On Jan 29, former militants of the Alfaro Vive Carajo (AVC) guerilla group turned over to Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa the swords of revered 19th century presidents Eloy Alfaro and Pedro J. Montero, stolen by the guerillas from a Guayaquil museum in 1983. The handover took place at a ceremony commemorating the centenary of Alfaro’s death, at his birthplace Montecristi in coastal Manabí province. The AVC said in a statement signed by 39 militants that after holding the swords in their custody for 28 years, they decided to return them to deepen the “revolutionary democratic process.”
The return of the swords seems to have enflamed the sectional rivalry between right-leaning Guayaquil and Quito. Guayaquil Mayor Jaime Nebot accused Correa of intending to keep the swords in Montecristi, having “illegally received goods of the people of Guayaquil.” Minister of Patrimony María Fernanda Espinosa responded that the government had received no request from the municipality of Guayaquil for return of the swords. (El Universo, Guayaquil, Feb. 5; El Universo, Feb. 2; Hoy, Quito, Jan. 28)
See our last post on the struggle in Ecuador.