January 30, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Mobs occupy Ecuador Congress

A large number of supporters of new President Rafael Correa pushed their way into the chambers of Ecuador's Congress today, showing that they won't put up with any foot-dragging by the political establishment. Correa wants to convene a people's assembly to rewrite the constitution, just as Chavez did in Venezuela, and Morales is trying to do in Bolivia. When the crowds of protesters became violent, the police decided it was better to evacuate the legislators than risk bloodshed. Correa later said he "regretted" those actions by his supporters. Oddly, his party did not run any candidate in the elections last year. See BBC. It is hard to imagine that a highly educated leader such as Correa would be willing to subject his country to chaos just to get his agenda passed, but that seems to be what is happening. Whether the escalation is at his behest, or whether other subversive forces (based in Caracas?) are behind the tumult, it is clear that Ecuador is headed toward a showdown very soon. My original impression that Correa would sober up and tone down the inflammatory rhetoric after assuming office was apparently mistaken.