April 20, 2005
¡Qué rápido! After a few weeks of mounting protests, the Congress of Ecuador voted to remove President Lucio Gutierrez from the office today, replacing him with Vice President Alfredo Palacio. The Congress actually had to flee and reassemble in another, safer building before the 62-0 vote to remove the president was taken; the other 38 members were presumably taking cover. An FM radio station is said to have played a major role in coordinating the opposition forces' campaign against Gutierrez. The military pledged support for the new leader, who applauded the end of the "dictatorship," proclaiming "Today the people of Ecuador have decided to re-found the republic." Whether this change will succeed in quelling the street chaos remains to be seen. Ecuador right now reminds me of the Corcyran civil war described in Thucydides' The Pelopponesian War, revealing the bestial nature of man when unfettered by a strong government.