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Foreign leaders condemn riots in Ecuador

Foreign leaders and international organizations expressed their support for the president of Ecuador and condemned violent police protests which left at least one person dead.

Foreign leaders and international organizations expressed their support for the president of Ecuador and condemned violent police protests which left at least one person dead.

Police officers of the Latin American state took to the streets on Thursday a day after the parliament passed a controversial bill to end their bonuses and other benefits. At least one person was killed and dozens injured in the protests, including the country's foreign minister, who was hospitalized with a gunshot wound to the head.

President Rafael Correa was also taken to hospital after a tear gas attack and was unable to leave the building, surrounded by an angry crowd, until recently. An operation to release him took about half an hour. About 500 servicemen took part and at least 12 of them were injured.

Correa was taken to the presidential palace, where he delivered a speech to his supporters from a balcony.

A weeklong state of emergency was declared in the country. Media reported of violence and looting in the capital Quito and other cities.

Colombia and Peru, sealed their borders with Ecuador, Argentina's C5N TV said.

"I talked to the president of Peru and we have decided to close the border with Ecuador to demonstrate political support to President Correa," Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said.

The press office of UN Secretary General issued a statement to express concern about the situation in Ecuador.

"The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about developments today in Ecuador, including reported acts of insubordination by some members of the police and military," the statement reads, adding that the UN head urges all the parties "to intensify efforts to resolve

the current crisis peacefully, within the rule of law."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement her country "deplores violence and lawlessness and we express our full support for President Rafael Correa, and the institutions of democratic government in that country."

"We urge all Ecuadorians to come together and to work within the framework of Ecuador's democratic institutions to reach a rapid and peaceful restoration of order," she added.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who is Correa's main ally, condemned the protests and called on the country's military not to support protestors. He also urged Latin America's largest international organizations, ALBA and UNASUR, to be "on alert."

"There is a coup attempt against President Correa. I alert the people of the Bolivarian alliance! I ask the UNASUR peoples to be on alert! Long live Correa!" Chavez posted on his Twitter account.

Spain's EFE news agency reported that UNASUR leaders would convene for an emergency meeting in Buenos Aires to discuss situation in Ecuador.

The Organization of American States (OAS) unanimously passed a resolution in support of Correa and his government.

The government of Spain said it "strongly condemned any constitutional violations" and "reiterated its support for the legitimate government and democratic institutions of Ecuador."

Cuban foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez read a declaration from the Cuban Government, which says that Havana "fully backs the legitimate and constitutional government of President Rafael Correa and supports the Ecuadorian people that are mobilizing to rescue their president."

"We hold the chief of the Armed Forces of Ecuador responsible for the physical integrity of President Correa. They must guarantee him full freedom of movement and exercise of his duties," Cuban News Agency ACN quoted the statement as saying.

Argentina's Foreign Ministry said in a press release that its government "categorically rejects the revolt of military forces and police that put in jeopardy the democratic institutions of Ecuador."

"Latin America doesn't accept attacks against democracy and attempts to mock the will of the people manifested at the ballot boxes," the statement reads.

The turmoil in the OPEC member has already led to an increase in global oil prices.


MOSCOW, October 1 (RIA Novosti)

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