A citizen group calling itself “Victims of 30S” is asking the National Judicial Council to open an investigation into a 2010 police strike that former president Rafael Correa called an attempted coup d’état. The group says that the government used events of the strike to conduct a “witch hunt” of opponents of Correa.
“30S” is code for the September 30, 2010 police rally in Quito that Correa said amounted to a coup attempt against his government. Correa, who arrived at the scene in which police were demanding higher pay, was jostled and tear-gassed by the hostile crowd and sought refuge in the police hospital adjacent to the protest.
In addition to the rally in Quito, police blockaded several highways, occupied the National Assembly and temporarily closed the airports in Quito and Guayaquil.
While Correa was in the hospital, thousands of police protesters and Correa supporters clashed outside. At least 100 were injured and required hospitalization. Later that night, when Army troops arrived to take Correa out of the hospital, a gun fight erupted between police and Army personnel that resulted in eight deaths and 275 injuries.
In the weeks and months following the incident, hundreds of police officers were arrested and jailed for their participation in the strike. At the same time, journalists and some private citizens who said S30 was a police strike and not a coup attempt, were sued by government.
Victims of 30S are asking the judicial council to investigate prosecutors, judges, public servants and public institutions involved in the arrests and detention of those it says were exercising their rights of free speech and public assembly.
In a statement, Victims of 30S claim that the government used the incident to “persecute” those it considered enemies. “There was a premeditated manipulation of evidence, the use of false witnesses, the adulteration of documents and the use of public funds to justify the farce of a supposed coup d’état that was never attempted.”