UNASUR Finds a Role in Conflict Mediation

UNASUR Finds a Role in Conflict Mediation

When Ecuador's police seized their station houses, shut down airports and took to the streets last week in protest against austerity measures that would eliminate their Christmas bonuses and restructure their promotion policies, it looked as though the administration of Rafael Correa might come to an untimely end.

South American leaders quickly responded by sending their representatives to the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) to Buenos Aires, where they "energetically condemned the coup attempt" against Correa. The UNASUR representatives also promised to introduce a new "Democratic Clause" at the group's next meeting in Guyana on Nov. 26, specifying measures to be taken against countries whose political processes are not respected. They subsequently continued on to Ecuador to show support for the Correa administration.

The incident was the latest to boost the profile of UNASUR, a South American multilateral organization that has become the go-to group for conflict mediation in the region.

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