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

–  Ecuador’s President Calls On Military, Police to Prepare for Turmoil (teleSUR, Aug 4, 2015):

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

Ecuadorean 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.

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.

Police have since gone to earn a salary of US$933, up from US$309 in 2006. Similarly, a colonellieutenant 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.


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