September 30, 2010 / 10:03 PM / 7 years ago

Latin America vows support for Ecuador's Correa

MEXICO CITY, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Latin American leaders condemned unrest in Ecuador on Thursday and threw their support behind President Rafael Correa as he faced crowds of police protesting over austerity plans.

“They’re trying to depose President Correa,” Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a fellow leftist and ally of the Ecuadorean leader, said on Twitter.

“Viva Correa!” wrote Chavez, who later told state TV the embattled Ecuadorean leader’s life was in danger as he faced demonstrators from inside a Quito hospital, after being attacked by tear gas and hit by a flying object in the melee.

Chavez, along with leaders of Chile, Peru and Colombia, were expected to meet in Buenos Aires on Thursday evening in support of Correa, who has been considering dissolving Ecuador’s Congress, where members of his left-wing party are blocking cost-cutting proposals. [ID:nN30130945]

In Santiago, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera told reporters he had spoken with Correa and promised him “our full support for order, democracy and the constitutional government of President Rafael Correa.”

Mexican President Felipe Calderon said in a Twitter message that Mexico “expresses its concern over the events in Ecuador today that could affect institutions in our brother country.”

Argentina “categorically rejects the uprising by military and police forces which put democratic institutions in Ecuador at risk,” the government of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez said in a statement.

“Latin America will not accept any more attacks on democracy nor attempts to sidestep the popular will manifest at the ballot box,” it said.

Peruvian President Alan Garcia and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos -- both of whom closed their borders with neighboring Ecuador -- and Bolivian President Evo Morales all promised support for Correa.

“We consider reprehensible any act of defiance against the representative of the Ecuadorean people,” Garcia said.

Support for Correa, first elected in 2006 promising to combat corruption and increase state control of natural resources, came from as far away as France and Spain, where the Foreign Ministry condemned “any break with constitutional legality.”

Correa has faced a cash crunch since Ecuador defaulted on $3.2 billion in global bonds two years ago. Correa declared the debt “illegitimate.” (Reporting by Guido Nejamkis and Luis Andres Henao in Buenos Aires, Alonso Soto and Antonio de la Jara in Santiago, Cyntia Barrera Diaz in Mexico City, Carlos Quiroga in La Paz, and the Lima newsroom; writing by Alexandria Sage; editing by Missy Ryan and )

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