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President extends state of emergency in wake of police uprising

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-10-06

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa has extended until Friday a state of emergency imposed after a Sept. 30 police uprising amid government fears over whether the police force can be relied upon to maintain order.

AFP - Ecuador's President Rafael Correa on Tuesday extended until Friday a state of emergency that was imposed in response to a police uprising last week.
   
Correa said he acted at the request of lawmakers who questioned whether the police could be relied on to keep order.
   
"I have lost all confidence in the police who were here," said the speaker of Congress, Fernando Cordero, who suspended sessions of the legislature until Thursday.
   
Meanwhile authorities arrested a political activist close to former president Lucio Gutierrez for questioning in relation to the deadly uprising.
   
Correa has accused retired army major Fidel Araujo, a member of Gutierrez's Patriotic Society party, of coordinating police actions during the insurrection last Thursday in which 10 people were killed and 274 were injured.
   
A state-run news agency also Tuesday made public excerpts of police radio broadcasts during the uprising in which police could be heard urging that Correa be killed.
   
The state of emergency empowers the military, who remained loyal during the police uprising last Thursday, to carry out law police functions.
   
Hundreds of police officers rose up in a revolt over a law that reduced their bonus pay and cornered Correa in a police hospital for 12 hours after his attempt to personally confronted rebellious officers in Quito backfired.
   
Correa, a leftist and economist by training who denounced the uprising as a coup attempt, was rescued by loyal soldiers and police.
   
Top police officials were arrested or forced to resign, but the mass of the force remains in place.
   
The president on Monday raised salaries of higher ranking military and police. Defense Minister Javier Ponce said the raises were unrelated to last week's turmoil, and had been due since 2008.
  
 

Date created : 2010-10-06

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