At the end of November, the military rulers of Ecuador banned publication of all news and comment relating to the unsuccessful coup that was attempted by rebel troops in September.
At the end of November, the military rulers of Ecuador banned publication of all news and comment relating to the unsuccessful coup that was attempted by rebel troops in September. The decree followed the publication by a newspaper of a two thousand word letter from the leader of the revolt, General Raul Gonzalez Alvear, explaining the aims of the coup and why it failed. the General is now in Chile.
The President, Guillermo Rodriguez Lara, was away from Quito when the rebel troops seized his Palace. But he mustered support from other regiments outside the capital and quickly quashed the uprising. At least 24 people were killed and 100 wounded during fierce fighting in the city centre.
On Saturday (6 December) a bomb exploded inside the Presidential Palace shortly before President Rodriguez Lara was to give a nationwide broadcast to commemorate the 441st anniversary of the founding of Quito. Government officials said that the explosion destroyed a lift, smashed windows at the rear of the Palace, but caused on injuries.
President Rodriguez Lara seized power in a coup in February 1972, which toppled the elected chief of state, Jose Maria Velasco Ibarro.
Both incidents highlighted the growing political tension in Ecuador where the disparity of wealth between the rich and poor has reached crisis point. This disparity is not noticeable in Quito.
In one part of the town most of the buildings are typically Spanish colonial -- many of them more than 400 years old. The streets are narrow and the two storey houses are made of mud.
The wealthy part of the town is just like any other big Modern city. The avenues are wide, and the modern buildings include expansive hotels and casinos for the tourists.
SYNOPSIS: Quito, the capital of Ecuador, was due to celebrate its four hundred and forty-first anniversary on Saturday. The day was to be marked by a nationwide broadcast by President Guillermo Rodriguez Lara, but the Broadcast was postponed when a bomb exploded in the president tail Palace. Nobody was injured, through many windows were smashed.
The incident highlighted the growing political tension in Ecuador, where the disparity of wealth between rich and poor most noticeable in Quito. In the poor part of the city the streets are narrow and many of the buildings are more than four hundred years old. But because Ecuador is an oil producer, petrol is cheap. For one American dollar you can buy five gallons. But as bus transport is limited, owning a car is very important.
In the rich section of the city, the residents shop in modern supermarkets The food is imported from all over the world and is very expensive. But in the poor quarter, the traditional markets remain. Here food and clothes are sold from stalls and most of the city's poor workers shop in the open market because prices are much lower.
A previous attempt to overthrow President rodriguez Lara was made last September when rebel troops seized his Palace. The President was out of Quito at the time, and managed to muster enough support to squash the rebellion. Last month a newspaper published a letter from the leader of the attempted coup -- now living in Chile. Since then the Government has banned all news and comment on the unsuccessful rebellion.