One year ago. In the beginning it was an ordinary day, in Guayaquil and the rest of Ecuador.
I had just finished my work-out at the local gym and was on the way to the lavandry with my clothes. Then the phone called. I was warned about going to the centre of the town. The police oficers were on strike and the criminals grabbed the moment. People, cars, supermarkets and banks were robbed.
I went to my hotel for following the development on TV and internet. It had just started…
We could see images of supermarkets where not even the shelves were back. We saw interwievs with desperate victims of robbers. The policemen were other places demonstrating, shouting slogans an burning tires in the streets.
About 0930 the president of the republic went out to speak to angry crowd of policemen outside the presidents palace. Instead of trying to calm them down, he attacked. He said the wages was high enough and blamed them for irresponsibility. Even if they tried killing him, the goverment wouldn´t change their attitude in this issue. And then someone suddenly threw a gas grenade..
At this point everything was a mess. About 11.00 we got the news about the president hiding in the police hospital..! Shortly after: he was detained against his will. Was this a coup attempt?
Suddenly little Ecuador was on the front pages all over the world.
But his politcal opponents and the head of the armed forces suported the president and condemned the police action.
What that happened next was taken out of an accion movie. Armed forces attacked the hopsital, liberated the president and about 5 policemen were killed. The pictures of the president beeing wheeled out in a wheelchair with a gas mask on his head were sent all over the world.
And the status one year later? The goberment is preparing to celebrate the victory of democracy. But they had not found anyone in charge of this incidents. A columnist in the newspaper El Universo accused the president himself having put it in scene. Then the president sued the newspapers and its owners. He won, but what about the freedom of the press?