Ecuador’s President Calls On Military, Police to Prepare for Turmoil

Source:  TeleSUR
4 August 2015

The call for the loyalty from the armed forces comes amid political tensions in the country. 

Rafael CorreaEcuadorean President Rafael Correa called on the police and military Monday to be prepared for destabilizing attempts by opposition groups ahead of a national strike set for mid-August.

“We need to be ready to confront them with the weapons of the law and the Constitution,” Correa said according to local news agency La Hora. ”To fight for the homeland, dear soldiers — without hoping for compensations — that’s the vocation of the truly uniformed.”

The announcement comes as two separate waves of political protest are set to shake the country later this month. The Indigenous political group Conaie called for an “uprising” Aug. 10, while trade unionists and opposition leaders have organized a separate national strike for Aug. 13.

Related:   995 Groups Join National Dialogue Despite Protests

Correa reminded the armed forces and the military that, “above all,” they must obey orders from the “only legitimate power; the one that emanates from the sovereign people” and that the” maximum representative of this legitimate power is the president of the Republic.”

Securing the police’s loyalty has a contentious past in Ecuador. In 2010 the military and the police conspired in events that saw President Correa injured and later detained against his will in a coup attempt.

RELATED: Read more about the 2010 coup and the right-wing attack on Ecuador’s democracy

Police have since gone to earn a salary of US$933, up from US$309 in 2006. Similarly, a colonel lieutenant used to earn US$1,162. Today this salary is set at US$3,142, according to La Hora.

In June this year, a controversial video surfaced aimed to incite rebellion among the ranks of the Ecuadorean police department following a wave of protest against tax hikes on the wealthiest.

Source:  Ecuador’s President Calls On Military, Police to Prepare for Turmoil  TeleSUR

One thought on “Ecuador’s President Calls On Military, Police to Prepare for Turmoil

  1. The call by Ecuador’s President and leader of the Citizens’ Revolution in that country that the army and police adhere to the supreme law of the country i.e. The constitution to defend law and order in the wake of the planned protests later this month is necessary but perhaps not sufficient to defend the revolution at this stage of the struggle.

    The police and the army in Ecuador like all the other institutions of the state such as the courts, the civil service and others were historically established to serve the interests of the ruling classes whether they were colonial slavemasters, plantation owners or oligarchs. Indeed, in 2010, there was an uprising against the Correa’s government in which President Correa himself was injuried and detained against his will by elements of the police force. Reportedly, the uprising against the government was led by segments of the police force.

    Furthermore during the previous governments of the oligarchy and imperialism, the police and the army have consistently taken the side of the ruling classes against the majority of the people in Ecuador. Indeed as recently as about 2003-2005 under the government of Lucio Guiterrez, the corrupted and discredited pro-imperialist government, the police and the army or at least significant segments of these institutions showed their true class colors by engaging in massive repression and the murder of dozens of Ecuadorians. That thug was forced from the presidency and ran away to the US where I believe he still resides after reportedly stealing millions of dollars and ordering the deaths of many of his people during the revolt against his government.

    The point is that the army and police have a checkered past as they probably do in most nations particularly since they were not originally established to fight for and defend the revolutionary transformation of these societies. Consequently, though President Coreea is acting within his constitutional powers as president to engage the army and the police specifically the more pro-people elements within these institutions to defend the interests of the revolution, it appears to me that his call is probably less than sufficient given the history of these institutions in the history of struggles of the people of Ecuador.

    In this regards, it may be necessary sooner rather than later depending on the evolving balance of forces in Ecuador that in order to complement the progressive segments in the police and army that the leaders of the Citizens’ Revolution may have to establish all across the country popular and armed militias to combat the actions of forces inimical to the interests of the revolution. The latter may not be required right now but as sure as night follows day as the political class battles between the oligarchy and imperialism on the one hand and the majority of the people on the other intensify, it os likely that new and independent institutions will be required to defend the gains of the revolution and to safeguard future gains.

    In closing, it is fitting to say that ultimately it is the the leaders of the Citizens’ Revolution including its Peesident who will have to determine these tactical decisions so critical to achieve the strategic goals of the revolution. However, one thing for sure is clear is that in the absence of political open-mindedness and flexible thinking the correct tactical decisions to resist the oligarchy and imperialism may slip by.

    Finally, I would like to end this piece by posing a couple questions. First, what is the basis for an indigenous group to be calling for an “uprising” against the Citizens’ Revolution? Is it that the Coreea government has been insensitive to issues of importance to their heritage and customs OR is it that the oligarchy and imperialism have done a more clever job art using their legitimate issues to mobilize them or at least some of them against the revolution?

    Likewise, why is it that trade unions are mobilizing against the revolution? Are these fringe unions or is it that the Correa government has made tactical errors towards these labor groups that the enemies if the revolution have capitalized on?

    I pose those questions knowing full well the power of the enemy to trick and manipulate groups like the indigenous population and labour unions that ordinarily are “natural allies” of the revolutionary transformation of society. As such it is an interesting proposition to understand what triggers the opposition of these groups to a process that should be to their benefit.

    Peace if you are willing to fight for it!

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