HomeNewsAnalysisPolice Riot in Ecuador
ANALYSIS

Police Riot in Ecuador

ECUADOR / 1 NOV 2010 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN

Chief of Ecuador police, Felipe Martinez, resigned Friday after the dramatic protests which President Correa and his supporters described as a "coup attempt."

 Chief of Ecuador police, Felipe Martinez, resigned Friday after the dramatic protests which President Correa and his supporters described as a "coup attempt." Riots broke out after the Ecuadorian National Assembly passed a law on Wednesday that increased salaries and cut bonuses for police officers. But how is the law going to affect Ecuador’s police forces, and why were they unhappy enough to launch such strong demonstrations?

According to some analysis from the Miami Herald, it was not so much the content of these laws that provoked the police uprising, but rather the lack of “healthy debate” and discussion. That is, it appears Correa pushed the law through Congress without lobbying police to support the legislation. So what does the "Law of Public Service," as the legislation is known, actually do? It cuts some benefits, including Christmas gift baskets, and cuts bonuses awarded to officers for seniority or promotions. Police will now have to serve seven years, not five, in between rank promotions, and will no longer receive the cash bonuses ranging between $3,000 and $8,000, reports IPS.

Correa has argued that these material bonuses have now been added into police officers’ regular salaries, $792 a month, in contrast to the monthly salaries of $355 in place when he first took office. On one hand the law may be a well intentioned (but badly explained) attempt at the democratization of police salaries, but it is still not clear how the new law will better promote upward mobility within the police forces. Does the new law still encourage low-ranking officers to advance their careers, even to the highest ranks? It's not so much that financial incentives should be used to build a more effective police force, but with their cash bonuses gone, rank-and-file officers still need to see a path for promotion (perhaps with increased opportunities for training or education while rising in the ranks). It's not clear that the new law does anything to address this.

Meanwhile Correa has accused at least two political rivals of having orchestrated Thursday's protests, and the Prosecutor General's Office is now investigating such allegations, reports El Comercio. It does not look as though the objective of the police-led protests was to oust Correa from power, and so far it looks like the president's popularity is now on the rise. Gallup reports that even before Thursday's "golpe," more people approved of Correo's performance than those who expressed confidence in police forces.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ARGENTINA / 1 OCT 2020

From mostly being a lower-level criminal annoyance, oil theft has spread across Latin America during the coronavirus pandemic as a…

COCAINE / 5 JAN 2021

The assassination of Albanian national Adriatik Tresa inside his luxury property in Ecuador has revealed details of his alleged criminal…

BRAZIL / 11 DEC 2020

The world’s biggest oil trading firm faces a large fine after a multi-country investigation revealed it bribed Brazilian, Mexican and…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…