Leaders condemn Ecuador rebellion

2010-10-01 12:20

Buenos Aires – South American heads of states on Friday denounced a police rebellion in Ecuador as an "attempted coup" and called for those behind it to be tried and punished.

The presidents "expressed the necessity of seeing those responsible for the attempted coup d’état to be tried and convicted and reaffirmed their support for the constitutional government" of Ecuador, Argentine Foreign Minister Hector Timerman said.

The presidents held an emergency meeting here under the auspices of the South American Union, UNASUR, to show support for Ecuador's President Rafael Correa, who was besieged for 12 hours in a police hospital by the rebels.

Correa was finally rescued in a military operation that left at least two people dead and 37 wounded.

The South American leaders "energetically condemned" the rebellion and said they were determined "not to tolerate any new assault against the institutional authority."

Among those at the session were Presidents Alan Garcia of Peru, Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Sebastian Pinera of Chile, Evo Morales of Bolivia, Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, Jose Mujica of Paraguay and Argentina's President Cristina Kirchner.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, whose choice to succeed him faces presidential elections on Sunday, was unable to go.