Incident Summary:

03/05/2003: A fire broke out in Ecuador's Congress in Quito, damaging the east and west wings of the building, but injuring no one. The building was evacuated during the four-hour fire; although Congress was not in session, a few people were treated for breathing problems. Initial reports speculated that the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit; however, two groups, White Legion and the People's Revolutionary Militias (MRP), later claimed responsibility for the attack.




South America

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Government (General)
Name of Entity National Congress
Specific Description National Congress in Quito, Ecuador
Nationality of Target Ecuador
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Incendiary Arson/Fire
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
People's Revolutionary Militias (MRP) (suspected) Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: E-mail)
White Legion (Ecuador) (suspected) Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: E-mail)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
“Ecuador: Two Groups Claim Responsibility for Fire at Congress,” El Universo, March 12, 2003.
“Officials Trapped as Fire Breaks out in Ecuadoran Parliament,” EFE, March 6, 2003.
“Fire partially destroys congress building in Ecuador,” Deutsche Presse Agentur, March 6, 2003.