May Day in Quito – Part I: Correa leads thousands in pro-government Parade

When it comes to politics, nothing is simple in Ecuador.

Case in point: not one but two May Day Parades / marches were held today, one pro-government which began in the south of the city and led by president Rafael Correa (above), and another organized by a loose knit association of opposition groups, which began in the north. Both attracted participants in the tens of thousands —although the opposition one looked significantly larger to me— and both converged in the city center in squares five blocks apart. Police made sure the separation was respected and for the most part, it was.

Correa, who remains widely popular but faces increasing criticism and opposition, led the march, which ended with a rally in the Santo Domingo Plaza in Quito’s historical center. The entire march and post-parade rally was broadcast live to a national audience.

Here are 22 images from the pro-Correa march; photos from the opposition march and additional notes on the gatherings to follow tomorrow. For licensing and editorial use, please check out my images filed for Corbis and Demotix.

Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa at a Pro-government May Day March in Quito 04

Ecuadorean president Rafael Correa (c) leads one of two 2015 May Day parades in Quito

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