfy debts and not politically motivated why wasn’t it sold? Ordering private stations to broadcast government content indicates he wanted to control the media; this is consistent with his attempt to jail a newspaper publisher over a critical editorial and his involvement with the removal of most members of congress.

http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/5684

I don’t like dictators whether they be right or left wing, the latter can be forgiven to some extent if they promote social justice but over time many become self perpetuating authoritarian monoliths (China, N. Korea, USSR, eastern Europe, Cambodia and to a lesser extent Vietnam, Cuba and Venezuela)

The author undermined his credibility by claiming without evidence the US “backed” the 2009 “coup” against Manuel Zelaya and falsely indicating the US did not support Correa he said “"the U.S. had nothing to do with [the police insurrection]. On the contrary, they acted with solidarity and Hillary Clinton herself called me."

http://www.poder360.com/dailynews_detail.php?blurbid=9426#ixzz11nF3pKWP

I assume your characterization of Australia, the US and UK as being “dictatorial states” was tongue in cheek, let me know if it was serious.

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I don't share your various views on dictator, so yes, I'm not opening up a discussion with you on that.

So, the attempt failed. This does not detract from the CIAs long history, and continuing, attempts to destabilise sovereign nations. There are clear indications that that was part of the impetus here.

I'm not in a position to divulge GLW's sources and even if I was I wouldn't.

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I don't share your various views on dictator, so yes, I'm not opening up a discussion with you on that.

I don't know what you meant to say, do you not object to dictatorships? Or only that you don't object to leftist ones? Or don't you think that Correa has acted in a dictatorial way?

So, the attempt failed. This does not detract from the CIAs long history, and continuing, attempts to destabilise sovereign nations.

For reasons already stated I don't think it was a coup attempt but you are right the CIA does have long sad history of destabilization an coups including in Brazil (1964) and your country (1975) etc.

There are clear indications that that was part of the impetus here.

Please cite some of those "clear indications".

I'm not in a position to divulge GLW's sources and even if I was I wouldn't.

AFAIK there only sources are media reports.

This GLW article by the same author is in accordance with some of what I'm saying about Correa:

Correa has repeatedly clashed with Indigenous and environmental groups, particularly over mining, oil extraction and water issues. Rather than negotiate, he has described these groups as “infantile” and a threat to the national interest.

Correa also attempted to close down the environmental advocacy group Accion Ecologica when it became too critical of his government, although he backed down after local and international protests.

Correa fired the president of the Constituent Assembly and former close ally Alberto Acosta, when they disagreed over the content and process of the drafting of the new constitution. Acosta — a cofounder of Correa’s Country Alliance (AP) party — is widely respected in Ecuador for his links with the social movements.

It should be pointed out that it was through one of Acosta's rulings that he removed 57 of the 100 member's of congress.

Correa seems to be doing a lot of good for the poor but he is also undermining democracy in his country. Though I don't think a coup is justified I hope he stop interfering with his country's press and parliament.

Edited by Len Colby
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Neither.

I thimk it was.

GLW presemts a balanced reporting based not just on main stream media reporrts.

I hope the CIA stops interfering in all nations globally.

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Behind the coup in Ecuador

Sunday, October 10, 2010 By Duroyan Fertl

ecuador_0.jpg

Supporters of Ecuador's President Rafael Correa gathered in Quito within hours of the coup attempt. The large, quickly organised mobilisations shows Correa's government still enjoys significant grassroots support. The attempted coup d'etat in Ecuador on September 30 against the left-wing government of Rafael Correa was defeated by loyal troops and the mass mobilisation of Correa's supporters. The event underscores the turbulent history of the small Andean nation.

It also exposes some of the weaknesses of Ecuador's revolutionary movement, which is part of a broader Latin American movement against US domination and for regional unity and social justice.

The coup attempt was led by a small core of police and soldiers, whose rebellion was triggered by a public service law that cut some of their benefits. This has led some commentators to assert that recent events were simply a wage dispute, rather than a coup attempt.

Correa's 2006 election victory — supported by the country's powerful social and indigenous movements — came after almost two decades of political turmoil. Government after government dragged the country deeper into debt and greater poverty.

Between 1998 and 2005, three elected presidents were overthrown by mass uprisings, led in large part by the main representative of the country's 40% indigenous population, the indigenous federation CONAIE.

Correa — a former finance minister — won the 2006 poll on a platform of radical social change.

He promised to lead a "citizens' revolution", using Ecuador's oil wealth to eradicate poverty, deepen grassroots democracy and build a "socialism of the 21st Century". These promises echoed similar process under way in Venezuela and Bolivia.

About 40% of Ecuador's population of 14.5 million lives at or below the poverty line.

Upon taking office, Correa moved to raise social security payments and the minimum wage. He also increased funding for health and education.

The Correa government also fulfilled an election promise by convening a constituent assembly to draft a new progressive constitution, which was approved by 64% of voters in 2008 referendum.

The use of a democratic process to adopt new, progressive constitutions were also part of the processes of change in Venezuela and Bolivia, which came under intense opposition from US-backed elites.

In Honduras, an attempt by elected president Manuel Zelaya, at the initiative of grassroots movements, to open a similar process sparked the June 2009 military coup that overthrew him and installed a brutal US-backed dictatorship.

Ecuador's new constitution contains laws guaranteeing access to clean water, giving groundbreaking legal rights to the environment and granting recognition to Ecuador's indigenous peoples.

One of Correa's greatest environmental achievements is the deal to protect the environmentally significant Yasuni-ITT National Park from oil mining in exchange for US$3.6 billion — half the oil's value.

Ecuador has promised to leave the oil — nearly 20% of the country's reserves — underground, protecting vulnerable rainforest. The deal prevents about 430 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions, provided wealthier nations and individuals compensate Ecuador for the financial loss.

The money to keep the oil in the ground will be administered by a United Nations trust fund. It will pay for further conservation projects in Ecuador, as well as funding health and education in rural and indigenous communities.

Correa's actions have angered the Ecuadorian oligarchy and its US backers.

Correa has clashed repeatedly with foreign oil companies in the Amazon, threatening to nationalise those that refuse to comply with legal reforms. This includes the recent nationalisation of oil reserves, which has allowed Ecuador to increase its share of profits from its extraction.

Correa has also dealt swiftly with Ecuador's enormous foreign debt — built-up under dictatorships decades ago and once equal to more than half the country's GDP.

Declaring much of the debt illegal and "illegitimate", Correa defaulted on $3.2 billion of debt in 2008. He has announced that Ecuador will only pay as little as 35% of the total, infuriating creditors and international financial institutions.

In 2009, Correa also removed the US military air base from the coastal town of Manta.

Such reforms have made Correa Ecuador's most popular president in decades, but he has also been accused of ignoring key provisions in the constitution relating to the environment and mining. In the process, Correa has alienated key allies.

Correa has repeatedly clashed with indigenous and environmental groups, particularly over mining, oil extraction and water.

Rather than negotiate, he has described these groups as "infantile" and a threat to the national interest.

Correa also attempted to close down the environmental advocacy group Accion Ecologica when it became too critical of his government, although he backed down after local and international protest.

Correa fired the president of the Constituent Assembly and former close ally Alberto Acosta, when they disagreed over the content and process of the drafting of the new constitution.

Acosta — a co-founder of Correa's Country Alliance (AP) party — is widely respected in Ecuador for his links with the social movements.

The September 30 coup attempt, which left 10 dead and 275 wounded, highlights the contradictions in Correa's administration.

During the coup, the CONAIE — which supported Correa's election — issued a statement opposing the coup as an attack on democracy, but which was also highly critical of Correa.

The statement accused him of undermining the social movements while not weakening the forces of the state, and demanded he carry out his election promises.

Despite claims from some sectors there was no coup attempt, details are emerging of coordinated activities amongst the rebels. Police radio transmissions during the coup indicate there were plans to kill Correa when he was inside a hospital surrounded by police rebels.

A group called the Police Armed Group (GAP) has been identified, which circulated messages and posters among police in the days before the coup to stir up discontent.

Former president Lucio Gutierrez — who was overthrown by a 2005 mass uprising — has been accused of masterminding the rebellion.

Gutierrez, currently in exile in Brazil, denies any responsibility for recent events. However, one of his close allies, Fidel Araujo, was detained after footage revealed his involvement in the attack on Correa.

However, some analysts — including Acosta — argue the situation may not have spun so far out of control if Correa hadn't directly confronted the mutinous police and worry Correa's confrontational style will continue to hinder the "citizen's revolution".

Correa has announced the public service law that provided the spark for the coup will be reviewed to defuse the situation. But there remains a real risk of a follow up attempt.

The recent coup attempt seemed a poorly organised affair — perhaps a dry run for a future coup. The split between Correa and the CONAIE, as well as some other social movements, and their unwillingness to come directly to his aid during the coup attempt, indicates a potentially dangerous weakness.

However, the defeat of the coup on the back of large, quickly organised mobilisations shows Correa's government still enjoys significant grassroots support. The coup's defeat and the mobilisations present an opportunity to both deepen the citizen's revolution, as Correa has promised to do, and also work to reconnect with those sections of the grassroots alienated from his government.

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From GLW issue 856

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Edited by John Dolva
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Ecuador: Correa vows to 'radicalise revolution'

Sunday, October 17, 2010 By Duroyan Fertl

rafael_correa_2.jpg

President Rafael Correa wants to break the big banks monopoly control of Ecuador's media. In the aftermath of a failed coup attempt on September 30, left-wing Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has vowed to deepen his "citizen's revolution" in the small Andean country.

After the coup attempt by sections of the police and armed forces failed amid pro-government protests, Correa's approval rate has surged to 75% in some polls.

In response, Correa, said his government had not done enough to implement its pro-people program and would radicalise its project to build a "socialism of the 21st century".

This call was echoed by Ecuador's National Secretary of Planning and Development Rene Ramirez, who said after the coup: "We want to have a much more progressive government, more turned to the left."

Correa, addressing the Fifth Congress of the Latin American Coalition of Rural Organisations in Quito on October 13, said Ecuador needed an "agrarian revolution" rather than small reforms in land ownership.

Addressing hundreds of peasant leaders from across Latin America, Correa said his government would either directly expropriate unused and unproductive agricultural land, or raise taxes on those properties to force its owners to sell.

Other measures proposed to deepen agricultural reform include allotting state-owned fallow land to poor farmers and a program of selective import substitution and incentives to increase local production.

The government is also moving to break the monopoly control of Ecuador's media by the big banks. The government will force banks to reduce their ownership of media outlets to 25%.

GL%20banner%20ad2.jpg

The government also said it would help former employees of businesses that collapsed in the banking crisis of 1999 by directing the Ecuadorian Central Bank to buy those businesses.

The state of emergency that was declared during the coup attempt was extended indefinitely on October 9, as the government continues to investigate those responsible for the coup. The police force remains under investigation.

Thirteen members of the police force, including seven colonels and four captains, have been suspended from their duty due to their role in the coup attempt.

At least one of the coup leaders has been identified as a member of an elite unit — the Operational Support Group — that was sanctioned in 2009 for gross human rights abuses.

Between 1984 and 2008, the group was responsible for at least 68 extrajudicial killings and a large number of disappearances.

Some opposition and social groups, however, are concerned the state of emergency could also be used to silence critics and deflect attention from the failings of the Correa government.

The powerful indigenous federation CONAIE, which is the main body representing Ecuador's 40% indigenous population — remains sceptical of Correa's rhetoric and policies.

CONAIE supported Correa's election in 2006, but it has grown critical of what it terms his "extractionist" (pro-mining) approach to development — heavily reliant on the mining and oil production that has caused huge damage to indigenous communities and the environment in Ecuador.

As a poor and underdeveloped nation, Ecuador is dependent on revenue from mining. Correa government polices that have increased state revenue from the sector have been used to increase social spending.

During the recent coup attempt, the CONAIE, which played a key role in the overthrow of three presidents in the past 12 years, remained largely passive.

The CONAIE released a statement condemning the coup, but also criticised Correa for demonising the indigenous and environmental movements and not carrying out electoral promises.

It remains to be seen if the radicalisation of Correa's government policies can succeed in rebuilding its alliance with CONAIE and other social movements

From GLW issue 857

Edited by John Dolva
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OUR AMERICA

Havana. January 6, 2011

President Correa:

Montaner and Lucio Gutiérrez plotted coup d'état in Ecuador

Jean-Guy Allard

CARLOS Alberto Montaner and Lucio Gutiérrez plotted from the United States the attempted coup in Ecuador this past September 30, when Quito's principal police regiment rose up against President Rafael Correa. The Ecuadorian head of state confirmed this in an interview with French journalist Ignacio Ramonet, published in Le Monde Diplomatique.

"The week before the coup, Lucio Gutiérrez, Carlos Alberto Montaner and (Colonel) Mario Pazmiño —who was none other than director of intelligence in the Armed Forces and who we threw out because he was on the CIA payroll — met up in Miami," Correa explained to Ramonet.

"You can see the statements... They met with corrupt bankers, people who had fled the country, the ones whose assets we confiscated, and who are probably the ones who are financing all of this," the Ecuadorian president continued.

"There they spoke clearly, 'In order to do away with 21st Century Socialism, we'll have to do away with Rafael Correa.'

gutierrez-6enero.jpg

Gutiérrez (center) and Montaner (right) in Miami.

Thus, at this stage of the game, we do not believe in coincidences. Those statements were made one week before September 30, and then, Lucio Gutiérrez is traveling outside of the country. There you have the real conspirators."

Correa noted that Gutiérrez' partners even predicted a presidential assassination: "You can see the statement of one of Gutierrez' Assembly representatives, that Thursday morning, when he said: 'The police are going to lynch the President.' There's the recording. Gutiérrez' brother (Gilmar) was sergeant at arms in the Assembly; they followed his orders and he revolted against the Government. So clearly, there were links. And there, behind the scenes, they manipulated all that."

President Correa explained how in Miami, that same day, Gustavo Lemus, an Ecuadorian known for his links with Gutiérrez, burst into the Ecuadorian Consulate in the midst of the Quito events, with a bunch of military coup supporters and Cuban-American extremists.

Lemus has been exposed in Ecuador as a torturer and is suspected of having covered up the murder of two adolescents when he was chief of torture for León Febres Cordero's Social Christian government (1984-1988).

Lemus was seen taking part in the conspiracy meeting called by Montaner, a CIA agent and fugitive from Cuban justice on September 23 (seven days before the attempted coup in Ecuador).

The meeting, under the title: 21st Century Socialism in Ecuador, took place at the Banker's Club, 1, Biscayne Tower, 14th Floor, Miami, FL, and was sponsored by the Interamerican Institute for Democracy (IID).

Located in Miami, the IID is an front organization for the Cuban-American mafia and its Venezuelan, Ecuadorian and Bolivian affiliates. In recent months it has organized "tributes" to characters as controversial as Armando Valladares, the Cuban-American terrorist who conspired both in Santa Cruz and in Tegucigalpa, and who was awarded a prize for the defense of human rights.

With other extreme rightwing groups, this past November 17 the IID organized a veritable summit of coup plotters and terrorists in the Capitol Building in Washington, chaired by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Its director is none other than Carlos "Chulupi" Sánchez Berzaín, former right-hand man and defense minister of Bolivian ex-president Gonzalo "Goni" Sánchez de Lozada, both fugitives from Bolivian justice for perpetrating the "Gas War" of October 2003, which left more than 60 dead and close to 500 wounded.

Also present at the Miami meeting called by Montaner and Gutiérrez was Colonel Mario Pazmiño Silva, ex-chief of Ecuadorian military intelligence, dismissed from the army for his collusion with the CIA.

In 2001, Pazmiño's CIA membership was exposed during the Angostura bombing. Pazmiño was expelled from the Armed Forces and the intelligence unit that he was running was disbanded.

One of the most active participants in the failed coup d'état was Reserves Colonel Galo Monteverde, who managed the crowds organized by the conspirators. Together with Gutiérrez, Monteverde took part in the coup d'état against former Ecuadorian President Jamil Mahuad, in January 2000.

In the Miami meeting, Montaner affirmed, "Gutiérrez is one of the most powerful political choices within the country and one of the hopes of the democratic recovery for Ecuador."

For his part, Gutiérrez made a statement in support of Pazmiño by accusing Correa of "demolishing the security institutions."

A few hours after the failed coup d'état, Montaner appeared on Colombian television together with Gutiérrez, in order to denigrate President Rafael Correa. Montaner opened a television show on NTN 24, the channel of the Colombian right wing, by mounting a slanderous attack on the head of state.

"If they had got to killing him at that point (...) that would have given rise to a bloodbath in the country, why did he do that? You don't do things like that. That isn't presidential behavior — taking off your tie and defying the police," he said.

Referring to Gutiérrez as Mr. ex-president, Montaner asked him: "¿Did you really intend to remove Rafael Correa from power?"

And the coup conspirator responded, "I refute President Correa's assertions that there was an attempted coup d'état in Ecuador. There was nothing more than a protest by angry police officers.... "

Since the coup against Honduran President Manuel Zelaya on June 28, 2009, Montaner, who has been living off his "Anti-Castro" services to the CIA for several decades, has become an apologist for the dictator Roberto Micheletti, alongside U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Armando Valladares, another Cuban-American terrorist collaborator of the CIA.

Like the whole band of coup plotters and ultra-right Latin Americans, he uses U.S. territory, particularly Miami, for launching calls for subversion and destabilization against the Latin American countries which are resisting U.S. domination.

Translated by Granma International http://www.granma.cu...o-Montaner.html

Edited by John Dolva
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John

Can you provide any independent confirmation of Correa's and Gramma's claims?

Len

Len, I doubt very much that Granma would publish something that does not have confirmation. I suggest emailing them.

I've got a break of a week or so coming up, as of tomorrow I think.

I'll also look into some ingependent confirmation but might not get back on it for a while.

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