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Correa attends Ecuadorian university student's funeral

10-03-2010 13:48 BJT

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Relatives have buried an Ecuadorian university student who died during Thursday's bloody police revolt in the nation's capital. President Rafael Correa also attended the funeral.

The student, Juan Pablo Bolanos Fernandez, was one of over 6,000 people who marched on Thursday evening to demand that President Rafael Correa be allowed to leave a hospital and return to the palace.

On Thursday, Correa was assaulted at a police rally and then trapped for hours inside the hospital with police surrounding the building. The standoff finally ended when troops rescued him in a night raid.

President Correa attended the funeral with his wife at his side.

Eight people were killed in unrest across the country, including an elite guard.

During an hour long television address, Correa said Thursday's violent events in Quito will not go "unpunished".

Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador, said, "I'd like to remember those who died. It has broken my soul in two. Those who fell defending the Constitution and the President are heroes. And all because of some senseless people. The student, Juan Pablo Bolanos Fernandez, he was the first one to die when he was taking part in a peaceful march and they shot them. It is unbelievable they shot at defenceless citizens. This cannot be left unpunished, there cannot be impunity here."

Three police colonels are under criminal investigation for failing to prevent a massive protest by their subordinates that spun out of control.

Thursday's protest was against a law passed by Congress that would end the practice of giving soldiers and police medals and bonuses with each promotion, and extend promotion intervals.


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