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Saturday, 22 January, 2000, 10:17 GMT
Ecuador coup condemned

Ecuadorean demonstration Many Ecuadoreans support the coup

Governments and international organisations have strongly condemned the attempt to overthrow Ecuadorean President Jamil Mahuad and have called for the return of constitutional order in the country.

The Secretary General of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Cesar Gaviria, who has been instructed by the OAS council to stay in permanent contact with President Mahuad's government, warned that any regime resulting from the coup would come under "enormous international pressure".

He expressed "most energetic condemnation" of the act, which "violates democratic principles".

Many South American countries were quick to associate themselves with Mr Gaviria's comments, and to reject any military intervention in the processes of government.

President Jamil Mahuad President Jamil Mahuad has strong international support

If the junta in Ecuador confirms its hold on power, it will be the only military government in South America.

Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, who resolved a long-standing border dispute with President Mahuad in 1998, expressed Peru's "total and unshakeable support" for Ecuador's government, and denounced "any attempt to change the legitimate, institutional order".

He also called a meeting of foreign ministers of Andean Community members Colombia, Bolivia and Venezuela to discuss the crisis.

The Andean Community's presidential council expressed "firm and energetic" support for President Mahuad.

Disastrous consequences

The United States has strongly condemned the coup, warning that it would have "disastrous consequences" for the country.

"Any regime that emerges from such an unconstitutional process will face political and economic isolation, bringing even greater misery upon the Ecuadorean people" a state department spokesman said.

An attempted overthrow of the constitutional government of Ecuador will have disastrous consequences for all Ecuadoreans
US State Department

A BBC correspondent in Washington says that the US has long been concerned about instability in Ecuador which is in what the US sees as its backyard.

But our correspondent says it is unclear how far Washington might go in support of the constitutional process.

The foreign ministers of Colombia, Chile and Mexico have issued a joint statement expressing deep concern over the events and have rejected any attempt to "threaten democratic institutions".

The only expressions of solidarity so far have come from Guatemala.

An umbrella group representing Organisations of the Mayan People said the Ecuadorean indigenous movement was "setting an example" in its struggle against neo-liberalism.

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See also:
22 Jan 00 |  Americas
Coup declared in Ecuador
21 Jan 00 |  Americas
Ecuador president defies military
19 Jan 00 |  Americas
Ecuador Indians confront government
11 Jan 00 |  Americas
Bank approves Ecuador dollar plan
16 Jan 00 |  Americas
Ecuadorean protests flop
10 Jan 00 |  Americas
Ecuadorian cabinet out
09 Jan 00 |  Americas
Ecuador army backs president

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