A Travellerspoint blog

Riots in Quito 1985

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Wednesday 23rd October 1985

Arrive in Quito to find a riot in full swing. Groups of youths are taunting the sinister looking riot police with piercing whistles, there is the distinct bite of CS gas in the air. I initially thought the slight choking feeling was the altitude until I spotted empty CS gas canisters in the gutter.

Checked into Hotel Gran Casino (aka the grand gringo) for 150 Sucres a night. Got very drunk sharing three bottles of the local fire water with Marcel, Shirley and Jessica. marcel is a Brazilian architect who was working for a while in Managua. Nicaragua is dirt cheap it seems, hard work spending 2$ a day. People find the country interesting and the Sandinista authorities friendly, firm but friendly. They may well rip all the film out of your camera, but they will be pleasant about it. Marcel was also in Tikal when it was captured for a day by the Guatemalan Guerrillas. They were very friendly too. The army didn't counter attack because of the 20 foreign tourists staying there. It was a PR job for the guerrillas to show some westerners that they weren't animals and to give the government an impression of how easy it would be to stop the tourist cash flow. At the end of the day they just disappeared into the jungle again.

Posted by 1985 trip 10:42 Archived in Ecuador

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