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University of Cuenca student sentenced to prison for role in anti-government protest

University of Cuenca student Pablo Israel Correa has been sentenced to four months in prison for inciting violence and destruction of public property.

A police armored vehicle was damaged when it hit a cable connecting traffic light polls Oct. 16.

According to prosecutors, during the October 16 anti-government strike Correa installed a steel cable between two Calle Simon Bolivar traffic light polls that led to the destruction of the lights and polls and damage to a police armored truck that hit the cable. Correa was also seen throwing rocks at police in surveillance videos.

The sentencing judge said that Correa will also be required to pay for damages to the traffic lights and truck.

Prosecutors say they will present as many as 20 more cases to judges in coming weeks involving alleged criminal activity during the anti-government protests in Cuenca. “There were many acts of violence and vandalism during the protests and we are currently reviewing videos and photos to determine the culprits,” a spokeswoman at the prosecutors office said.

She added that the focus is on “individuals identified for throwing multiple projectiles” at police and those who destroyed public and private property.

62 thoughts on “University of Cuenca student sentenced to prison for role in anti-government protest

  1. Good! I am all for demonstrations in democracies. But violence and property damage is inane, anti-democratic and dissuades people from the practice. For example, does a citizen destruction of boat loads of tea meant to be sold to the same citizenry advance the cause of anything aside from bankrupting innocent suppliers?

    1. Throwing tea into the ocean is a lot different than throwing rocks at humans. BTW, how is the reporter that was in critical condition after being hit in the head by a rock thrown by a protestor?

      1. Long ago, I was on the “security forces” side of a barricade. An associate was hit by a jagged 2-3 pound rock. Result: A broken nose, and an eye socket that needed to be reconstructed. We has AR-15s, and we did not use them.

        Anyone who thinks that it’s easy to not use weapons when attacked, angry and fearful has never been in that situation. So, to the security forces that used good judgment, my hat is off. For those who didn’t–shame, and hope you get prosecuted for any unnecessary violence.

        People should always have a right to peacefully protest. But, imagine getting hit in the face by a heavy rock thrown full force from 30 feet. Now tell me that this is harmless.

        1. Imagine being hit by a high-speed 5.56 round from 100 meters just for having the audacity to exercise your Constitutional right to protest. Now tell me that this is analogous.

          1. Well that would be and should be a crime. If the protester were killed that would be murder, and obviously should be punished as any other murder.

            Maybe hit that shooter with a rock rather than somebody just trying to maintain order?

            Lots of guns, very few people actually shot. For example, how do you capture two groups of heavily armed security people without anyone being shot? They didn’t shoot–takes quite a bit of restraint when you’re faced with an angry mob. Good for those police and soldiers!

            I’m simply saying that there were horrible things done on both sides. Being one sided in condemnations will NOT help our country come together. Rather it’s a prescription for civil war.

        2. Imagine the outcome if the administration made a concerted effort to solve the problems they think they have by dialogue instead of ignoring the will of the people and having a president say, “I am the president and that is the way it will be?” It would appear the government screwed the pooch on this round. My fear is that, ya’ll ain’t seen nuttin yet! I hope and pray I am wrong but the foreign intervention seems to have a pretty clear history of bringing problems with them.

      2. Hurting humans is the worst. But disguising oneself as indigenous persons to escape identification and then intentionally destroying the private property of innocents is also violence. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Property_damage

        Only …er… cultural training would prevent one from realizing that.

        As noted, we are all going to be seeing a lot more demonstrations around the world over the next decade…(unless the-powers-that-be start mowing them down with automatic weaponry). The way the demonstrators and authorities conduct themselves will say a lot about the value system of the relevant nations.

  2. GOOD! Freedom to demonstrate does not mean freedom to destroy public or private property. I hope they are all punished.

  3. Are they reviewing videos of gangs of their officers beating journalists and running people over with motorcycles as they lie on the ground?

    When people were tried and convicted for very similar acts during the Correa administration, the press repeatedly cited it as “outlawing civil protest”. When Bosco Wisuma was killed and 38 police officers seriously injured by shotgun and lance-wielding Shuar protesting against a new mining law, the arrest of the perpetrators was front page news throughout the nation. El Comercio, La Hora, TeleAmazonas, Ecuavisa and even NGOs like Yasunidos derided it as an attack on the indigenous community, “outlawing social protest” and on and on it went for years. Some groups even filed suits in international courts (they were all summarily dismissed).

    Just something to keep in mind as more and more protests unfold in the coming months and the government feels compelled to push back even harder. Neoliberalism always results in civil unrest and the IMF’s response is to always encourage the government to push harder. So far that’s 8 dead at the hands of the security forces, which is 8 more than there were in 10 years of Correa, and 6 radio stations were shut down during the protests for broadcasting interviews with opposition leaders and their equipment was taken over to rebroadcast government-controlled programming. Add to that the arrest of 6 opposition politicians (including the prefect of Pichincha), threats of several more (including Yaku Perez) and three sitting legislators granted political asylum in the Mexican embassy.

    Remember when we were living in a dictatorship and Correa locked up his opponents and shut down opposition media outlets? Oh yeah, he never did. What was it the press and the government have been telling us repeatedly about “restoring” democracy?

    1. Mr. Faulkner claims to know a lot about everything; but, I can’t remember one article response of his where he cites this credentials that gives him the authority to know everything. Does anybody else?

      1. What difference do credentials make? If something I post is factually incorrect, feel free to point it out. Just think how much more satisfying that could be instead of your current efforts to hurl meaningless insults?

        1. Don’t fret Jason. More dinky tactics to prevent dialogue they don’t like. One of the more childish habits of the culture. You could equally ask what credentials they have to dispute you. (giggle)

          1. Sometimes it is far better to say nothing and be thought of
            as a fool than to speak and erase all doubt!!

          2. It’s interesting Globetrotter that the person you are just defending (Jasón Faulkner) did not respond to your comment “ Good! I am all for demonstrations in democracies. But violence and property damage is inane, anti-democratic and dissuades people from the practice” yet when others made the similar comment Jasón Faulkner responded by saying “ You support government oppression of people exercising their constitutional right to protest and to make it seem like you aren’t really a proto-fascist,”

            Globetrotter, not only are you condoning Jasón Faulkners unacceptable behavior of being nasty to people you are encouraging it. We understand that he is buddy (that also hates the US and what democracy stands for) but how fair is it to the readers to hear the both of you defaming others by name calling and being unreasonable to others that make the same logical comments.

            Most of us on this site are mature adults and enjoy a good healthy debate and come to this site because in many cases there is some interesting and informative discussions. Calling readers childish is attacking and insulting others and is exactly the behavour that your comments are projecting.

            Here is a good example of how Jasón Failkner responds to you differently than to other people when the the same thing is being said.

            Esmeralda | Monday, Oct. 7th
            I am not suggesting that the government oppress their people, You are very good and twisting words and not understanding what people are saying. I am suggesting that if the protestors are harming innocent people they should be removed and charged.
            Jason Faulkner replied | Monday, Oct. 7th
            “An iron fist is necessary” No, you’re not “suggesting” it, you’re explicitly calling for it. If the government is harming innocent protestors, what should happen? [don’t worry, we know you’ll never answer]

            Esmeralda | Monday, Oct. 14th
            Glad that they came to the table and negotiated. Nothing has been said yet about the rock thrower.
            Jason Faulkner replied | Monday, Oct. 14th |
            Weren’t you just saying three days ago that Moreno should crush the protestors with an iron fist? Now you’re “glad”?

            Esmeralda | Thursday, Oct. 17th
            Jason you keep twisting my words. For the 3rd time.
            If the protestors were harming innocent people they should be removed and charged.
            Jason Faulkner replied | Thursday, Oct. 17th |
            And if the police were harming innocent people?

            1. Faulkner is a bitter, resentful individual who probably sees himself as some sort of victim somewhere in his life, and as a result, lashes out, and fabricates information, only to (in his mind) remain relevant, and to right the wrongs that he perceives have been inflicted on him.

              Globetrotter, on the other hand, sports an insufferable superiority complex, and feels it is incumbent upon him weigh in on just about everything, in order to show the rest of us uneducated, unwashed, the guiding light of truth and righteousness, often mistaking his biased opinions as fact.

              Both are full of themselves, and if either was as perceptive and intelligent as he perceives himself as being, he would ratchet back the self-centered, boring behavior, a bit.

              1. Instead of offering any analysis or solution some people only hurl insults. This is the reason we are in so much trouble — the stupidity and mental degeneracy of these people who waste our time with empty posts devoid of anything positive or truthful.

                1. Interesting…. aren’t you the one that made the halfwit electoral college observations?(not positive) …… Didn’t you make the assertion that the police / military can “get away with murder” (what murders?)…. (and not truthful)……and you, from your lofty perch, place yourself above it all? Maybe you should look inward, and unburden us from (your) “empty posts devoid of anything positive or truthful”. Who made you the arbiter of what has value, when you, yourself, do exactly what you suggest others do not do?

                    1. Uhhhh…I think I recall you saying that before, very recently. Any new thoughts, or maybe you should just be a bystander.

      2. It is a mystery. How does any mere mortal go about knowing everything, about everything??? Perhaps a Vulcan mind meld???

        1. I never claimed to know everything about everything, though it often feels that way to people who know very little about anything.

      3. LTM believes you have to have a Ph.D. in order to make a comment. But, what if that doctorate is awarded by a Libtard, Marxist University? Are we any further ahead?

        1. What makes you think a Ph.D qualifies someone to make comments on subjects they know nothing about, even if it (the Doctorate) is awarded in relevant subject matter?

        1. If only you could point out how I’m misinformed with actual information.

          You should be afraid.

          1. Jason, they are not capable of dialogue, only personal attacks. I have to reach FAR BACK to my childhood to respond in kind. Something along the lines of “sticks & stones”…or “your mother wears army boots”.

            They are to be pitied than anything else….yet they are destroying what they say they treasure and bringing contempt upon their nation.

            1. Pitying them accomplishes nothing. Pointing out relentlessly how they are wrong with objective data slows down the corrosive effect they’re having on our collective consciousness. When people like this are allowed to run amok, we end up with illogical outcomes like Donald Trump as president.

      4. It appears as though Mr Faulkner knows alot but in actual fact he will often reply in nasty mode or attack mode when he does not have a valid argument or when he feels boxed in.

        1. How very odd. What is it about your culture that makes you turn to gratuitous ugliness so easily? Do you think it promises a long future for your heritage?

            1. Jason, how do you do that? IF I were to think it I would be blocked no matter how true it is.
              Good job!

          1. You just insulted the readers a day ago and you go on about other people. The pot calling the kettle black. (something you say that means people should not criticize someone else for a fault that they have themselves)

        2. How many times are you going to reply to the same comment? Were you upset that your first reply didn’t appear fast enough? Do you really think we’re missing out on your valuable wisdom?

          1. It is difficult to have a conversation with you with your twists and turns. I am sure the readers are shaking their heads

  4. Wow, that is the swiftest justice I have ever seen.

    No, not the instant kind of vigilante justice, but something that is actually rule based.

    1. Procedurally, it could only happen if the accused pleaded guilty or nolo contendere. I do not want to contemplate a kangeroo court.

  5. It just amazes me, when police and military have deadly weapons loaded with ammunition….how restrained they are in Ecuador!! It COULD have been a blood bath! Of course there were serious injuries on both sides! ( I’ve experienced tear gas canisters in the 60’s) I commend the police and Military! Great restraint while taking on insults and aggression…..and vise versa when Indigenous leaders tried to tell young thugs….”NO! Were not like that! Don’t!”

    1. You are seeing what I am seeing Spiffy. The world has entered into an era of great stress. Humanity has intellectually (minority) or instinctively (majority) that our systems, our governments, our distribution of resources and justice is dysfunctional. It is not a question of personalities or parties..it goes far deeper than that. Even free democracies channel all of their votes to more-of-the-same.

      It is inevitable and important that they express themselves and any match will set them off. (Or should I be using “our” rather than “they”.) How these expressions happen indicates the quality of the society involved. Even with the tragedy of physical and property violence, Ecuador is doing better than most…from both the protester and anti-protester sides. I shall fervently hope they get better still. The nature of these protests will determine the quality of the needed changes.

      We older folk protest on forums. Ideas are expressed. Opinions are voiced. Against that we have anti-protesters, those who would squelch dialogue and expression. They will not indulge in idea exchange and try to stop those who would with personal attacks…

      They also include those who monitor our comments to assure their profitability. These last give a huge license to the first group by allowing a constant stream of bile and personal attacks while keeping not posting replies of those attacked. No wonder the saner elements of this group (which I still believe is in the majority even up north) hide under their beds when the going gets tough. That leaves their culture and nation with mob rule in charge. Heart-breaking and creepy.

    2. SpiffyHeart, don’t ever forget that military and police are just poor people in uniform. Most are not heartless, just caught up in the moment. When the rubber meets the road, they will eventually side with the protestors and overthrow the problem. Violently? Could happen.

  6. I hope he gets kicked out of school too. Subsidized schooling should not be provided to domestic terrorists. Hopefully he can learn a trade in prison and come out as a much more productive member of society.

    1. Right, because if one thing is certain in this world it’s that lifetime punishment for poor decisions made in your early 20s is a sure way to …. wait, what’s the goal here?

      1. Since when is a poor decision made in the early 20s a free ride to break the law. We are not talking abut a child here that still has a lot to learn. Early 20 year olds should know enough to know better.

        1. I never said it was. That, Esmeralda, is known as the straw man fallacy (or “straw person” in some newer publications). It is fallacy you use most often, though most of your arguments are peppered with many different fallacies. I invite you to review the following list and keep it in mind the next time you are formulating an argument.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies

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