Ecuador police face sanctions over deadly revolt

AP News
Posted: Oct 13, 2010 5:59 PM
Ecuador police face sanctions over deadly revolt

Ecuadorean police have opened internal disciplinary proceedings against 13 of their own officers who could be fired for their purported roles in a deadly revolt.

Four colonels, seven captains, a lieutenant and a second lieutenant were placed on administrative leave as the first step in a process under which they could be dismissed after 60 days, depending on the outcome of the investigation, a police statement said Wednesday.

One of the colonels is head of the congressional guard, some of whom are accused of assaulting lawmakers and blocking them from entering the capitol.

About a dozen people died and 270 were wounded in the Sept. 30 uprising by police angry over a new law that would strip them of promotion bonuses.

They roughed up President Rafael Correa when he came to talk to them, and later trapped him inside a police hospital for hours. Correa, who was finally rescued when army commandos firing assault rifles and concussion grenades stormed into the facility and hustled him away, has called the uprising an attempted coup.

On Wednesday, Defense Minister Javier Ponce said the government plans to unify intelligence agencies under a single command and review curriculum at the intelligence school.

"It would be absolutely naive to think that everything has gone back to normal among the police," Ponce told Democracia radio. "It needs a profound reform _ not shuffling things around and prison for just 10 or 20" officers.