Students, Police Clash during Protest
QUITO, Ecuador (AP) _ Police fired tear gas and water cannon at rock-throwing protesters during a demonstration Wednesday by thousands of students over university funding.
About 2,000 students, seeking a meeting with President Leon Febres Cordero, marched 30 blocks from the Central University of Ecuador to Independence Plaza in front of the presidential palace.
Violence erupted as police dispersed the unauthorized rally, which was organized by university officials.
Demonstrators threw rocks at the police, who fired tear gas and water cannons.
The students want higher government funding for the university. The government has said the nation’s economic difficulties are causing budget restrictions for the school.
There were no reports of injuries but a local radio station said several students were detained by police.
Many nearby businesses were forced to close due to the violence, witnesses said.
Meanwhile, postal employees rejected the government’s offer of a $650,000 one-year wage package and continued their nationwide strike.
Mario Galarraga, general secretary of the National Federation of Postal Employees, said mail workers also wanted the government to resume paying into a social security fund for employees. He gave no figures.