October 12, 2005

Ecuador Goes Crazy!

Here's a story I wrote for Newsday in May, I'm saving it from un-archived oblivion, just follow the link below...

A crowd of 50 Ecuadoran immigrants gathered inside the offices of Delgado Travel in Jackson Heights one recent day, watching the political situation in their homeland unravel on jumbo television screens.

The crowds had gathered last month at the travel agency, a nerve center for the local Ecuadoran community, to watch the minute-by-minute developments as then-President Lucio Gutierrez fled the country.

"We played Ecuador news all day," said Linda Delgado, 30, whose parents emigrated from Ecuador and started the travel agency three decades ago.

The people "were glued to the television," Delgado said.

Earlier, Gutierrez had disbanded the country's Supreme Court, a move some considered to be an attempt to consolidate power. The move generated a throng of angry protesters outside the presidential palace in the capital city of Quito and led to Gutierrez's ouster from office. He is the third leader of the country to be ousted since 1997.

Political instability in Ecuador, such as that experienced in recent weeks, has contributed to the rapid growth of Ecuadoran immigrants in New York City, according to city officials.

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