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Ecuador cracking down on hired assassins

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 This article appeared in the Southern Pulse newsletter. Roberto


According to Ecuadoran prosecutor Antonio Gagliardo, hired assassins can be contracted for between US$400 and US$3,000 over the Internet in Ecuador. 11 percent of 212 cases of homicide in Guayaquil in 2010 have been linked to hired assassins. Ecuador created a special force to deal with the issue in the most violent regions of Guayas, Esmeraldas, Manabí, Pichincha, Los Ríos, and El Oro.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 June 2010 17:22

Ecuador threatens to nationalize oil fields

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 This article recently appeared in AS/COA (American Society - Council of the Americas)

Correa Proposal Calls for Oil Nationalization

On April 17, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa 
announced he plans to send a bill to Congress that would nationalize oil fields if companies do not sign service contracts that meet the government’s requirements. “My patience with this is up. The oil companies are playing around with us,” Correa stated during a television address. “[I]n the coming weeks there are going to be some very important steps taken.” Crude oil export revenue provides for approximately 25 percent of Ecuador’s public spending and is the country’s main export product. Countries with firms operating in Ecuador that could be affectedinclude Brazil, China, Italy, and Spain.

Finance, Energy Ministers Resign in Ecuador

Ecuadorian Finance Minister María Elsa Viteri, and Germánico Pinto, energy minister and current president of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, 
resigned on April 20 as President Rafael Correa reorganizes his Cabinet. Bloomberg reports that Correa hopes to improve relations with his ruling party members in order to get his legislative agenda approved and said he will continue to reshuffle his ministers on April 21—the fifth change in less than a month. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 May 2010 17:39

Retiring along the Route of the Sun

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Driving the Ruta del Sun, or Route of the Sun along the sunny southern coast of Ecuador, it takes a mere 2 hours to drive from Salinas to Montañita.  From the 'Miami of South America' to rowdy surf hangouts, we describe the varied towns and landscapes of Ecuador's southern beaches. 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 May 2010 17:40

Quito, Ecuador - First Impressions

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Quito, Ecuador often leaves tourists literally breathless.  Quito's blustery foggy nights and ring of towering mountains can also almost make you forget that you're only 25 miles from the equator.  Going from sea level to Quito (10,000 feet) can make wandering the city a little rough on the lungs.  If you take it easy though, there are lots of wonderful sites not-to-miss in this high-altitude capital.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 May 2010 19:19

Ecuador threatens to nationalize oil companies

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The Ecuadorian President is serious about nationalizing oil companies in Ecuador - a move that is scaring off foreign investors.

This notice is from the Southern Pulse newsletter:


Ecuador announced that negotiations with oil companies to amend service delivery contracts will last between 6-9 months. If no agreement is reached after 9 months the government will expropriate the company’s facilities and request they leave the country.



Last Updated on Saturday, 15 May 2010 13:51

Are drugs a problem in Ecuador?

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Drugs are a major problem throughout central America. The problem in Ecuador has more than doubled over the last year.


In 2009, Ecuador’s National Narcotics Directorate (DNA) registered the seizure of 72.9 tons of drugs. In 2007 and 2008, DNA registered the seizure of 26.3 and 30.3 tons respectively.


Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 May 2010 17:40

Seven C's of Retiring on Ecuador's Coast

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The Seven C's of Ecuador:
After traveling in Ecuador for a month, we bring you the Seven C's of Retiring in Ecuador.  This includes information on crime, climate, cost, care, culture, climate, and community.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 May 2010 17:40


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Driving the aptly named Route of the Volcanoes between Quito and the small town of Baños, you will pass 5 immense volcanoes, each taller than 15,500 feet.  Looming over the town of Baños is the threatening and active Volcan Tungurahua, which means 'little hell' in the local indigenous language. This volcano fuels the natural hot springs around town as well as a healthy industry of massages, steam baths, and mud facials.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 May 2010 19:20

News report on Ecuador - firearms and drugs ceased

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Governor Roberto Cuero of Guayas said on 11 November 2009 that from 2 October to 7 November, 4,764 operations have been carried out, in which authorities have seized 194 firearms, 174 bladed weapons, 512,866 kilos of drugs and 158 vehicles.

Source: Southern Pulse Networked Intelligence ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it )
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 May 2010 17:40

Highlands and Laguna Quilotoa

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800 years ago, one of Ecuador’s many volcanoes blew its top in a devastating explosion that spewed lava all the way to the Pacific ocean over 100 miles away. It left behind a spectacular crater lake that is now surrounded by small indigenous villages, very high altitude farms, and some of the prettiest countryside in Ecuador.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 May 2010 19:20

Ecuador - Fast Facts

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What is now Ecuador formed part of the northern Inca Empire until the Spanish conquest in 1533. Quito became a seat of Spanish colonial government in 1563 and part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717. The territories of the Viceroyalty - New Granada (Colombia), Venezuela, and Quito - gained their independence between 1819 and 1822 and formed a federation known as Gran Colombia. When Quito withdrew in 1830, the traditional name was changed in favor of the "Republic of the Equator." Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors. A border war with Peru that flared in 1995 was resolved in 1999. Although Ecuador marked 25 years of civilian governance in 2004, the period has been marred by political instability. Protests in Quito have contributed to the mid-term ouster of Ecuador's last three democratically elected Presidents. In September 2008, voters approved a new constitution; Ecuador's twentieth since gaining independence. General elections, under the new constitutional framework, are expected in April 2009.


Ecuador is substantially dependent on its petroleum resources, which have accounted for more than half of the country's export earnings and one-fourth of public sector revenues in recent years. In 1999/2000, Ecuador suffered a severe economic crisis, with GDP contracting by more than 6%. Poverty increased significantly, the banking system collapsed, and Ecuador defaulted on its external debt later that year. In March 2000, Congress approved a series of structural reforms that also provided for the adoption of the US dollar as legal tender. Dollarization stabilized the economy, and positive growth returned in the years that followed, helped by high oil prices, remittances, and increased non-traditional exports. From 2002-06 the economy grew 5.5%, the highest five-year average in 25 years. The poverty rate declined but remained high at 38% in 2006. In 2006 the government imposed a windfall revenue tax on foreign oil companies, leading to the suspension of free trade negotiations with the US. These measures led to a drop in petroleum production in 2007. President Rafael CORREA raised the specter of debt default and followed through on those threats in December 2008 by defaulting on some commercial bond obligations. He also decreed a higher windfall revenue tax on private oil companies, then renegotiated their contracts to overcome the debilitating effect of the tax. This generated economic uncertainty; private investment has dropped and economic growth has slowed.



Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 May 2010 17:40

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