Friday, October 1, 2010

Siege Mentality

October 1st

I don't normally 'skip ahead' or write about places where I am not.... but today's events deserve a bit of a mention...

It's disappointing, but this is the second time, after Honduras I have been just one country away from a military coup!

Picture courtesy of 'Voice Of America News'

Today sees Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa hospitalised after being attacked by his own police force!

After Correa threatened to reduce police benefits, the cops promptly turned robbers and make good use of all that (previously 'anti') riot gear that Correa has so generously provided them with.

After seizing control of the main International airport and closing several major highways, police trapped the president in a hospital until the army (still loyal to the president and presumably now looking to increase their benefits package) restored control.

Currently flights are suspended and the border is closed. Several of the people we met aboard Stahlratte are in Ecuador and report tyres burning in the streets, shops being looted and some roads blockaded. A friend (Rachel Pook) reports a local as saying it's a regular occurrence and nothing to worry about....

Kind of puts British Airways strike action following their industrial dispute into context. They definitely do things differently in South America!!

As we are currently in San Gil just north of Bogota and Ecuador is our next destination, we now have an excellent excuse to travel even more slowly and spend a bit more time in Colombia which is turning out to be one of our favourite countries so far....

This does seem to be an isolated incident and hopefully things are calming down a little now.... May you live in interesting times....

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