Coup d´Etat attempt in Ecuador proves Twitter is King

A tense situation has been unfolding in the South American nation of Ecuador in what most if not all describe as a Coup d´Etat attempt, and once again Twitter is the medium of choice to get insight about what is going on.

What started as a protest from the police against president Rafael Correa´s decision to eliminate some of their privileges and bonuses -while raising their wages- quickly escalated into something different: police forces seized the airport, shutting it down, and tear gas was fired -prompting the President to wear a gas mask.

After defying the protestors, and inhaling some tear gas in the process, he was taken into a police hospital, where he´s currently being held. Correa gave a radio interview, aired on the TeleSur news channel, hinting that the place is surrounded by insubordinated police forces.

As the news reached the pan-American TeleSur TV station, everyone and their mother turned to Twitter for information. Argentina´s Foreign Secretary Hector Timerman was among the fist to say something on the matter: “We are talking with Ecuador´s government and soon we´ll issue an official statement on the matter”, then “Of course, our solidarity and active commitment with Ecuador´s democratically elected government and its president, Rafael Correa”. Two hours later an official statement was issued by the foreign office.

This is very disturbing.

The official Twitter account of the Presidential Office of Ecuador (@presidencia_EC) twitted the government´s decision to invoke the State of Exception, allowing military troops to be taken into the streets to restore order, while supporters of the president announced their decision to take it to the streets in support of the government.

The last thing we heard is that there´s a demonstration of supporters of the president heading towards the police hospital where the President is held, and that the police is not letting them pass. As the events are still unfolding, here is a small and surely incomplete list of people and hashtags to follow:

@Presidencia_EC Official account of
Ecuador´s presidential office
@TelesurTV!/telesurtv – Public News Channel
@EvaGolinger – Eva Golinger, Venezuelan journalist
@ChavezCandanga – The President of Venezuela
@HectorTimerman – Argentina´s Foreign Secretary and twitterholic