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Government blames violence on the Correistas, makes arrests as others seek political asylum

The government says it knows who is responsible for the violence that resulted in several deaths and hundreds of injuries during last weekend’s indigenous protests in Quito: They are the followers of former president Rafael Correa.

Pichincha Prefect Paola Pabón

On Monday, National Police made four arrests of members of Correa’s Citizen’s Revolution, including the prefect of Pichincha Province, and federal prosecutors say more arrests are coming.

“What happened during the strike was a preconceived plan to cause chaos, disorder and violence to disrupt public order,” says Foreign Minister José Valencia. “It was a direct attack on democracy in Ecuador and it was organized in advance.”

Citing the confiscation of homemade weapons, printed and social media messages urging protesters to “spare no force” when confronting police, Valencia says that most of the violence was an “orchestrated plan that required days of planning.” He also claims that members of the Citizen’s Revolution offered cash payments to some protesters to cause disruptions and spread violence and said that the break-in at the national comptroller’s office was a “hit job” intended to destroy evidence to be presented in upcoming trials against Correistas.

National Assemblyman Carlos Viteri

The government’s claim is backed up by the leadership of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities (Conaie). Conaie President Jaime Vargas, who negotiated an end to protests with President Lenin Moreno Sunday night, calls the participation of Correa supporters during the 12-day strike “an act of terrorism.”

“[Former National Assembly President] Gabriela Rivadeneira, [National Assemblyman] Virgilio Hernández and other Correa followers are the terrorists who spread violence during the protests,” Vargas says, explaining that they wanted to create chaos to facilitate Correa’s return to power.

Among those arrested on suspicioun of inciting violence are Pichincha Prefect Paola Pabón, former mayor of Durán, Alexandra Arce, and National Assemblyman Virgilio Hernández. In total, prosecutors says seven members of the Citizen’s Revolution are currently in custody.

At least three National Assembly Correista members are sheltering in Quito’s Mexican embassy where they have asked for political asylum. Also seeking asylum is Rivadeneira, who entered the Mexican embassy on Saturday.

In a Monday interview from his home in Belgium, Correa said that the charges against his supporters amount to the “actions of lunatics.” He predicted that Moreno’s government will collapse before its term ends in early 2021.

56 thoughts on “Government blames violence on the Correistas, makes arrests as others seek political asylum

  1. Moreno Raises Gasoline 100% and he expects people to be happy go lucky Paisanos.
    Moreno is a complete idiot, what did he think would happen? Raise Gas prices in Ecuador and everything will skyrocket…Thank You IMF, Good Bye retirement paradise, another Expensive Costa Rica.

    1. Blaming IMF is like blaming the bank when one needs to take out a loan to pay off overspending. The Lender wants the money returned and when Ecuador (Correa) defaulted on a loan already it is only logical that the lender would want assurances that they would get their money bank. IMF does not GIVE out grants. They lend money.

      The root of the problem is not the IMF. It is the overspending and stealing during the Correa administration and Correa giving China oil for cheap in exchange for financing.

          1. Kevin? Where did this cultural habit of always blaming some leader for all woes start? George III?

            If Correa is responsible for ANY violence or death, he should answer for it. As I said, I think he did an amazing job for his first terms, but the ego effect that overlong power has now made him into an embarrassment. He should smile a lot and makes millions on the lecture circuit. That is the best destiny for ex-leaders in republican-style presidential “democracies”.
            However, to demonize ex-leaders for actions that have a solid logical basis is childish. As if Obama or Trump are the root of all evil, and the people and systems that created them should be considered guiltless!!!!
            For example, Correa found Ecuador an abused nation/populous with poor health, no infrastructure worthy of the name. He borrowed as much as he could, gambling on the price of oil and the knowledge of all economists, that a nation that defaults should not worry about some lender foreclosing and removing highways. Smart.

            For reasons we have given here, the price of oil plummeted during the time he borrowed and the time he left power. More than 50%. If we ignore all the other fossil fuels. and merely look at crude oil at a very modest 500,000 barrel a day, the government’s oil sales revenue dropped almost 10 billion. (Please check my arithmetic, they are from OPEC) After years of this, Moreno is forced to borrow 4 billion from the US-controlled IMF…with unrelated conditions in favor of the USA.

            Maybe that’s the difference between your “Right” and “Left”. If my nation was as Ecuador was, I too would have taken the gamble Correa did. You would have let them starve and LadyLee would have questioned them on their stance on sanctity of unborn life.

        1. I didn’t see you refute a single word of her post. You always require others to be more rigorous than that, why should we expect less of you?

          1. I refuted every word of her post on multiple occasions, but that hasn’t stopped her from repeated the same lies over and over. It’s tedious to refute every point line by line for someone who always ignores the posts that call out her BS.

            For the record, I don’t require others to do anything. They can be as rigorous as they want, safe in the knowledge that the useful idiots will agree with them no matter how factually incorrect their position is. Heck, they can even defend the delusional if it suits their fancy and nothing I do or say requires them to do otherwise.

            1. I realize that what you say about Esmeralda is true, but that doesn’t change the substance of my comment nor refute its validity. I realize it is a burden to have to deal with Esmeralda all the time but the only honest alternative I can see to meeting that responsibility, is to simply ignore her. Mostly, that is what I do but I think that I still have the integrity to tell her those infrequent times when I agree with her.

      1. Esmeralda, Why can’t so many of the people here be honest with themselves? The IMF is merely a front for the USA. It was established (post-Great Depression) to promote stability in global financial markets. It was never supposed to be a mechanism for the US to kick countries when they’re down as it is now.

        It is no secret that Pence arrived in Ecuador, last year, just before the loans were accepted, to deliver a shopping list of unsavory US-serving demands in order for Moreno to get the desperately needed loans.

        Yet you constantly castigate the IMF and never acknowledge from where it is coming from! With respect, why is that? Myopia?

        1. It is not Moreno’s fault. If he doesn’t sign for the loans they send in the jackals (John Perkins). He’s only trying to save his own skin.

          1. Surprise! I agree. Moreno inherited the loans Ecuador couldn’t pay from Correa. And I can’t really blame Correa either. He started with a ridiculously raped and staving country going nowhere. He gambled on the price of oil staying high and he lost, though what he did brought most of us and keeps us here. (It wasn’t very comfortable pre-Correa. Cuenca remains one of the safer places one can live a western quality lifestyle.)

            As I said, Correa overstayed and changed for the worst in the process.. like so many presidents in republican democracies do. And Moreno is not very bright (not his fault and no cure for that).

            I blame the US, not only because it caused the very stupid Great Recession that broke the price of oil, but also because it endorses fracking, which devastates the planet and ballooned the availability of oil. The end result, not only here but in other countries as well, is national debts that poor countries can’t pay, especially when they are competing with the borrowing the USA is now demanding from the world at an accelerating rate.

            But not to worry, the US now has a military facilities in the Galapagos, the most precious haven for nature the world still has.

            As for “saving his skin”, you think Moreno is doing that by following Pence/Trump’s bidding?!! How many of those protesters do you think he can count on to vote for him? Nope, it is time for a fresh and a new start. Ecuador has to get away from western-trained leaders and the same rotten western values that are forcing the West to greasily collapse. Or are we too old for anything new here?

            1. “Surprise! I agree. Moreno inherited the loans Ecuador couldn’t pay from Correa.”

              It was $29 billion (only $7.5 billion of which was borrowed by Correa) and Ecuador was servicing those loans just fine. There was no threat of a default. If there were, the IMF wouldn’t be loaning Ecuador another $16 billion. It’s not as if any of the new debt went to pay off the old debt. Moreno has been making the same scheduled payments he received when he assumed office. Moreno has borrowed more than double what Correa borrowed in only two years and doesn´t have a single new road, hospital or hydroelectric plant to show for it. On top of that, he now wants to privatize assets like Banco del Pacifico, CNT and the hydroelectric plants, assets that generate billions of dollars in revenue for the state. So on top of the massive amounts of newly acquired debt, the revenue streams that should go to pay for them will be handed over to his buddies at pennies on the dollar. This is theft on a massive scale and the IMF is facilitating it in exchange for a share of the spoils for their investors.

              1. Very convincing what you are saying. I could add that Moreno doesn’t seem to be an expert in economic matters and he relies on his staff, as he said himself on TV during the public debate. If so, the question is, does he fully and deeply understand economic measures?

                1. His first two finance ministers resigned in disgust. The third (and current) one was the head of the chamber of commerce. Neither of them understand economics and Martinez only understands business (as if the two were the same).

              2. Jason. The Correa loans were granted on the supposition the price of oil would remain high. It didn’t. I am not blaming him for that. But let’s not be facile on the situation on what was left for Moreno. Be wary. Blaming personalities rather than the simple facts of life is very American of you.

                1. Moreno has had oil over $60 for the entirety of his presidency. Correa had oil below $40 for years and it even went as low as $20 and he didn¨t have to take out $16 billion in loans to keep the country going.

            2. Globie your anti US anti Western Values are getting stronger and more prominent by the day. I will venture to guess that you are living off the pension or investments from these so called rotten western values. It appears as though you are biting the hand that feeds you.

          2. What most people are unaware of is that at the same time, Moreno forgave US$ 4.5 billion in fines, interest and other dues to large corporations and oligarchs, hence decapitalizing the country’s treasury. The amount of canceled corporate fiscal obligations is about equivalent to the IMF loan, plunging large sectors of the Ecuadorian population into more misery.

      2. http://www.coha.org/ecuador-lenin-morenos-government-sacrifices-the-poor-to-satisfy-the-imf/

        What most people are unaware of is that at the same time, Moreno forgave US$ 4.5 billion in fines, interest and other dues to large corporations and oligarchs, hence decapitalizing the country’s treasury. The amount of canceled corporate fiscal obligations is about equivalent to the IMF loan, plunging large sectors of the Ecuadorian population into more misery.

        https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-imf-is-utterly-indifferent-to-the-pain-its-causing/

        1. Jason. You would be a source for this question. How much influence did Correa supporters have in the recent violence and destruction of evidence?

          1. Considering that CONAIE’s leadership is rabidly anti-Correa, I’d say none. But like everything else in this country, Moreno needs to blame it on Correa to keep his narrative going. It’s a handy excuse to jail all Nebot’s political opponents lest one of them stand against him in the next election and trounce him at the polls.

  2. Ah, the first casualty of war: the truth. Correa did it, maybe Trump did it. I think Stanley Kubrick did it. Maybe John Schweigert.

    1. There is proof that Correstias were involved in increasing the violence during the protest. Otherwise they wouldn’t have scurried off to the Mexican embassy to hide.

      Can we please have a decent conversation where Trump is not named in the discussion. Trump has absolutely nothing to do with the injuries, deaths and property damage that occurred.

      1. “Otherwise they wouldn’t have scurried off to the Mexican embassy to hide.”

        …. well History is proof that “political rivals” have been sent to prison here in Ecuador we less than clear “evidence” against them.

        That could be enough reason for an individual to “scurry off to the Mexican embassy to hide.”

    2. Nah, none of the suspects you point to are likely the cause. Far more likely would be Tommy Hilfiger, Abel Garraghan, or John Garbarini.

      Breaking news, they really did land on the moon and the super highway across the Darién Gap is open again.

  3. “and said that the break-in at the national comptroller’s office was a
    “hit job” intended to destroy evidence to be presented in upcoming
    trials against Correistas.”

    Right, because in 2019 physical documents are stored on-site in an office building and not electronically in the cloud. How is it that the Contraloria was able to be penetrated by 5 guys in ski masks while literally 150 feet away there were hundreds of police guarding the National Assembly? This false flag isn’t even a good one, but I guess it doesn’t matter when the press refuses to ask even these basic questions.

  4. Interestingly enough as Correa egged on the protesters against his nemesis, the protesters, CONAIE in particular, called out Correa for being an opportunist and reminded him of his transgressions against them during his reign. The Ecuadorian people have made it clear, as much as they are displeased with Moreno, they do not want Correa back.

    1. That is what impressed me the most about the protests. By and large, they were not FOR any current or past Ecuadorian political leader. They were against them all. A rightfully disgusted reaction at where western governing habits and values can lead to..right back into the pockets of non-Ecuadorian interests, the curse of the Americas since Columbus.

    2. Then why did candidates endorsed by Correa win 75% of the seats they ran for in the last election? This narrative goes on and on but the fact remains Correa and Revolucion Ciudadana are still the single largest political movement in the country. That’s why Moreno and Nebot are so desperate to jail all of their leadership before the 2021 elections. The last thing they want is to face them in free and fair elections because then they’d have to admit they were lying all this time.

      1. You may be right that they are the “single’ largest, but ultimately, in a multi-party democracy, the winner is the result of a coalition. I don’t see an RC candidate attracting coalition from the fragments of the left given their antagonistic relationship with CONAIE. Whereas the center and right would likely coalesce more readily and absorb the remnants of the AP. I’d wager on it.

        1. Sure, keep telling yourself that. At the end of the day the people decide and their positions haven’t shifted in over a decade. It’s why they had to rely on a traitor to push through a political agenda nobody voted for.

  5. Forget about all the finger pointing, it doesn’t really matter. EC needs to demonstrate a real commitment to serious austerity measures before all the funding stops. Either way, it’s going to be a really bumpy ride, expect expat retirees to break camp and seek greener pastures elsewhere.

    1. You are correct, and what a shame. Regardless of fault, ineptness, etc….. the Golden Goose is on its way to a slow death. All this was predictable, as far back as 6 or 7 years ago (remember when Correa tried to create money out of thin air with the digital currency?) That wasn’t the tipping point, but it was a great indication of where things were headed.

      1. Remember when everyone said Correa would create money out of thin air with the digital currency and then nobody said anything when the private banks were allowed to do it instead?

  6. 8 people killed (none from security forces).

    95 severely wounded (none from security forces).

    1190 people arrested.

    83 disappeared, 47 of whom are minors.

    57 journalists attacked by police.

    13 journalists arrested.

    9 media outlets shut down.

    Opposition politicians being systematically rounded up and arrested, 3 have been granted asylum in the Mexican embassy.

    Nothing like this ever happened during Correa’s government. It’s telling that none of the usual suspects here find any of this troubling.

  7. Moreno has nothing to do with democracy. He pays his police and military to brutalize the people on behalf of the elite. Moreno went against everything he campaigned for, and has sold out the people of Ecuador. The people need to rise back up, until a new election is called.

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