Ecuador: army rescues Correa from hospital

Ecuador's military staged a rescue late Sept. 30 to free President Correa, who was holed up in a hospital for more than 12 hours by the police uprising. As TV cameras rolled and pro-Correa crowds at the scene cheered, some 40 special operations troops who arrived in two trucks entered the hospital, and hustled Correa out and back to the presidential palace. Sporadic gunfire could be heard and five soldiers were reported injured. A defiant Correa appeared minutes later on the balcony of the presidential palace, where he told the crowd: "It's a day of profound sadness that I never thought would happen during my government. The police have been infiltrated by well-known political parties that want to conspire."

Hugo Chávez told TeleSur it was "naive" to think the uprising had been organized by the police alone, and he blasted the US State Department for not speaking out more strongly against the apparent coup attempt. "Almost certainly it's not just police chiefs involved but political chiefs, too," he said. "The fascist beasts are showing their claws."

The following day, National Police commander Freddy Martínez turned in his resignation. (Miami Herald, Notimex, Oct. 1)

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