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How Ecuador may follow Venezuela over the cliff, an expats viewpoint

pleasespikemydrink.com / Nick Vasey – (Opinion) Ecuador-death-by-government/ – one long-term resident’s personal evidential account of how Ecuador is likely following Venezuela over the cliff … and why Correa’s “robolucion” must be outed as the epic failure and corrupt rort it really is.

There is always something awful and tragic about watching a perfectly good ship sink. It is of course, significantly more distressing if one is on board at the time! To further imagine the captain and crew themselves … those specifically in charge of your and the ship’s well-being, were entirely responsible for the sinking … is almost inconceivable. Such is life, right now, in Ecuador, however.

The purpose of this article is to document and describe the events which have transpired over the near-decade I’ve been here, as succinctly and cogently as possible, such that anyone interested will be able to understand the nature of the tragedy which has befallen Ecuador … and which has resulted in the dire conditions people are currently suffering here. Conditions which, following a very dubious recent election (which resulted in the same incompetent and corrupt party of the last decade retaining power – and which millions believe is fraudulent) … are only likely to get worse. Make no mistake, Ecuador is a bitterly divided country right now. It is in no way over-reaching, to suggest a Venezuela-style demise is now very much on the cards.

A bit of context … I’m just a lifelong (and now middle-aged) world-traveller and entrepreneur, who eventually became so disillusioned with the manifest failings, obligatory compromises, debt-requirements, and lifestyle shortcomings of the so-called “first-world” that I finally decided to permanently put significant distance between myself, and it. Basically, I wanted to remove myself from what I see as a pathological illness … the virus of so-called first-world “civilisation.” So … away I went.

The year was 2008, and Ecuador was the destination. Six weeks after relocation, the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) hit with full-force, completely paralysing the “developed” world, and upending everyone’s assumptions about how things worked (or rather, didn’t work). I felt vindicated … kind of like Steve Carell’s character in The Big Short … (a must-watch film if you’ve not yet seen it).

It seemed everything I had observed and commented unfavorably about for many years … was finally failing miserably, just as I’d long known it should. I felt I had somehow “escaped” … just in the nick of time … and I was grateful to be in my beautiful and peaceful new home, far from the madding crowd.

Meanwhile, I’d started a new real-estate business with a local partner in my adopted home in southern Ecuador, and it was going well. We had got up and running, just ahead of the curve of change which sent many North-Americans scurrying southwards. They were headed this way for many reasons, but foremost amongst them was a profound (post-GFC) disillusionment with the US, its government, its corporatocracy, and the resultant financial inability for “average folks” to maintain a reasonable lifestyle anymore (especially in retirement).

It seemed there was a newly emergent critical mass of people realising the “game” was rigged against them, and had been for some considerable time. The quest for real adventure and meaningful lifestyle change was also present in many of these ideological and financial “refugees” … and Ecuador was here and there, atop all the “big lists” by that time, as being an ideal downsizing/retirement destination.

Our real-estate consultancy was perfectly placed to receive these folks, and we dealt with many happy clients over the ensuing years … helping them navigate their way through the very murky waters which had often otherwise characterised the Ecuadorian (or Latin-American generally) real-estate scene. Life was good, and while certainly not in any danger of becoming a millionaire anytime soon, I was very happy, both in my new home, and that I could make an agreeable enough living whilst genuinely being of service to new arrivals in the region.

As many readers will know, International Living (IL) magazine played an enormous role in the numbers of folks who came streaming into Ecuador since 2008. IL ranked Ecuador as Number One in the world for many years. They wrote hugely enticing sales-pitches and hosted endless seminars about the quality of life, the prices, the beauty, and the value for money of relocating to “Paradise.” Build it and they will come … and in this case they certainly did.

As a realtor dealing mostly with foreign arrivals, I was always hugely conflicted about International Living. Yes, they were responsible for some clients we would otherwise not have received … but … because they so profoundly misrepresented Ecuador in their articles, I was often more of a “re-educator” about the realities of Ecuador, than I was a realtor. And when you burst people’s dream-bubbles, the results generally aren’t too pretty. So, because of my uncensored approach when dealing with clients, I bore the brunt of some genuine unhappiness … which was in truth, directly attributable to the dashed false expectations which IL had certainly been responsible for generating.

Anyway, I digress. The point I was keen to make is that for the most part, Ecuador was seeming to have been a very good decision, not just for me, but for many. The vast majority of those who came here were happy here (once they adjusted to the cultural and lifestyle differences – and learned some Spanish to get by). Certainly, compared to the mess most of the rest of the world was in, Ecuador was by any measure, apparently having it pretty good.

Keeping in mind that Ecuador had (up until Correa) previously suffered seven presidents in only ten years, it seemed he was really doing a stand-up job of running the country in a relatively “stable” and acceptable manner. But there was, for many, always an undercurrent of “too good to be true.” For example, he adapted the Constitution early on, to give rights to Nature, but simultaneously expanded his executive powers in other areas to an extent which made many doubters uncomfortable. People wanted to believe … but sadly, over time, it was the doubters who would ultimately be proven correct.

As near as I can pinpoint it, the “Correista worm” really started turning sometime in early 2013.

Humanity had successfully traversed “end-times-prophecies” by waking up unscathed on 22nd December 2012. Nobody I knew seemed to have ascended, and people were apparently resigned to getting on with their lives once again. Those who had bought properties and battened down the hatches in Ecuador specifically to ride out the end of the world and global collapse … zipped their previously enthusiastic end-times rhetoric, muttered darkly about “stupid Mayans,” sized up their next destinations, and put their properties back on the market for us to sell. It still amazes me that these things really happened … at times it often felt like living in a movie!

Anyway, back to the turning worm. There are many things which have contributed to the current sorry state Ecuador is in, but for the purposes of this article I will simply be relating my personal experiences and observations, as well as information gleaned from the many discussions I’ve had with local Ecuadorians and long-term-expats over time. I will also be highlighting a variety of these issues by bullet-point, with links to supporting information/articles/etc … for anyone who is interested in clicking through to an array of information they may have previously been unaware of.

At this point I’d like to make clear it is somewhat ironic (and not just a little frustrating!) that the majority of expats here in Ecuador STILL remain unaware of how bad things are (let alone how bad they may get!).

There are three main reasons for this.

They live in a “gringo” language and culture bubble, insulated by wealth (and by design) … which sees them having practically no meaningful interaction with their host population. These kinds of expats typically have a moan about things like a bottle of their preferred wine having increased by $5 in price at Supermaxi. That’s about the extent of their awareness that serious unseen change is afoot … and invariably, they just “suck it up” without much further interest (or investigation). Why should they care? Still cheap, right!?
Most assuredly, cognitive dissonance is also playing a serious part … people who have poured themselves, their golden-years-dreams, and hundreds of thousands of dollars (or over a million in many cases!) … often against the advice of family and friends … absolutely do NOT want to face the reality that their investments and properties here are currently worth much less than they paid into them … and that their Ecuadorian “net-worth” will continue to plummet under the re-birthed Alianza-Pais administration. They may not want to admit it, but it is true nonetheless … and sooner or later, that brutal reality will be impossible for them to avoid.
The fact that the vast majority of foreigners here do not work at ground level in Ecuador (and therefore have no clue about what is really going on). Expats here are mostly retired, and existing on private investment income or foreign pensions, or if they are still working at all, are generating their income online, or otherwise, remotely. By my (purely anecdotal) reckoning, probably less than 5% of expats are legitimately engaged in any sort of “on the ground” business actually in Ecuador. Needless to say, if the extent of one’s governmental or municipal interactions are limited to paying water, electricity, and land-tax occasionally, one’s exposure to the cut and thrust of doing business here … and making a living here … is necessarily very limited.

As I said before, Ecuador once had some vitality and joie de vivre (in my first four or so years here). Since then however, for those paying even a modicum of attention, it has been a steady and terrifyingly noticeable decline into the depressing pit we now inhabit (even moreso since the dodgy election result).

The best way I can describe things here now, is that it’s like waking up each day with an increasingly heavier weight on one’s shoulders. It has been like that for four years already, and the knowledge there will be a continuation of the Alianza-Pais status-quo, is a crushing blow to anyone who understands what is really happening. One simply knows that even the most “ordinary” things are going to continue to be incredibly difficult to accomplish … to the point that, considering the inescapable futility, one is ultimately dissuaded from doing anything at all.

When this kind of demotivational malaise overtakes an entire country (which is certainly the case now in Ecuador) … the economic and accompanying social death-spiral probably cannot be halted. Certainly, these enormous problems now facing Ecuador cannot and will not be solved by the same “Alianza-Pais consciousness” which created them.

So, where to start, when there is such an awful lot to get through? Well, while on the subject of doing business, and working on the ground here in Ecuador, we might as well start there.

It is my contention (and the experience of multitudes I’ve spoken to) that since 2012/2013, the Correa government (for reasons best known to itself – and whether by design or stupidity) has systematically and consistently destroyed small to medium enterprises (SMEs) right throughout the country. When a country (any country!) loses its SMEs, the backbone of its domestic economy is gutted.

This means new businesses will not be created, existing businesses will quit or die, people will not be employed, things will not get built/done/made, etc … no money will be made/invested/circulated, no tax-revenue will be generated, business and investor confidence will evaporate, and the above-mentioned “death-spiral” will be entered into … a death-spiral which is very hard to reverse once it takes hold.

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The shortsighted and catastrophically incompetent policies of Correismo (particularly the recent counterproductive changes to employment law – which immediately resulted in countless thousands of part-time or full-time Ecuadorian employees being completely laid off), created exactly such an environment (almost as if by design).

Interestingly (and predictably) enough, the government assiduously avoids its own employment regulations (that it expects everyone else to abide by) by only employing most people on six-month contracts, and then unceremoniously firing them. This is one reason the people one deals with in government offices are nearly always absolutely clueless about the processes they are supposed to be “processing,” and often look overjoyed if they can tell you “no hay sistema” (the system is down). Those poor souls have only been there such a short time, know nothing, and KNOW they are going to lose their jobs soon. So why bother learning anything in order to be helpful? They don’t care … they really don’t care. After all, they’ll be churned any day, and replaced with someone else who knows even less than they do!

Me, my friends, and associates have watched restaurants and many other local Ecuadorian businesses, enter that death spiral after being forced to fire many of their original and loved employees (thereafter perhaps informally “hiring” a couple of family members whom they trust enough not to sue them under the onerous employment laws).

Honestly, I have travelled all over the world, but I have never been as personally affected by (nor seen so many ordinary people punished by) … the sheer stupidity of government policy that we are currently witnessing here. I am telling you … it is a very sad thing to watch an entire domestic economy being suffocated by the punitive and idiotic strokes of clueless and venal bureaucrats’ pens. In Correa’s Ecuador, it is apparently preferable to crush the will and hope of a people with mindless bureaucracy and outrageous fines, fees and taxes … than to just kill them outright.

Keep all this in mind, and then know that Alianza-Pais proceeded to double-down on this failing doctrine, expanded their already bloated “government” even further, and then relentlessly attempted to extract hard cash by any and all means from the very economy it was busy destroying. This, of course, is akin to getting blood from a stone one has already sucked dry.

The real tragedy in thinking here … is that if a government wants to make money from its people … it has to promote an economic environment which allows its people to make money. This elementary principle seems to have completely escaped the Correa administration’s attention.

In fact, my favourite analogy for the current situation, is that like the most insatiable vampire, the Correa government became a desperately engorged parasite, getting bigger and bigger (but never getting enough) … sucking its host (the Ecuadorian people) dry, thereby eventually killing it.

Obviously, any intelligent (and truly symbiotic) parasite realises that if its host dies, then it also dies, making the killing of the host counter-productive. But penny-wise and pound-foolish thinking seems to be what Alianza-Pais does best … and an awful lot of money can be misappropriated en-route to the death of a nation. That scenario, sadly, is what we are seeing play out now in Ecuador (one need only remove the word “global” in the below subtitle for it to be Ecuador-specific).

How did this happen?

Well, let’s start with an easily understandable and relevant measure, and see what happened to it since Correa took power almost a decade ago.

“Ease of Starting a Business.”

The DoingBusiness.org website measures all sorts of key indicators across economies and regions. “Ease of Starting a Business” is one of them. Out of all measurable countries (of which there are about 185) Ecuador’s ranking currently stands at 166. This means there are only a handful of countries on the entire planet, where it is considered more difficult to start a business, than it currently is in Ecuador. Indeed, there are some countries which are actually permanent war-zones where it is still easier to start a business than it is in Ecuador! Unfortunately, for some reason, the historical data for the ranking back in 2007/2008 seems to have disappeared, but from memory it was about 120 (not great – but not totally catastrophic). The bottom line? Under the Correa government, this crucial ranking slipped every single year, before reaching its current inglorious level of 166 out of 185 measurable countries.

If anyone can explain to me how making it almost impossible to start a business for one’s countryfolk … in any way constitutes a “citizens’ revolution,” I’d love to hear it. For someone who is apparently a US-trained economist, one would think incentivising and stimulating the local Ecuadorian economy would be a top priority. This has not been the case however … on the contrary, Correa’s government has demonstrably trashed the environment for SMEs to even survive, let alone flourish.

Anyway, moving on. I’ll now document, in no particular order, the kind of things which have been happening since 2012/2013, which especially when taken together, should help anyone join the collective dots they need … in order to form an opinion of exactly what has happened to Ecuador, under Correa’s Alianza Pais.

Ecuador’s problems are often said to have started with the oil-price-plunge in 2014. Prices which had previously sometimes been north of $120/barrel plunged in a very short time, to as little as $30/barrel or less. Production costs are about $40/barrel, so to say this was catastrophic for Ecuador was an understatement. It transpired that despite enjoying “boom-years” of high oil prices, Correa’s Ecuador was taken completely off-guard by the correction … they had simply taken high prices for granted … and for years, swaggered around, spending like a drunken sailor.

One would think the “master economist,” Correa, would have wisely been salting away a proportion of those revenues for some kind of “rainy-day-fund” (earthquake, anyone?) while the oil-prices were high. But no … apparently not! Mismanagement? Incompetence? Negligence? One of them applies … pick whichever you like!

The only “Plan B” Correa had, when this (entirely foreseeable!) “disaster” struck … was to go running back to the Chinese with cap in hand. The amount of Chinese debt which Ecuador holds … is now properly scary (nearing $10 Billion, of approximately $45 Billion of total national debt) … and will help to cripple the country for at least a generation to come. We have been here before in Latin-America … it does not end well.

Fortunately this should not trouble Correa himself, as he will soon be living the high-life in Belgium or France, swanning around the European lecture circuit, talking about the (fake) “economic miracle” he bestowed upon his beloved Ecuador … whilst no doubt blaming Moreno and other useful idiots who inherited the debt-bag, for the long-term failings and social chaos which will surely manifest as a result of his mind-bogglingly bad economic mismanagement.

So what went wrong for Ecuador? What the hell happened?

In a macro-context, and depending on which media one favours (especially for foreign observers), it would seem there are three major things which created the perfect storm which is in the process of sinking the good ship Ecuador.

The oil-price-plunge … (resulting in massive Chinese debt-loading).
The ever-appreciating US dollar (which is Ecuador’s currency).
The crippling and demoralising effect of the March 2016 earthquake.

However, that is not the real story at all. There is a fourth issue, rarely publicised (certainly not in Ecuador), and to my mind, it eclipses all the others, because it is the root cause of Ecuador speeding towards the iceberg, and being unable to slow down … or change course.

The size, nature, corruption, venality and
incompetence of the Alianza-Pais government.

As I have said previously, a variety of pre-2014-problems started eating away at the fragile fabric of Ecuador’s economy. And all of them were related to the above … catastrophic government policy (the primary subject of this article).

Let’s go back to the real-estate market for a moment, which is something I was intimately involved with at ground-level, for many years. Sometime in 2013, the government started tinkering with real-estate law, and in quick succession, did two things which put the brakes completely on what was at that time, still a relatively healthy and functioning market.

Let me re-emphasise that now, barely four years later, Ecuadorian real-estate has never been in a worse place (in the last decade anyway). Four things have contributed to this over the last few years, and another two recent governmental actions put the final nails in the real-estate coffin.

1. Bureaucracy – Difficulty to Subdivide – Bureaucratically, it became almost impossible to subdivide larger properties into smaller pieces … hence a lack of marketable parcels/properties coming onto market.
2. Changing Residency Law – Making it much more difficult (or very unlikely) for a foreigner to be able to get residency by buying property (Investor’s Visa) … by changing not the threshold value itself ($26K for a couple), but the source from which that value was taken. The “Impuesto Predial” (municipal-rated land-tax value) was always a much lower value (sometimes by a factor of ten or more) than the “Escritura” value. Taking the threshold value from the land-tax document (rather than the actual “market price” of the Escritura) ensured anyone buying “land only” would almost certainly NOT be able to use that land for their residency, and would therefore have to come up with additional funds (or proof via another method), to get their residency. This had the effect of immediately (and permanently) chilling the market for any “land-only” properties, and inflating the market somewhat for any properties with existing infrastructure (houses, buildings, etc).
3. Introduction of (Rural) Building Permits – The introduction of construction permits being required for properties zoned rural … was another game-changer … but only for the worse. Simply another shameless money-grab, more power and bribing opportunities for clueless greedy bureaucrats, a poorly defined, time-consuming and costly process, all collectively providing a massive disincentive for anyone to buy land and build the home they wanted to build. Obviously this was complemented by an additional corresponding dip in the real-estate market for land-only properties (as per point 2 above). Viva la revolucion!
4. Evaporating Investor Confidence – Massive decrease in investor confidence generally – because of the direction the Correa government had pursued. This resulted in people leaving the country, and many others not wanting to come. This is (only partly) why it is such a “buyer’s market” right now. Ironically enough, current prices are only being held up even to the low extent they are … because there are less properties able to come onto the market (as per point 1) … and because prices are going so low that people just can’t bring themselves to put their property on the market at all!

Obviously at this point, the bureaucrats were wondering what else they could possibly do to kill the real-estate market completely DEAD … so they finally passed the capital-gains-tax (PlusValia) … which, along with SigTierras meddling (see below), was effectively the final stake through the heart for the real-estate market in Ecuador (for the foreseeable future).

On the upside, International Living’s ludicrous articles on finding “bargains in Ecuador” will no longer be as full of crap as usual. Good for people wanting to take a chance on Ecuador’s future … not so good for those who’ve seen their existing real-estate plummet in value, and are now perhaps trying to get out, before Ecuador potentially turns into Venezuela.

To close out the real-estate subject, the federal government agency SigTierras, a few years back, began a process of matching up their own recently undertaken pinpoint-GPS surveys of the whole country and all properties therein … against actual (and in many cases ancient) Escrituras (Deeds). If the SigTierras survey found an area of land GREATER than that which was listed on its Escritura, you are … wait for this!!! … required to BUY YOUR OWN LAND at the prevailing municipal-rated-value per m2 … from the government! We know of one person who was hit with a $32K bill for a discrepancy of about an acre (4,000m2). This guy wasn’t just anybody. He was wealthy, influential, connected, and angry. He challenged it … and he lost. Which means nobody else, least of all foreigners … would stand a chance of challenging ANYTHING this administration decides to inflict upon them. There is effectively no rule of law. All bases are covered by the Alianza-Pais executive (more about that later on).

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This is just one of many obvious examples of a desperately cash-hungry government devising new ways of robbing its people … to their faces. Just imagine having to suddenly pay AGAIN, for imaginary new land, (magicked out of bureaucratic thin air) that you (or your ancestors) already bought, perhaps generations ago (when property-line descriptions were more akin to “from the big tree to the bend in the creek”)! Doesn’t matter, people! It’s not about fairness … it is ONLY about the money!

So, a municipal lien for the “assessed amount” is then placed against the property in each such case, and until it is paid, the land-owner cannot legally sell his own land. Checkmate.

Needless to say, this was the final brutal nail in the coffin for what was, only a few short years ago, a healthy, free and relatively fair Ecuadorian real-estate market. RIP Ecuador real-estate.

Destruction of any (even faint concept!) of the “Separation of Powers.”

The other thing which always happens under such dictatorial “administrations” as Correa’s … is the complete takeover of the legislative and judicial branches of power by the executive. Once that’s accomplished (and Correa nailed that down early on), the media (and anyone else) can also be shut down and/or intimidated into toeing the party-line. This is when so-called “democracy” … becomes dictatorship.

This has been evident for a long time now in Ecuador, for anyone paying attention … and is only getting worse. Anybody who writes or speaks out in any significant way … is intimidated and ultimately silenced. Ask Crudo Ecuador, Ecotel TV (Loja), the Pacha Mama environmental foundation, Manuela Picq, or Fernando Villavicencio their thoughts on this phenomenon. There are countless other examples of heinous abuses, for anyone who wants to go looking.

Crudo Ecuador – anti-Correa online satirist gets death-threats and shut down for good.
Ecotel Loja – Loja TV station raided by paramilitary “cops” in the wee hours of the morning, and shut down (equipment stolen).
Pacha Mama Foundation – leading environmental agency shut down by force (equipment and records stolen – presumably to identify and further harass the membership).
Manuela Picq – activist was illegally beaten, jailed and expelled from Ecuador.
Fernando Villavicencio – journalist needed to seek political asylum for his own safety, in Peru.

For a variety of “state-beneficial” reasons, the “public service” contingent continues to bloat enormously, and all “employees” don’t remain employees for long unless they are (or become) Correa supporters … which of course, they all do. These wage-slaves provide a ready pool of folks who are REQUIRED to down tools (not that they were doing/achieving much anyway!) at a moment’s notice, to attend Correa functions, rallies, etc. So … they are either being paid to take time off work to provide enthusiasm for political events … or the non-“employees” are ACTUALLY paid to attend events. This is so accepted as part of “the norm” in Ecuador, it is not even commented on as corrupt practice anymore … it is simply “expected.” Bigger fish to fry, and all that. This is what happens when endemic corruption becomes normalised as “state-sanctioned behaviour.”

I dare anyone to watch this hilarious video where Correa supporters very publicly admit to being paid to attend his speaking event (much to Correa’s disbelief and mortification). It seems he over-rated their intelligence to help him out by “staying Mum.”

Anyway, moving on. Hopefully by now, my dear reader, you are beginning to understand the sheer ludicrousness of what is being perpetrated on the citizenry of Ecuador right now.

Continuing with the theme of the government’s desperation for cash, for just a moment, the multitudes of newly minted cops/officials (of which there are several species) … do very little to counter serious crime of any sort, but are told to go out and generate income for the State. Parking tickets, speeding tickets, any kind of “infringement” they can dream up, they will book you for. Ka-ching … into the gaping black money-hole of Alianza-Pais it goes.

Correa’s government has “invested” nationwide in the kind of revenue-raising radar speed traps which have infested the so-called “first-world” to such a ubiquitous extent now, that they are hardly even talked about in that way anymore. The brainwashing in the nanny-states of the so-called “developed west” is complete it seems.

Vast sums of Ecuadorian money which could have been better invested into the local economy, helping earthquake recovery, or doing a million other useful and productive societal things … is instead diverted to these revenue-generating causes … whereby the state’s job is to drain its citizens of the little cash they’ve still managed to retain in the face of this grand onslaught.

The levels of these fines (given the basic monthly wage of around $400) … is simply outrageous. Speeding fines from “photo-multas” in excess of $300 are commonplace. These outrages combine nicely with things like the “impuesto verde” (environment tax on cars) … a blatant rort, which has additionally been responsible for the decimation of the market for vehicles with (often very needed) larger engines (in this mountainous terrain) … and is the main reason many vehicles now cost up to $500 or more (per year!) to legally keep on the road. Relate these costs to the basic monthly wage of $400, and one begins to realise the extent and insanity of the cash-grab.

Add to this the doubling or tripling or more … of all taxes, fees, charges … of any description … over the last few years, and one begins to see both the nature and scale of the problem.

For example, when introduced (which was an incredibly stupid idea anyway), the “exit tax” on funds transferred out of the country (impuesto de salida de divisas), was 0.5% (that is, half a percent). It is now 5% … a 1,000% increase! This blatant theft (there is no other word for it) of people’s hard-earned money … discourages money being brought into Ecuador. It discourages investment or confidence in Ecuador. It ensures people will only ever drip-feed their funds into Ecuador as needed. It is yet another classic example of penny-wise pound-foolish thinking … the Alianza-Pais specialty! And, as if all that wasn’t insane enough, you now cannot leave the country with more then $1,100 of your own money in cash. Anything above that will have the 5% confiscated from it. No. I am not joking. (On the bright side however, at this rate it is unlikely anyone will have more than $1,100 left by the time they decide to leave Ecuador.)

I want to cover just one or two more things, and then we’re done … I promise!

When Correa came to power, for years he campaigned on a platform of helping the “little people,” the campesinos, the everyday workers of Ecuador. They responded jubilantly, rewarded him richly, and it has taken them quite a while to realise they’ve been conned … that the worm has turned on them … and turned significantly.

A great example of this is an innocuous sounding piece of legislation called the “Registro Sanitario (RS)” (Sanitary Registration). This little charmer was rolled out Ecuador-wide a few years ago, and basically states that nobody can sell any consumable item, without first having received the RS. One truly has to have lived in Ecuador for a while, to realise the ramifications of rolling out something as stupid as this, the way they did.

The bureaucracy, time, and cost involved in getting the “registro sanitario” certification for an edible product … is, quite simply, INSANE (just remember what I said previously about the the incompetence and venality of the bureaucracy) … and has consequently turned ordinary people into criminals. A case in point would be simple farmers, often illiterate, who for generations have taken their milk and cheese to market. They have not the time, skill, desire or money (for lawyers and fees) to navigate the bureaucratic processes necessary to obtain the stupid piece of paper they suddenly “need” … but if they continue to sell without it … they are now outlaws!

Into the bargain, the Alianza-Pais government now requires that EVERY cow or livestock be registered (more time) with a tag (more cost), and that those animals require (costly, regular, and multiple) vaccines. This means the produce is now no longer organic (or potentially safe) in any sense of the word. Needless to say, compliance is mandatory, and I’m sure the fines for being an outlaw are significant.

I am not even going to touch on Correa’s complicity with Monsanto, his push for GMOs, terminator seeds, and the like. People can figure out pretty easily, the personal motivation driving those agendas! Ka-ching!

In closing, it is apparently not enough the degree to which these vampires are coming after you IN LIFE … they now also want to claw back as much of your wealth as they can once you’re dead. Enter the Ley de Gerencia (Inheritance Tax). This tax has not legally made it through yet, and it remains to be seen whether Correa’s hand-picked successor Moreno will push for it as vigorously as Correa has. It has been forcibly shelved once or twice already (along with the aforementioned CGT), but the CGT is now law, and ultimately, I don’t expect the outcome to be any different with the Inheritance Tax.

It is difficult for me to properly communicate the insanity of what is happening here, but I have done the best I can with this blogpost. The bottom line is that there is NO “Citizens’ Revolution.” That whole concept is a slick PR farce, much like the con-game Correa pulled when he was selling off Yasuni to the Chinese, while still asking the world for donations to a fund which would keep that oil in the ground.

All this of course, after having previously “enshrined the rights of nature in the Constitution” – remember! Tell that to the indigenous peoples fighting the Chinese and others on their ancestral lands. This kind of modus-operandi is Correa’s (and any slick huckster’s) trademark … looky over here … while something quite the opposite is going on over there.

All that now exists … is the feeding of the giant insatiable Alianza-Pais vampire-squid, an enormous black-hole Death-Star, sucking citizens’ cash towards it with relentless force … which then consolidates that power and money to kill Ecuador by way of the death of a thousand cuts.

And now, with the “installation” of Moreno … the nightmare will most assuredly continue. All the long-embedded Alianza-Pais parasites chupando en la teta (sucking on the teat) now get to stay exactly where they are … and many more will soon join them. That’s how they roll. This is how a country dies.

It’s hard to say at this stage whether Ecuador will indeed go “full retard” and join Venezuela in the madhouse, but the signs are not good. Next to Venezuela, Ecuador has recently been the worst performing economy in the region … and every indicator, in terms of government policy to date, and that which is apparently forthcoming, now Moreno has the reins … does not augur well.

Having travelled to Peru fairly often, we know that significant numbers of savvy Ecuadorians have moved large amounts of capital to Peru, have set up “Plan B” style businesses in Peru, and are ready to skip across the border and activate those plans the first hint they get of things getting “sticky” here in Ecuador. These preparations are not recent … they have been ongoing for as long as three years in some cases.

Additionally, I know several people who work in cooperatives and financial institutions and their customers have taken immediate action. Since Moreno was “elected,” capital has been hemorrhaging out of Ecuador across borders … Ecuadorians are even sucking up the 5% exit tax, and just getting their money OUT. Most of the Ecuadorian capital is going to Peru (this, despite the perilous situation which Peru is currently suffering because of once in a lifetime flooding). These people are realists … they know what is going on … they have seen it all before.

As I said before, the purpose of this article is to inform, and educate, on the basis of my nearly decade on the ground here, watching the Correa government in action. Some of you may be wondering why I’ve decided to speak out … why write this blogpost, when the risks of outright persecution are as they are? Well, the answer is that I’ve come to the sad conclusion I don’t have much left to lose here in Ecuador. Anyone who knows me, certainly knows it hasn’t been for lack of trying!

Meanwhile, perhaps this article will help others make some intelligent and beneficial decisions which might save them time, money or pain. Fundamentally, it has never been my nature to censor myself, especially when things urgently need to be said, and truths need to be known. Otherwise, what does one have left?

Everything I’ve experienced here, makes me certain that Ecuador’s by now enormous problems … are extremely unlikely to be solved by the same “Alianza-Pais consciousness” which created them.

Ecuador’s people, its military, and its police … need to wake up, and do the honorable (and sensible) thing … reject the cancer, somehow cut it out, and start again. Maybe then, Ecuador won’t fall over the edge of the cliff and end up like Venezuela … in what is effectively now, an ongoing civil war.

Maybe an immense amount of suffering, conflict and death could be avoided.

Maybe.

But right now, it doesn’t seem likely.

Good luck everybody. READ ARTICLE

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Ecuador: A year after a devastating Earthquake

International Fund for Agricultural Development/ Thousands of buildings including this one in Portoviejo, Ecuador, were destroyed in the April 2016 earthquake. The IFAD-supported Buen Vivir Rural Pogramme, run by the Ecuadorian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Aquaculture and Fisheries (MAGAP), had been operating in Manabí since 2013. Shortly after the earthquake, farmers in the area were […]

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Olimpo Cárdenas, Bolero Singer from Ecuador

Without doubt the most famous singer and performer from Ecuador and known worldwide is Julio Jaramillo. However, there are some who argue that Olimpo Cárdenas may have been the better singer despite not reaching international stardom. Olimpo Cárdenas (1919, Vinces – 1991) was an Ecuadorean singer. He toured Colombia a great deal, giving concerts in […]

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Ecuador will not disappear because of earthquakes but by bad governments (prophecy)

Ecuador no desaparecerá por los terremotos sino por los malos gobiernos. Ecuador will not disappear because of earthquakes but, by bad governments A phrase and or prophecy that runs deep in the culture of Ecuador and is often credited to Santa Mariana de Jesús. Saint Mariana of Jesus de Paredes, O.F.S. (Spanish: Mariana or María […]

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Ecuador’s equivalent to Pablo Escobar busted in Colombia

Pablo Escobar from Ecuador semana.com (machine translated) This is the incredible story of a man who went from being a boatman to becoming a megacapo who in two years exported 250 tons of drug and to which they have found him 20 million dollars in caletas. For several years now, the drug trade in Colombia […]

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Ecuador: Seven Media Outlets Fined For Failing to Publish Article

bbc.com reported…Ecuador has fined seven media companies for not publishing a story that it deemed of public interest. Failed to publish a negative story about Presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso from the press in Argentina. The state’s media watchdog said the press had a duty to cover a story about the supposed offshore dealings of opposition […]

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Ecuador: 32 Deaths Reported During Winter Season, Weather Related

vistazo.com reported… More than 35,000 families affected and 32 deaths are the new winter damage balance in Ecuador, according to the Secretariat of Risk Management (SGR). In its latest report, dated April 21, the SGR indicated that 186 families are housed, 224 houses totally destroyed and another 32 thousand are structurally damaged. These figures correspond […]

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Ecuador: Report States Public Debt is at Legal Limit of Gross Domestic Product

ecuavisa.com reported the Ministry of Finance published this Friday, April 21, 2017, the public debt bulletin closing to March this year. The figures show that the balance of external debt is US $ 26.486 billion, while domestic debt increased to US $ 13.979 billion; Both amounts to 40,465 million dollars. For the vice president of […]

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Ecuadorian Journalist Files for Political Asylum in Peru

April 18, 2017–cpj.org reported Ecuadoran journalist Fernando Villavicencio, director of the news website Focus Ecuador and a critic of outgoing President Rafael Correa, today filed a petition for political asylum in Lima, Peru. A statement from the regional press group Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPYS) said the journalist, who fled to Lima after presidential elections […]

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Homicide Rate in Ecuador Continues Downward Trend in 2016

The homicide rate went from 6.44 to 5.69 per 100,000 inhabitants in the country April 21, 2017 ecuadorenvivo.com/machine translated – Homicides were reduced from 6.44 to 5.69 per 100,000 inhabitants between 2015 and 2016, from 1,048 to 941 cases, the Interior Ministry reported today. The portfolio indicated that the effectiveness in resolving violent deaths is […]

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Ecuador: TAME flights Guayaquil-Cuenca suspended for 60 days

eluniverso.com (machine translated) reported the governor of Azuay, Maria Augusta Muñoz, confirmed Thursday in an interview with La Voz del Tomebamba radio that the suspension of the route Guayaquil-Cuenca-Guayaquil, decided by TAME EP from April 17, will be for 60 days. The announcement was made, he said, following a conversation he had with TAME management. […]

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Peru: Galapagos Tortoises seized in route to Lima on bus

Nearly three dozen Galapagos tortoises considered vulnerable to extinction will return to Ecuador after being rescued in Peru from alleged traffickers, the Galapagos National Park said. Peruvian wildlife authorities found 29 small tortoises—two of them dead—in a cardboard box on a bus on its way from northern Peru to Lima. Officials made the discovery while […]

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How Correa and Moreno Stole the Election in Ecuador

latinvex.com/ While president Rafael Correa and Lenin Moreno, his heir apparent, are moving quickly to impose another four years of leftwing populism on Ecuador, conservative challenger Guillermo Lasso (CREO), with strong support from street protestors, is trying to obtain a recount to keep his drive to become president alive. While his effort faces gallingly unfair […]

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Ecuador: False Report From President’s daughter criticizing the country, goes viral

False report of Rafael Correa’s daughter becomes viral metroecuador.com.ec (machine translated) reported that in social networks has circulated a false news of one of the daughters of Rafael Correa. The page truth360 published the content, without verification, and without being a means of communication and the news was viralized. At the moment, the page removed […]

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Owning or Possessing a Gun in Ecuador

Gun control defensa.gob.ec/(Machine Translated) The Ministry of National Defense, through the Arms Control Directorate of the Joint Command of the Armed Forces, monitors Import, export, marketing, storage, domestic trade and manufacture of firearms, ammunition, fireworks, gunpowder or all kinds of explosives, as well as raw materials for their manufacture. In addition, it controls the means […]

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Hostel Closed Down after death of teenager, fell from third floor under mysterious circumstances

They closed the hostel from which the teenager fell out of a third floor window. Guayaquil, Ecuador Tuesday, April 18, 2017 eluniverso.com (machine translated) Two days after a 16-year-old girl fell from a third floor of a hostel, this place was closed yesterday by the Guayas Intendance. The authorities indicated that the place did not […]

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Ecuador: Increase in tolls on Alóag – Santo Domingo route

Maria Victoria Espinosa/elcomercio.com reported with the opening of the new toll , located at kilometer 88 of the Alóag – Santo Domingo road, users started paying this April 17, 2017 a value that equals three tolls . For example, a light vehicle pays USD 1 at the Santo Domingo station and USD 2 at Alóag; […]

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Jujan Ecuador: Three dead, six wounded in bus crash on Easter in bus, vehicle crash

Jujan – Guayaqui eluniverso.com(machine translated) Three dead and six wounded left the afternoon of this Sunday the collision between an intercostal transport bus and a light truck, in the way Guayaquil-Jujan. The accident occurred in the area of ​​the population Tres Postes, a few kilometers from Jujan. The dead, including a child, were in the […]

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Ecuador: U.S. Expat Murdered, Died in Shootout with assailants

New information about the Friday night murder of expat David Senechalle indicates he died in a gun battle with his assailants. CUENCAHIGHLIFE.COM / Police reported that he was shot in the stomach when he attempted to resist three masked assailants at his home north of La Paz. Neighbors who arrived at the scene shortly after […]

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Dynamic Airways launches new daily route between New York and Guayaquil Ecuador

Dynamic Airways launches new daily route between New York and Guayaquil LOW COST AIRLINE expreso.info/ Dynamic International Airways, a low-cost airline dedicated to providing travelers with convenient, affordable and uninterrupted travel routes, announced the launch of a new air route between JFK airport in New York and Guayaquil in Ecuador. Dynamic International Airways, which plans […]

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Cuenca Ecuador: Outsiders look at violence in the 18th Century of this charming city

eltelegrafo.com.ec/(machine translated) Cuenca’s fame would transcend the Old Continent Ángeles Martínez, Open Chair of History. U. Cuenca Is Cuenca historically violent? It is clear that there are regrettable events that have given international fame to the city and that have had significance. It is interesting to reflect on an unflattering external look about our beautiful […]

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Quito Ecuador: Journalist from Chile Removed from restaurant, Correa Supporter

LevantateEcuador 15 hrs · FACEBOOK The “journalist” Chilean Patricio mery that defends the regime Correista, was forcibly removed from a restaurant business in Quito for the same customers, apparently no one wanted the presence of this communist fine peak El “periodista” chileno patricio mery que defiende al régimen correista, fue sacado a la fuerza de […]

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Cuenca, Ecuador: Through the Centuries one thing that has not changed, violence against women

Centuries pass, violence against women is maintained lasnoticiasdecuenca.es/Gorka Díez wrote: The News accedes to some violent episodes happened since the XVI century. According to the documentation of the Provincial Historical Archive, women and children, due to their greater vulnerability, have always been the main victims. In six centuries of history neither weapons nor types of […]

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U.S. Expat Murdered in Ecuador, victim of Home Invasion

FOUR ASSAILANTS ENTER HOME WITH FIREARMS, WIFE OF EXPAT, DOMESTIC AT HOME, ALARM ACTIVATED elcomercio.com (machine translated) reported An American expat was murdered Friday night, April 14, 2017, during an assault on his house located in the Ramos sector of the La Paz community of the Nabón canton in Azuay According to preliminary reports, 76-year-old […]

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Nabón, Ecuador: U.S. Expat Murdered

BREAKING: U.S. CITIZEN EXPAT MURDERED IN ECUADOR, THREE SHOTS TO THE ABDOMEN Following information from Twitter account below. From report at la voz del tomebamba At about 7:00am on APRIL 15, 2017, a Twitter account reported that a U.S. expat age 76, by the name of David (C) age 76, was killed with three shots […]

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Ecuador: Study shows Rains to decrease for remainder of April 17′

elcoemrcio.com reported that a govt group that studies the El Niño phenomenon says it expects that rains will slow for the rest of April, 2017. However, they believe precipitation is expected to be higher than normal for the rest of the rainy season. They also believe there will be scattered electrical storms for the central […]

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Ecuador: President Correa Accuses Opposition of Using Similar Tactics of Venezuela Opposition

telesurtv.net / Correa believes their behavior mimics that of the Venezuelan opposition, which also claims President Nicolas Maduro’s 2013 election victory was a fraud. Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa on Wednesday slammed his country’s right-wing opposition, claiming its leaders and protesters use the same corrupt tactics their allies in Venezuela use. Correa made the remarks on […]

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Ecuador: Lasso files official complaint on election results, wants recount

gonzalo solano/abcnews.com / Opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso filed a complaint Wednesday challenging Ecuador election results that show he narrowly lost to President Rafael Correa’s handpicked successor. The former banker is demanding a recount of all votes cast in the election, repeating accusations of fraud and saying if Lenin Moreno takes power he will head an […]

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Guayaquil Ecuador: Guard at Gated Community detained, let burglars in

eluniverso.com (machine translated) A guard who worked on Saturday in this urbanization was arrested by the police. He did not check the car involved in the robbery. The gated community is located on the main road from Guayaquil to the coast. Diversity of jewelry valued at more than $ 200,000, carved silver Hindu silver – […]

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Mariscal Sucre Airport Quito, Ecuador announced flight suspensions, maintenance

elcomercio.com reported operations at Mariscal Sucre Airport will be suspended on Sunday April 16th and SUN April 23rd due to scheduled maintenance. The suspension of operations will be from 01:00 to 05:00 and from 08:00 to 14:00 on those two days. The maintenance is preventative in nature. Check with your airline if you have a […]

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Cuenca Ecuador: Cell Phone helps police track down alleged killer of woman

eltiempo.com.ec reported that according to law enforcement authorities a cell phone assisted them track down the alleged murderer of a Cuenca area woman. Rosa Regina Camas was murdered earlier this month in the Guangarcucho area. The assailant stole and used her cell phone. Police used triangulation techniques which determined the location of the phone which […]

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Ecuador: Economy Shrinks for First Time in ten years

dailymail.co.uk/Reuters) – Ecuador’s economy shrank for the first time in a decade last year, falling 1.5 percent due to lower oil prices, a strong dollar that hurts the dollarized export-oriented country, and a severe earthquake, the central bank said on Monday. Outgoing President Rafael Correa said over the weekend the OPEC nation’s economy grew 1.5 […]

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Guayas, Ecuador: Ten Most Recurrent Crimes, Robbery on top of list

The ten most recurrent crimes in Guayas At the top of the list is located the robbery with six modalities, mainly people. It emphasizes the psychological violence expreso.ec/Pamela Vera /reported: (machine translated) These are the ten crimes that concentrate 79% of the criminal incidence in the province of Guayas. The payroll was presented by the […]

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Manabi Ecuador: Eleven Cantons impacted by rains flooding over weekend

eluniverso.com reported: The number of families affected by heavy rains Saturday and yesterday has grown dramatically, said Susana Dueñas, head of the Department of Risk Management (SGR), arriving in Santa Ana, the most affected canton (50% of all families The province), the weekend, by the ravages of the storm. Dueñas arrived yesterday to deliver food. […]

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Cuenca Ecuador: At least two dead in landslide on Panamericana Highway, vehicles buried

A landslide on the Panamericana Norte avenue occurred in the Ucubamba sector in Cuenca, this Saturday, April 8, 2017. Photo: Courtesy / ECU 911 Estimates of the vehicles that could be involved are based on versions of witnesses who would have managed to get out of a van that was also buried. The upper part […]

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Ecuador: Alternative Facts of Ecuador’s Economy by 50 plus economists

Ecuador’s Macroeconomic Alternative Facts: Debunking the Distorted Analysis of 50+ Economists econ101.usfq.edu.ec / Carlos Uribe-Teran and Pablo Vega-Garcia Professors of Economics, School of Economics and Institute of Economics, Universidad San Francisco de Quito In this post we refute the imprecise and false macroeconomic statements (or the so-called “alternative facts”) presented in the post written by […]

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Cuenca Ecuador: Number of violent deaths worries local authorities

elcomercio.com/Lineida Castillo reported the voice of Ricardo Baculima sounds sad and tired when he tells how his father-in-law was murdered. He found Baltazar Tacuri, 79, in a wooded ditch, face down with half his body burned. It was Monday April 3 and the news shocked the residents of the rural parish of San Joaquin, located […]

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Quito Ecuador: Some Road Closures due to Political marches

lahora.com.ec reported the Metropolitan Transit Agency informed the public that to reduce the impact on mobility by the marches comvocados by the citizens this April 7, several vehicular diversions will be made. These deviations will be implemented as they pass the two marches that will leave from the north to the height of the av. […]

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Cuenca, Ecuador: Canadian Expat Makes a Life for herself with a microbrewery business

Expat from Canada along with her husband establish micro brewery in the expat hotbed of Cuenca Ecuador FT.COM/LUCINDA ELLIOT Within a year of moving from Montreal to Cuenca, Deborah Debas began to experiment with home brewing. She and her husband Mathieu had wanted to live somewhere warmer than Canada and settled in Ecuador’s third-largest city […]

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Guayaquil Ecuador: Three Vehicles Discovered to have the same license plate

TWO VEHICLES DETAINED WHEN IT WAS DISCOVERED THAT THE LICENSE PLATES HAD BEEN CLONED eluniverso.com reported two grey-colored Hyundai Matrix vehicles were stopped yesterday in the north and south of Guayaquil, for having the same number of plate, engine and chassis. Their current owners told police officers that they were surprised by the situation, as […]

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Guayaquil Ecuador: Passports, documents stolen from travel agency

TWO OF THE VICTIMS HAD U.S. VISAS IN THEIR PASSPORTS eluniverso.com reported three women reported in the Guajas Prosecution’s Flagau unit that their passports and other personal documents were stolen during an assault on Wednesday night at the Travel Agency office Explore It. The victims were scheduled to travel on a tour to the United […]

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Quito Ecuador breaks historical records for rainfall in March, 2017

elcomercio.com/Mayra Pacheco Editor The March rains will be part of the District’s historical records. The amount of rainwater accumulated in that month significantly exceeded the figures collected from 1987 to the current year. In Imaquito (north), Izobamba (south), and La Tola (Tumbaco) stations, last month’s rainfall hit historic figures, said Gonzalo Ontaneda, climatologist at the […]

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Ecuador: Police dismantle ring of kidnappers, extortionists operating in several provinces

KIDNAPPERS OPERATING IN Sucumbíos , Pichincha and Los Rios elcomercio.com/Andrés García Editor reported the dawn of this Thursday, April 6, the National Police executed the operation Libertad III , after which it captured the alleged members of an alleged criminal band called ‘ Comuneros de Liberación Nacional ‘. Diego Fuentes, Minister of the Interior Subrogant, […]

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Quito, Ecuador: Woman found dead inside suitcase

APPEARS WOMAN WAS BEATEN TO DEATH elcomercio.com/ Andrés García In the south of Quito there was a chilling finding in the hours of the night today At about 19:00 on Wednesday, April 5, in Camilo Orejuela Street , in the sector of the entrance to the Metropolitan Camal , the corpse was found of a […]

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Cuenca Ecuador: Three Women Murdered in a Week

TWO OF THE WOMEN MURDERED WERE SHOT IN THE CHEST elcomercio.com reported that a woman was found murdered in the Cuenca area. Rosa Regina Camas was murdered last evening in a forested area (Guangarcucho) on her way home from work. Rosa was discovered by her son. One reporte stated that she had been shot in […]

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Ecuador: Money was motive in murder of U.S. Expat Jonathan Gilchrist

American was missing five months ago in Guayaquil. One woman revealed that Jonathan Gilchrist was under three layers of cement expreso.ec (machine translated) On October 19, 2016, it was the last time the American Jonathan Charles Gilchrist, 56, was seen by the guards of the condominium where he lived, in the canton Salinas (Santa Elena). […]

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Azuay Province: Missing young woman’s body found near river, arrest made

eltiempo.com.ec reported that searcher parties in Azuay Province found the body of Cristina Palacio. She has been missing since march 28th. Her remains were discovered amid debris on the banks of Paute River near a dam. , the young woman who had been missing since March 28. The body was located amid debris on the […]

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Ecuador: Two Expats killed when crushed by wave in Crucita

eldiario.ec reported that two foreigners died the night of this Saturday, April 1, 2017, after being hit by a wave in the parish of Crucita, De Portoviejo. The incident happened in the area adjacent to La Loma de Crucita, reported firefighters and members of the Police. The identity of the victims were not disclosed, but […]

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Leftist Moreno Claims Victory in Ecuador Election

REUTERS.COM /Alexandra Ulmer and Alexandra Valencia | QUITO Leftist government candidate Lenin Moreno claimed victory in Ecuador’s presidential vote on Sunday, bucking a shift to the right in South America, but the conservative challenger asked for a recount as some supporters took to the streets in protest. A Moreno win would come as a relief […]

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Ecuador: Protests Reported, Lasso calls on Supporters to take to the streets

LASSO ALLEGES FRAUD IN ELECTION bbc.com reported: A row has erupted over Ecuador’s presidential elections after early results projected victory for the incumbent party’s candidate. Results show former vice president Lenin Moreno of the Socialist Party has 51.12% of the vote, with just 4% of districts still waiting to be counted. But challenger Guillermo Lasso […]

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Guayaquil Ecuador: Foul Odor Leads Police to Corpse of Missing U.S. Expat

EXPAT COMMUNITY IN SHOCK OVER FINDING OF DEAD U.S. CITIZEN Eluniverso.com reported that the body of Jonathan Gilchrist, a U.S. citizen was located in layers of cement at least two meters deep, according to the prosecutor (fiscal). A foul odor emanating from the residence in north Guayaquil prompted concern on the evening of March 29th, […]

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Ecuador: Body of U.S. Expat Jonathan Gilchrist found, buried in cement

THIS IS A DEVELOPING STORY/NOT ALL INFORMATION HAS BEEN NOT BEEN VERIFIED BODY OF U.S. CITIZEN / EXPAT DISCOVERED BURIED UNDER CONCRETE IN RESIDENCE / TWO DETAINED IN THE INVESTIGATION On January 17, 2017, Latinamericacurrentevents.com reported that U.S. citizen Jonathan Gilchrist, from Houston Texas. On January 12, 2017 Facebook Group “Ecuador Emergency” received a report […]

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Ecuador: Over 1100 traffic accidents Jan. / Feb 2017 across seven provinces

More than 1,000 accidents are registered in 7 provinces in first two months of 2017 121 DEATHS, 1,097 INJURED vistazo.com/ecuavisa.com /Between January and February 2017, 1,127 traffic accidents have been reported in seven provinces of the country, according to data from the Ecuador Transit Commission (CTE). The institution does this calculation in the areas where […]

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Los Ríos Ecuador: Five Security Guards Presumed Drugged with Escopolamine

lahora.com.ec (machine translated) reported Near a hacienda in San Carlos parish (Los Ríos) agents of the National Police found a van with five people who would have been presumed to be drugged with escopolamine. According to the police, they were workers of a security company and were in a state of unconsciousness. They were taken […]

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Loja, Ecuador: U.S. expat harrassed for being a gringo, attacked with blow to the head

HATE CRIME AGAINST GRINGO IN LOJA ECUADOR U.S. Citizen told to get out of the country, Ecuador is not for them but for Ecuadorians, Attacked with a blow to the back of his head. lahora.com.ec / Expat attacked in Loja. (machine translated) They demanded that he leave the restaurant because of his ethnic background. Then […]

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Manabi, Ecuador: First 85 days of 2017, 33 murders recorded

Manabi reeling in violence with 33 people murdered in the province the first 85 days of 2017 eluniverso.com/reported: Hours before this murder, Diego Fuentes, Deputy Minister of the Interior, was in Portoviejo. There he said that in Manabí the provincial security council had been activated to work on preventive campaigns. “We are generating, with research […]

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Moreno fails to show in Presidential Debate with Lasso

The ruling party candidate for the presidency of Ecuador, former vice president Lenin Moreno, did not attend yesterday’s debate organized by the Chamber of Commerce of Guayaquil along with more than 100 institutions. The presidential debate “A Conversation about Ecuador in 2017”, which was scheduled for Monday, March 27, only counted with the presence of […]

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Ecuador slow in paying bills due to Schlumberger oil giant, causing financial stress

By Gary McWilliams and Alexandra Valencia/businessinsider.com HOUSTON/QUITO, March 28 (Reuters) – OPEC production cuts and economic woes are complicating Schlumberger NV’s efforts to collect $1.1 billion from Ecuador’s state-owned Petroamazonas, casting a cloud over the oil services company’s first-quarter results. “Continuing payment issues” in Ecuador are hurting earnings, Chief Executive Officer Paal Kibsgaard said in […]

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Quito, Ecuador: Over 500 emergencies related to rains over last six-months

eluniverso.com (machine translated) Emergencies in the capital for the rainy season rose from 109 to 510 in the last six months, representing an increase of 467%. This was indicated by the Municipality of Quito in a balance delivered on Monday, during the winter season. Of the 510 emergencies served, 146 have been floods, 224 mass […]

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Cotopaxi, Ecuador: Another Bus Falls into hellish abyss, One Dead

One person killed and two injured when a bus drops into a chasm in the canton of Sigchos. aldia.com.ec The dawn of this Sunday, a unit of transport of passengers fell to an abyss of the canton Sigchos, province of Cotopaxi, sector Guangocalle. The Ecu-911 Ambato received the alert of the accident at 05:21, after […]

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Rucu Pichincha Volcano Ecuador: Woman Mountain Climber found dead

aldia.com.ec reported a 34-year-old woman was found dead in the so-called death march on Sunday, March 26, 2017 in the Rucu Pichincha volcano. Another hiker was found, taken care of and taken to a hospital. The mountaineer’s body was rescued today. According to the first versions of the Department of Security of the Municipality, the […]

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U.S. citizen allegedly murdered in Ecuador, statement from the victims family

News provided by The Family of Leslie Allison Mar 24, 2017, 16:39 ET SUGARLAND, Texas, March 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The family of Leslie Allison, a US citizen allegedly murdered in Ecuador in January 2016, awaits the outcome of her alleged murderer’s trial, which will be held on March 30, 2017. 35-year-old Leslie had traveled […]

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Ecuador: Woman apparently dies of cardiac arrest, dogs eat her face

An older adult was found dead in the Las Playas hamlet and part of her face would have been eaten by dogs. eluniverso.com(machine translated – The woman, identified as Zoila Jiménez Tenelema, 66, would have died because of “force majeure (suspected cardiorespiratory arrest),” according to the police. Before the call of the ECU 911 Ambato, […]

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Ecuador: Dead Man Found Floating Down River Tied to a Toilet

A man was found dead in Portoviejo, tied to a toilet eluniverso.com / Neptalí Palma (machine translated) Portoviejo With a machete the cape was tied yesterday that tied the man’s body with a toilet. A man’s body floated yesterday on the Portoviejo River. The find caught the attention of users, but even more surprised what […]

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Ecuador: Authorities Seize Cocaine Shipment Destined for Syria

Ecuadorian group to send cocaine to Syria eluniverso.com (machine translated) Unusual destinations for drug shipments have detected the police following several seizures of alkaloids in recent weeks. Interior Minister Diego Fuentes reported Friday through his Twitter account of the disarticulation of a narcodelictiva organization that tried to send drugs to Syria. “Disrupted organization of international […]

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Galapagos Islands: Six Tourists Rescued After Being Trapped by Intense Rains

Ecuavisa.com reported six tourists who were lost at the height of Puerto Chino, on the island of San Cristóbal, were rescued on the afternoon of March 23 by members of the National Police and San Cristóbal Fire Department. The ECU 911 reported that intense rainfall caused a strong current in this sector. Citizens were trapped […]

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Galapagos Islands: Two Missing Tourists Found Safe

The two tourists (Ecuadorian mother and son) who have been missing in the Galápagos Islands since Wednesday, were found alive this morning (Friday). They were discovered in a turtle nesting zone on Santa Cruz Island. Rangers followed fresh footprints to locate the pair. Mother and son were taken by helicopter to Puerto Ayora where they […]

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Jujan, Guayas Ecuador neighborhoods evacuated because of river overflowing

ecuavisa.com reported at least a dozen neighborhoods in Jujan, in the province of Guayas, were affected by the Yellow River (Río Amarillo) overflow. In some sectors, the inhabitants evacuated their homes because the water level reached 60 cm. Of height. They are concerned that there is no sewer system to drain excess water. Staff of […]

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Ecuador: Trial Set for Shaman in Death of U.S. Citizen Leslie Allison during ayahuasca cermony

Hearing of the case for the death of Leslie Allison will be in Macas Morona Santiago Province Ecuador VISTAZO.COM reported the following on March 24, 2017 1. Leslie Allison a U.S. citizen died during an ayahuasca ceremony on January 14, 2016, in Gualaquiza, Morona Santiago Province, Ecuador. 2. A trial hearing is set in the […]

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Cuenca, Ecuador: Rains impacting homes and road blockages

eluniverso.com/Sandra Ochoa (machine translated) reported…. Increased flows in rivers and streams, water access to homes and small landslides in several interparroquial roads are reported from 02:30 on Friday, when rains intensified in Cuenca. One of the sectors most affected is the north of the city, with the blockade of the road that leads to the […]

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Family of Dead American goes to Ecuador to attend trial of Shaman in Ayahuasca case

AUTOPSY SHOWED LESLIE ALLISON DIED AS A RESULT OF A BROKEN NECK SHAMAN CHARGED WITH CULPABLE HOMICIDE By Pooja Lodhia Thursday, March 23, 2017 10:39PM BAY CITY, Texas (KTRK) – A Bay City family is heading to Ecuador, hoping to learn more about how their loved one died. 35-year-old Leslie Allison died last year while […]

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One Man’s Look at Safety and Security in Ecuador “no one cares about you here”

It Doesn’t Always Glitter. You’re on Your Own in Quito (opinion) aplanelife.blogspot.com / I’ve mainly written about both Quito and South America from a positive perspective (save for my experience with the Ecuadorian National Police on the way out of Ecuador last year) and by-and-large it has been a very positive experience. Nevertheless, you need […]

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Geologist Searching for Two Lost Cities of Gold in Ecuador

Kitco News)/Neils Christensen – The geologist behind Lundin Gold’s Fruta del Norte, a nearly 5 million ounce gold project, is heading back into the Ecuadorian jungles to find potentially two “Lost Cities of Gold.” While the proposal sounds like a script for a new Indiana Jones movie, geologist Keith Barron, president of Aurania Resources (TSX.V: […]

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Ecuador: Ban on Election Polls in place until election date

plenenglish.com – Quito, March 23 (Prensa Latina) From today, a closure period for the dissemination of polls in the face of the second round of presidential elections scheduled for April 2 rules in Ecuador. Until yesterday 23:59 (local time), the consulting companies accredited by the National Electoral Council (CNE) were able to disclose the results […]

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Cuenca, Ecuador: Senior Citizen Shot, robbed of $10,000 near market

Elderly man shot in leg, subjects on motorcycles steal $ 10,000 in Cuenca, Ecuador – one suspect taken into custody after police search. elmercurio.com.ec (machine translated) reported an elderly man was the victim of an assault on Viracochabamba Avenue and Quillanan Street (near Mercado 12 de Abril) in Cuenca. Two men on a motorcycle approached […]

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Sucumbios, Ecuador: Yellow Fever case confirmed

outbreaknews.com – In Ecuador, the IHR National Focal Point of Ecuador reported a confirmed case of yellow fever to PAHO/WHO; the case is a 31-year-old male patient in the province of Sucumbios, which borders Colombia. Prior to this case, the last confirmed yellow fever case in Ecuador was reported in 2012 in the province of […]

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Salinas Ecuador: Two older women burglarize expats home

On or about March 18, 2017, an expat couple from the U.S. took a trip to visit Montanita. Upon their return to Salinas Ecuador, they discovered their residence had been burgled. burglarize The Victim’s Account – Unedited SOURCE – FACEBOOK GROUP – Name of Victim withheld. Well, it finally happened and we were robbed while […]

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Ecuador: Former Heads of State concerned about elections in second round

lanacion.com.ar (machine translated) – Former presidents and heads of government of Ibero-America expressed concern about “the particular circumstances in which Ecuadorian democracy has developed during the last decade”, when less than two weeks are needed for Ecuadorians to return to the ballot for ballottage To the successor of Rafael Correa…..Fernando de la Rúa, Spaniard José […]

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Ecuador: Three from Australia Detained on Cocaine Smuggling Charges

skynews.com.au reported three Australians have been detained in Ecuador on suspicion of smuggling up to 10 kilograms of cocaine. The trio, two men and a woman from Melbourne, were arrested in late January in the city of Guayaquil, south-west of Quito. Fairfax Media reports they have been in custody ever since and insist the drugs […]

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Sacagawea Dollar: King of Currency in Ecuador

Miamiherald.com/By Jim Wyss QUITO ECUADOR Busy selling fruits and vegetables on a recent weekday, Luzmila Mita dug into her apron and pulled out a fistful of coins embossed with the image of a Native American woman with a baby strapped to her back. “I always thought she was one of us,” said Mita, as she […]

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Ecuador: New Strategy to Eradicate Country from Tuberculosis

redaccionmedica.ec / Diego Mosquera. Quito With the aim of eradicating tuberculosis (TB) in Ecuador, the Ministry of Public Health has changed the strategy to combat this disease through some changes in the Clinical Practice Guide and the incorporation of a manual with new procedures. According to data from the entity, Ecuador ranks sixth in the […]

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Ecuador: Baby Jaguar Shot numerous times, making recovery, may be released to the wild

thedodo.com/ D’Yaria was probably terrified as she rode in the back of a pickup truck. Not only had the 11-month-old jaguar been taken from her home in the Ecuadorian forest, she was also badly injured. Last October, people had shot her several times — 18 shotgun pellets were lodged inside her tiny body. D’Yaria could […]

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Latin America: Survey says these cities among the best to live in the world

Montevideo (Uruguay) is the first city that appears in the ranking occupying the number 79. They are followed by Buenos Aires (Argentina) in 93, Santiago (Chile) in 95, Brasilia (Brazil) in 109 And Asunción (Paraguay) in 115. Quito Ecuador ranked 121. In this 2017, Quito became the only place in Ecuador that entered the list […]

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Seventh-day Adventist school rated as one of the top schools in Ecuador

adventistreview.org/ A government agency in Ecuador recently recognized a K-12 Seventh-day Adventist school as one of the top educational institutions in that South-American country. The National Institute of Educational Assessment granted Ecuador Adventist College Academy (CADE), based in Santo Domingo de las Tsáchilas, Pichincha, the “Rita Lecumberri Award to Educational Excellence” 2017 after the school […]

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Ecuador: Health Ministry expects to vaccinate 96% of dogs and cats against rabies

Cristina Coello/redaccionmedica.ec The country has not had cases of urban rabies transmitted by dogs and cats since 1996. For this reason Carlos Guevara Molina , National Director of Prevention and Control Strategies of the Ministry of Public Health (MSP), has called on health personnel to promote The vaccination of these animals and prevent that disease. […]

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Quito Ecuador: New Text Service on Public Buses to report cases of Sexual Harassment

extra.ec reported the first mobile platform to report cases of harassment on the buses of the Quito transport system will operate will be presented this March 13. The initiative, called ‘Bájale al haroso’, is focused on gender equality and the progressive reduction of attacks on women in public space. The Patronato San José conceptualized this […]

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Ballenita, Ecuador: Knife threatening Thugs, home invasion of Expat

Ballenita, Ecuador: Expat victim of home invasion, threatened with a knife by two assailants, tied up and gagged. On March 10, 2017, an expat from the U.S. was at home alone at about 8:30 am. She heard a knock on the door and thinking it was the garbage man, opened her door. Two men wielding […]

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Ecuador: rains to continue for next 72 hours in Andean Valleys, Amazon region

eltelegrafo.com.ec reported…. Government weather forecasters say the rains will continue for the next 72 hours in the Inter-Andean valleys and the Amazon. The rains will be isolated and stronger in some cities. The moisture is coming from the Brasilian basin.: Merino warned that the estimated rainfall limits for this month are not yet exceeded. In […]

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Guayaquil, Ecuador: Five Armed Assailants Rob woman on way to bank of $25,000

Five armed men intercepted a woman yesterday at the Montebello Food Transfer Market in northern Guayaquil and took away more than $ 25,000 from a bank, according to several people. The money was from the sale of the last hours of some merchants, who had given him to help them with the deposit, said the […]

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Ecuador: 3 percent of population suffers from fungal disease

Jonathan Veletanga. Quito redaccionmedica.ec reported the Global Action Fund for Fungi Infections (GAFFI) has carried out an estimation program to demonstrate country by country the number of people affected by serious fungal diseases worldwide . In this context, 14 of the most affected countries around the world, including Ecuador, have just published their results. Jeannete […]

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Cuenca Ecuador: Heavy water flow in rivers being monitored for safety

In Cuenca, rivers are being monitored to avoid dangerous threats Jaime Marín · extra.ec (Machine Translated) Due to the rainfall that fell on the afternoon and evening of Thursday and early morning of this Friday, March 10, the flows of the rivers that cross Cuenca , such as Tomebamba, Tarqui, Yanuncay and Machángara, have been […]

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Heavy Rains Cause Damage Quito Ecuador

March 10, 2017 – extra.ec – The heavy rain of Quito , the afternoon of this March 10, caused several emergencies. In Santa Ana, south of the city, a street was covered with water and a van, which was loaded with children, stayed in the middle of the flood. The infants were rescued by agents […]

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DOJ not release names of Ecuadorian officials possibly impllicated in Odebrecht case

Jim Wyss/Miamiherald.com The U.S. Department of Justice will not provide U.S. lawmakers with the names of Ecuadorian officials who might have been implicated in the sweeping Odebrecht corruption case — as long as the investigation is active. In a statement Thursday, Miami Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said the DOJ had denied her Jan. 6 request […]

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Ecuador expects mining investments to increase 360%

Ecuador expects mining investments to increase 360% in the next four years compared to the period 2013-2016, totalling more than $4 billion. MINING.COM/Cecilia Jamasmie / Ecuador is quickly gaining ground as a mining investment destination in Latin America thanks to a revised regulatory framework and a major investor engagement campaign that has already attracted around […]

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Ecuador: Migrants warn of banking collapse if Lasso wins presidency

telesurtv.net Migrants who left during the crisis could finally return to Ecuador due to improved economic conditions under President Rafael Correa’s government. The network of Ecuadorean migrants who returned to the country in recent years after having fled in the wake of the 1999 banking crisis have warned that in the event that right-wing presidential […]

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Ecuador: LGBTI groups throw support for leftist presidential candidate Moreno

telesurtv.net…. The LGBTI front says they have to be consistent with the gains achieved for the community during the government of President Correa. The Ecuadorean Federation of LGBTI Organizations announced it support for leftist presidential candidate Lenin Moreno, saying the ruling party government has been the only one to protect their community and their rights. […]

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Ecuador: Progress Stalls Out over mining Dispute between govt and Shuar Indigenous Group

In Ecuador, progress stalls on mining dispute between government and indigenous Shuar people 8 March 2017 / Daniela Aguilar Adapted by Romina Castagnino The militarization of the community of San Carlos de Limón in Ecuador’s province of Morona Santiago has triggered the displacement of indigenous Shuar populations who live in areas adjacent to a major […]

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Ecuadorians List Increasing Resentment Towards Expats

By Ernie Millard/cuencahighlife.com Expats Accused of “unconscious privileged entitlement”. Increasing resentment among Ecuadorians stems from the following identified concerns: i.) Chronically ill, aging, and declining health gringos availing themselves of, and abusing the inadequately resourced medical care systems, and increasing pressures from health and dental tourism. After many years of concerned discussions, the new Ley […]

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Ecuador: Women Domestics make labor inroads

telesurtv.net – On International Women’s Day, a small women workers’ association in Ecuador could inspire other domestic workers to organize for their rights. As women’s organizations around the world are set to march for International Women’s Day Wednesday, a women workers’ association in Ecuador stands as a pioneering example in the global fight for transformational […]

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Ecuador: President Correa warns if opposition wins, he may be prevented exit from country

panampost.com/Karina Martín reported Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa warns that if the opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso wins in the presidential elections, a political persecution will be initiated against him, preventing him from leaving the country. “If that guy wins [Guillermo Lasso], who is not going to win, he’s going to start chasing us…Those people will persecute […]

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