Latin America & Caribbean

Ecuador state of emergency: Your emails

People taking part in a demonstration
Image caption There have been demonstrations in favour of Rafael Correa as well as opposition

Soldiers in Ecuador have rescued President Rafael Correa from a police hospital after a tear gas attack.

Mr Correa left the clinic after soldiers opened fire on the police, following protests by officers angry at benefit cuts.

BBC News website readers from the country have been in contact to give their accounts of what has been happening.

I am a sociology student at the Catholic University in the middle of Quito. Two blocks from campus an avenue was being closed by uniformed police officers. I tried to take a video of violence against a cameraman, and ended up being attacked myself. Police officers were taking mobile phones, cameras, PDAs without any warrant, using only force. The president is at the police hospital, which is surrounded by insubordinate officials, so no-one can get to him. Leonardo Paredes, Quito

Thieves have taken advantage of this situation, and started attacking people in the streets. They have robbed many shops, supermarkets, banks, gas stations etc. Now most people are at their homes, waiting to see what happens with the government. Andrea M, Guayaquil

The political situation in Ecuador is very sad. Unfortunately this is the result of bad actions by Mr President Correa. We Ecuadoreans are very worried about our international political image, [and] businesses are going down. Opportunities for companies are just a dream in a country without stability. Sonia Meurer, Guayaquil

I live in Guayaquil and no-one really knows what is happening. All the TV channels are controlled by the government and they are using propaganda to try and send their messages to the people of Ecuador. We can only see one side of the government and the other side has been shut down. This is a very powerful and dangerous strategy from the government that will have all the control in the future if it survives this crisis. Andres, Guayaquil

The situation in Quito is pretty quiet so far. There are some protests of rogue police but the overall situation is peaceful. There are a lot of pro-government protesters outside the presidential palace. Most of the shops are closed due to the state of emergency declaration but besides that the situation is quite normal. Johannes Ritz, Quito

Everyone is worried. I've been told that there is a lot of robbery on the streets today, people prefer to take taxis. A lot of robbery has happened in buses. Now there is some smoke from fires. The airport of Guayaquil is closed, life is frozen. Everyone is waiting for news. On the street near me (Ave Francisco Orellana) there was just one demonstration with a crowd up to 200 people. Alexey, Guayaquil

Today was a day of great unrest in Quito, but I wouldn't call it a "disaster zone". I live in Quito and work in nearby Cumbaya as a school teacher. For a while the situation was precarious, as it appeared the military forces might mobilise against the national police, which could have potentially escalated into a civil war. Looters took advantage of the situation and attacked major banks, corporate offices and warehouses. After a few hours the police stopped their protesting and turned their attention to the looters.

At about 1030 I went to recess to find all the other teachers on their phones. At that point no-one was sure what was going on. We were told to continue classes as normal, but parents started arriving to take their children. By the next hour there were no classes as the evacuation was in full swing. When there were only about 50 students left we moved everyone into the cafeteria for lunch, and parents continued to arrive. Finally at 1400 the general director called in all staff, gave us official news about closing tomorrow and let us all head home. The drive home was absolutely without incident, calm, and faster than normal because there was hardly any traffic. The neighbourhood seems calm. Rebecca, Quito

On Thursday, a group of policemen took control of the biggest barrack of Ecuador demanding the government to reform a new law passed on Wednesday. This initial movement was followed by increasing numbers of forces across the country which ultimately led to general unrest. Police forces have withdrawn from the streets leaving the people unarmed against criminals which have already led to lootings in several important cities in Ecuador. Four banks have been robbed in Guayaquil, the main city. In Esmeraldas, a coastal city in north-west Ecuador, stores of all kinds, especially grocery stores, have been looted. There is a general feeling of insecurity. We hope a coup will not happen today in Ecuador. Miguel Reina, Esmeraldas

I am a United States citizen living in Quito, Ecuador for the past four-and-a-half years. Military officers live on either side of my home. Although my son's elementary school called me to pick him up at about 1100 today, all I've seen driving around the suburbs is a general closing of schools, banks and most businesses, as well as an atypical number of military helicopters flying over and landing at military facilities. I have also seen police patrolling, almost as usual, in the suburban Valle de los Chillos.

Though Ecuador obviously has a problem with these renegade civil servants, I perceive many of the reports as somewhat exaggerated, particularly concerning the number of insubordinate officers and troops. The general feeling in my neighbourhood is that the small vocal group of protesters will calm down over the next few days and things will be back to normal on Monday in this very friendly and beautiful little country. Lawghost, Greater Quito

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