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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 February, 2005, 02:42 GMT
Rival mass rallies grip Ecuador
Tens of thousands of Ecuadorians have taken part in marches for and against the government in the capital, Quito.

Opponents of President Lucio Gutierrez accused him of acting like a dictator by persuading Congress to sack most of the Supreme Court.

They also condemned him for planning further reforms of key institutions.

Mr Gutierrez told supporters he could negotiate but, as a warrior, would change Ecuador or die trying.

The president says the institutions must be overhauled because they are dominated by a corrupt elite.

Despite heavy security, the marches did not meet up and there are no reports of incidents.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service



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