BOGOTÁ, Colombia — The embattled mayor of Ecuador’s capital stood sooner than the city council on Tuesday afternoon, giving a speech in honor of his nation’s Independence Day, when he was interrupted mid-sentence.
Supreme then, a member of the city council rose from his chair and doused the mayor with a glass of water, hurling a plastic cup at him.
“Shameless!” the city council member, Fernando Morales, shouted, as police escorted him out of the room. “Have some decency. Quito would now not deserve what you are doing … It’s essential to peaceful resign!”
The dramatic scene, which was captured on video that snappy circulated on-line, became a image of the continuing political strength warfare on this capital city of more than 2 million of us, as the mayor faces allegations of wrongdoing and possible removal from office — again.
“What I did today is what any Quiteño would have performed,” Morales told journalists after the incident, describing it as a “demonstrate of indignation at so considerable corruption, so many malicious actions.”
Hours later, the mayor answered in a tweet, saying, “today’s aggression is part of the attack on Quito” by “those that are prepared to enact anything to reach strength.”
In June, the city council eliminated Yunda from office after he was accused of, among diverse issues, a lack of transparency about public spending. After a court docket upheld the removal, the deputy mayor, Santiago Guarderas, stepped into the role for nearly two weeks. But late last month, after an appeal from Yunda, a provincial court docket revoked the decision and reinstated Yunda to the mayor’s office.
Meanwhile, Yunda is beneath investigation by the prosecutor’s office in connection with allegations of embezzlement related to the purchase of faulty covid-19 assessments; he’s required to wear an digital tracker as the investigation continues. Yunda, who took office in May 2019 and has two years left in his term, has denied the allegations against him and described them as unfair political attacks.
As a constitutional court docket in Quito prepares to bag to the backside of the legal dispute over the mayor’s office, on Tuesday, dozens of unions and organizations called for marches via Quito’s streets, in snarl of Yunda’s leadership. Carrying indicators that read “Yunda Out,” tons of of Quito residents marched to the constitutional court docket to demand the mayor’s removal. In diverse parts of the city, crowds of the mayor’s supporters also marched, waving banners and honking horns while shouting, “we are with you!”
As the opposing protests persisted, Ecuadorans on Twitter both condemned and celebrated the city councilman who launched the glass of water at the mayor. To a couple, it captured the frustration that many Quito residents feel with the mayor and the political upheaval in the city. “Anyone said ample,” one resident tweeted. But to others, it was an unnecessary display of “violence” on a day meant to honor the nation’s independence.
Tuesday’s holiday, identified as the “Primer Grito de Independencia” or “First Cry of Independence” in Ecuador also marks the day when the electorate of Quito became the first in Latin America to declare independence from Spain.
Francisco Montahuano, a political scientist and professor at Universidad Hemisferios in Quito, said he would now not toughen Yunda’s decision to defy the initial court docket show of removal from the mayor’s office. But Montahuano described Morales’s actions as “unacceptable.”
“It was an act of violence, of symbolic violence,” Montahuano said, committed on a ancient day, now not correct for the nation but for the continent.
By throwing the glass of water at Yunda, the political scientist argued, Morales also provides the populist mayor an excuse to play the sufferer and to accuse his critics of classism and racism and of attacking him for “working for the of us.”
“When Councilmember Morales throws water at him, it justifies this discourse of victimization that Yunda has,” Montahuano said.
On Tuesday, the mayor described himself on Twitter as “a man of peace.”
“I’m right here to work for and with the of us,” he said. “Let’s now not be deterred. Let’s continue, because there’s considerable to enact.”
But in a video released on Twitter, Morales defended his decision to throw a glass of water at the mayor.
“It’s the least I may have performed,” Morales said. “Each day he mocks Quiteños, each day the resources are inadequately focused and directed.”
“What I did today is what each Quiteño, any fair man or woman, would enact,” he added. “Launch water at him to purify the council, to purify so many actions that have destroyed our city.”