Riots in the streets of Quito (courtesy of Rodrigo Buendia http://www.gettyimages.com/)
Travel Alert: if you have plans to visit Quito, Ecuador or the Galapagos Islands, you should first check with your airline before heading to the airport. This morning, violent police riots broke out as a result of dissatisfaction with the government's alleged halting of police pay bonuses, promotions and related compensation. President Rafael Correa, who claims that the riots are actually a smokescreen for a coup attempt, has been hospitalized after being hit by hot water, bottles and other debris thrown by protesters. Due to the injuries sustained by the president and the reported mass looting and fire-setting, a state of emergency has been declared in the country and the military has taken control of the international airport. All international flights have been cancelled and the border between Peru and Ecuador has been closed for security reasons.
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Quito in more peaceful times (photo courtesy of http://www.dxtours.com/ )