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Volume 6, Issue 7

From the week of November 21, 2021

Judges of the Constitutional Court visited the Cofán de Sinangoe territory

Judges of the Constitutional Court visited the Cofán de Sinangoe territory

On November 15, 2021, five judges of the Constitutional Court visited the territory of the Cofán indigenous nationality, in Sinangoe, in the province of Sucumbíos. The Court must decide on two protection actions presented by this Amazonian people regarding the violation of their right to prior, free, and informed consultation and consent. The decision of the highest national court could create jurisprudence […]

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Lasso inaugurates ‘Ecuador Open for Business,’ seeking to attract $30 billion in investments

Lasso inaugurates ‘Ecuador Open for Business,’ seeking to attract $30 billion in investments

Ecuador opens up to the world of investment as the regional development pole.  Last Thursday morning, the President of the Republic, Guillermo Lasso, inaugurated the business forum ‘Ecuador Open for Business 2021.’ The largest post-pandemic event in Latin America brought together 2,000 local and international investors; representatives from 51 countries; business leaders; high-profile experts in more than […]

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Litoral guard says mafias control the prison, and officials help sneak in weapons

Litoral guard says mafias control the prison, and officials help sneak in weapons

A prison guard, who has worked in several prisons, talks about mafias in the Penitentiary, how they operate and what should change. Six days after the prison massacre of September 28, 2021, a prison security agent from the Litoral Penitentiary, the prison center outside Guayaquil, contacted a reporter to anonymously talk about the serious corruption inside […]

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La Roca to receive Ecuador’s 100 most dangerous prisoners

La Roca to receive Ecuador’s 100 most dangerous prisoners

The late drug trafficker Óscar Caranqui described La Roca, Guayaquil’s dreaded maximum security prison, as “the graveyard of living men.” Reconditioning the maximum security prison in Guayaquil, known as La Roca—part of the prison complex in Guayas—with the goal of transferring highly dangerous prisoners to it, has been slow. Since 2020, authorities of the National […]

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The other part of me

The other part of me

Like many people, I have some friends who have been in my life for a very long time. They have been with me during my highs and my lows, and likewise, I’ve been there for theirs. And in that small but very special group, there is one person who knows me best, and that’s Skeeter, […]

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Commission Guarantees Commission being questioned by Prosecutor’s Office regarding Pandora Papers report

Update to: Third ‘Pandora Papers’ report asserts Lasso’s innocence, dismisses Constitutional Guarantees Commission reportPublished: Volume 6, Issue 6 The Constitutional Guarantees Commission of the National Assembly faces a preliminary investigation in the State Attorney General’s Office, for allegations of irregularities in the approval of the report of the ‘Pandora Papers’ case. The proceedings began on November 16, 2021 and last Friday, November 19, on the last day of the scheduled […]

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Ecuador expects to reach 85% of the immunized population by the end of the year

Update to: Health Minister Garzón says that to reach herd immunity, Ecuador will begin giving Covid-19 vaccine to children 5 and older in the second week of OctoberPublished: Volume 5, Issue 51 The Government of Ecuador announced last Tuesday that it plans to reach 85% of its population immunized against Covid-19 by the end of the […]

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Volume 6, Issue 6

From the week of November 14, 2021

Economic Development Commission approves report for the government’s tax reform bill

Economic Development Commission approves report for the government’s tax reform bill

The Assembly has until November 28 to process the bill. The Economic Development Commission approved the report for the first debate on the government’s tax reform bill. The full name of the proposal is ‘Organic Law for Economic Development and Fiscal Sustainability after the Covid-19 Pandemic,’ and it makes several changes to the current tax legislation. In the […]

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Ferrocarriles liquidation almost complete, government revieing eight proposals to manage new rail company

Ferrocarriles liquidation almost complete, government revieing eight proposals to manage new rail company

Among the eight proposals, two are Ecuadorian and the rest are from abroad. According to the Ministry of Transportation, the rehabilitation of the railway would cost $2.5 billion. The authorities of the transportation and tourism ministries insist that the intention “is not to privatize” the operation of the public company Ferrocarriles del Ecuador. According to […]

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Saturday’s battle among Ecuador prison gangs killed 68 inmates, injured 25 more

Saturday’s battle among Ecuador prison gangs killed 68 inmates, injured 25 more

A prolonged gun battle between rival gangs inside Ecuador’s largest prison killed at least 68 inmates and wounded 25 on Saturday, and authorities said it took most of the day to regain control at the Litoral Penitentiary, which recently saw the country’s worst prison bloodbath. The last massacre occurred on September 28th, when 119 inmates died. More […]

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SUCRE was a door to money laundering between Ecuador and Venezuela

SUCRE was a door to money laundering between Ecuador and Venezuela

At least five cases of money laundering were leveraged in the Sucre system. They all had the same modus operandi. After the extradition of Álex Saab, considered a front man of President Nicolás Maduro, of Venezuela, from Cape Verde to the United States, in Ecuador the investigative, judicial and even administrative processes regarding the money laundering network through the […]

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Third ‘Pandora Papers’ report asserts Lasso’s innocence, dismisses Constitutional Guarantees Commission report

Third ‘Pandora Papers’ report asserts Lasso’s innocence, dismisses Constitutional Guarantees Commission report

The president of the Audit Commission, Fernando Villavicencio, says in his investigation that President Lasso no longer has a relationship with tax havens. In addition, he recommends dismissing the report of the Constitutional Guarantees Commission, due to lack of evidence. The Assembly has in its hands a new investigative report on the ‘Pandora Papers.’ The […]

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Something must be done

Something must be done

Another prison massacre. It’s difficult to believe how out of control Ecuador’s prisons have become. This has not been an overnight thing. The neglect of the situation has gone on for a long time. And now it seems like all the years of failing to do something about the problem are finally biting us in […]

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What you need to know about the new Galapagos Marine Reserve

What you need to know about the new Galapagos Marine Reserve

60 thousand km2 is added to the existing marine reserve. The Galapagos archipelago is made up of a series of islands that were generated after the eruption of several volcanoes thousands of years ago. On its surface they house millions of species that exist only in this part of the world, just as it happens at […]

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52% of femicides are still under investigation since 2014

Update to: Femicides continue to be underreported in EcuadorPublished: Volume 5, Issue 42 Since August 10, 2014, when the Comprehensive Penal Code came into force, thru November 7, 2021, 495 cases of femicide have been registered in Ecuador. This is detailed by figures raised by the Council of the Judiciary. According to data from that entity, of these 495 […]

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Volume 6, Issue 5

From the week of November 7, 2021

Politicians react to the report of the Guarantee Commission regarding Lasso and the Pandora Papers, one Commission member says report was altered

Politicians react to the report of the Guarantee Commission regarding Lasso and the Pandora Papers, one Commission member says report was altered

The report recommends that the plenary session of the Assembly verify if President Lasso breached the Ethical Pact Law 2017 The Friday release report of the Constitutional Guarantees Commission regarding President Guillermo Lasso’s name appearing in the Pandora Papers, has caused several reactions. Between Saturday and Sunday, several political parties and government agencies reacted on the recommendations of […]

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Lasso MAY sign right-wing ‘Madrid Charter’

Lasso MAY sign right-wing ‘Madrid Charter’

The Madrid Charter is an initiative of the Spanish far-right group, Vox “Count on me,” said Guillermo Lasso, President of Ecuador, at the invitation made by Javier Ortega Smith, deputy and secretary of the Spanish far-right group, VOX, to sign the Madrid Charter, an initiative of Vox for the” defense of the freedom and democracy in […]

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A man was arrested for allegedly selling charapa turtles, a vulnerable species

Update to: Foreigner arrested for trying to smuggle 213 seahorses thru Guayaquil airportPublished: Volume 5, Issue 50andUpdate to: Nearly 200 Baby Tortoises Seized at Galápagos AirportPublished: Volume 5, Issue 25 A man identified as Christian Jesús VC received precautionary measures for having ten charapa turtles that, supposedly, he was going to sell in a veterinary […]

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Indigenous lawsuit filed against Lasso’s oil expansion policy

Indigenous lawsuit filed against Lasso’s oil expansion policy

Several groups of indigenous peoples of Ecuador say that they were not consulted on the policy that aims to double the country’s oil production, which would directly affect their territories and ways of life. While the President of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, was congratulated at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26) for approving the expansion of […]

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Finance Minister highlights the importance of tax reform to reduce deficits and give more resources to GAD and universities

Finance Minister highlights the importance of tax reform to reduce deficits and give more resources to GAD and universities

Minister said that Ecuador would return to international financing markets, but in an orderly and predictable manner. On Friday, the Minister of Economy and Finance, Simón Cueva, highlighted that the 2022 budget proforma goes in the direction of continuing to lower the fiscal deficit with permanent resources, to give sustainability to public finances, give an image […]

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Doggone crazy

Doggone crazy

We have seven dogs, well to be honest we have eight dogs. Seven of them were all abandoned in the street by locals here. See, out in Yunguilla the locals have female dogs that get pregnant all the time because they don’t spay them; they also don’t neuter the males. So that means a lot […]

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Volume 6, Issue 4

From the week of October, 31 2021

Secretary for Human Rights says the prison crisis is a product of the “forgetfulness of the State”

Secretary for Human Rights says the prison crisis is a product of the “forgetfulness of the State”

The Secretary for Human Rights, Bernarda Ordóñez, who chairs the board of the Technical Agency of the National Social Rehabilitation System, spoke about the prison crisis in Ecuador. After three prison massacres, on October 1st, President Guillermo Lasso designated the Human Rights Secretariat as the institution responsible for presiding over the board of directors of […]

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Pristimantis lojanus, a new from species discovered just outside of Loja

Pristimantis lojanus, a new from species discovered just outside of Loja

The “Pristimantis lojanus” is a small amphibian between 26 and 44 millimeters. These animals live on branches, leaves of shrubs and trees, in the interior of forests. Researchers from the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja (UTPL) presented a new species of frog in Loja called “Pristimantis lojanus,” whose name honors the town from which it […]

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You can now renew your Cuenca vehicle registration online

You can now renew your Cuenca vehicle registration online

In Cuenca, as of this Monday, it will now be possible to renew vehicle registration completely online. You can do this in the system of the Mobility Company (EMOV EP), of the Municipality of Cuenca. To do this, you must first enter the website www.emov.gob.ec, then select the services button and click on the option that […]

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Civil, civility, civilization

Civil, civility, civilization

A friend of mine, who used to live here and now lives back in the US, called me to tell me he had been in a horrible car accident (his car was hit from behind and rolled over on its side) but fortunately he had walked away from it with only bruises and some minor […]

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At COP26, Lasso announces new marine reserve in Galapagos to be financed with a debt swap

At COP26, Lasso announces new marine reserve in Galapagos to be financed with a debt swap

The new reserve will be 60,000 square kilometers and will extend the protection of the archipelago’s ecosystems.  There is a new marine reserve in Galapagos. This was announced by President Guillermo Lasso, Monday morning at a press conference at COP26 – the conference of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – […]

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12 assembly members propose anti-abortion law against Constitutional Court ruling

12 assembly members propose anti-abortion law against Constitutional Court ruling

A project presented this week in the National Assembly aims to regulate abortion for rape with a view away from Human Rights, and against what the Constitutional Court ordered. A project with a name and content contrary to what the Constitutional Court ordered in April 2021, was presented last Monday in the National Assembly with a bombastic […]

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Guillermo Lasso distances himself from the idea of ​​”crossed death,” for now

Update to: Lasso threatens Assembly with the “muerte cruzada,” or cross deathPublished: Volume 6, Issue 2 The president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, will leave the idea of ​​a cross-death in the Constitution “for the moment” and will choose the route of “dialogue” to carry out his bills. “Let us leave it in the Constitution, for […]

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Volume 6, Issue 3

From the week of October, 24 2021

Would he be happy anywhere?

Would he be happy anywhere?

I wrote about this issue a couple of years ago. I thought it was a one-time deal and that I wouldn’t run into a person like this again, especially not one blaming the same magazine, but I have. At the Quito airport last Wednesday. So, I am updating this column from March of 2019 to […]

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Trade deal with the United States cools down, although relations improve

Trade deal with the United States cools down, although relations improve

With a trade agreement, Ecuadorian exports to the United States could grow by about 40%. The visit to Ecuador of the Secretary of State of the United States, Antony Blinken, has been cataloged as a sample of “the fruitful and productive relationship” between the two countries, according to the Government of President Guillermo Lasso. This […]

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The Sápara nationality recovers 70% of its ancestral territory

The Sápara nationality recovers 70% of its ancestral territory

Judge Laura Cabrera, from the Pastaza Judicial Unit, accepted the action for the protection of the Sapara Nationality of Ecuador (NASE). However, the Ministry of Agriculture will appeal. “We won!,” wrote the Sápara Nationality of Ecuador (NASE) in a Facebook post on the night of Monday, October 18, 2021, after learning that Judge Laura Cabrera, from the Pastaza […]

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Quito drinks from its wetlands, perhaps too much

Quito drinks from its wetlands, perhaps too much

The inhabitants of Quito consume twice as much water a day as recommended by the World Health Organization. Carmita Cajías is a housewife and lives in Turubamba, a neighborhood in the south of Quito that is full of winding alleys and narrow streets. Carmita has lived there for more than 30 years and has never had […]

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Prosecutor’s Office investigates Rafael Correa for an alleged tax evasion

Prosecutor’s Office investigates Rafael Correa for an alleged tax evasion

Former President Correa faces a new preliminary investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office for payments of $500,000 he received from an offshore company in Uruguay to pay for his safety and that of his family in Belgium. The individuals involved in the money transfer were former President Rafael Correa and his friend Ricardo Oglietti, who was […]

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Freezing Diesel and Extra Gas Prices Will Have Low Fiscal Impact

Freezing Diesel and Extra Gas Prices Will Have Low Fiscal Impact

Pressure from the indigenous movement, transporters and other groups led the Government to suspend the price band system for diesel and Extra and Ecopaís gasoline. A gallon of diesel will cost $1.90 and a gallon of Extra and Ecopaís gasoline (low octane) will be sold for USD 2.55 as of Saturday, October 23. The prices […]

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Former ombudsman, Freddy Carrión, sentenced to three years in prison

Update to: Ecuadorian Parliament dismisses the Ombudsman Freddy CarriónPublished: Volume 5, Issue 50 Freddy Carrión, a former Ombudsman, was prosecuted and sentenced for the crime of sexual abuse in the first instance. His defense announced that it will appeal the conviction. The Court of the National Court of Justice, made up of Marco Rodríguez, Daniella […]

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Ecuador without deaths from covid, adds only 26 new infections

Update to: Tracking the spread and outcome of the coronavirus in Ecuador: Updated for Tuesday, September 14, 2021Published: Volume 5, Issue 49 Ecuador did not register people killed from Covid-19 on Sunday and added just 26 new infections with the disease, according to the daily report released by the Ministry of Public Health. The accumulated […]

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Volume 6, Issue 2

From the week of October, 17 2021

Lasso threatens Assembly with the “muerte cruzada,” or cross death

Lasso threatens Assembly with the “muerte cruzada,” or cross death

President Guillermo Lasso announced that he will present to the National Assembly the tax and labor reforms at the same time this week, and both with an urgent economic nature. According to article 140 of the Constitution, “while a project classified as urgent is being discussed, the President of the Republic may not send another, […]

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This is a break-up we should have seen coming

This is a break-up we should have seen coming

Boy, with everything happening in the news here lately, one must wonder, is Lasso threatening the “cross death” so that he doesn’t have to be President anymore?! Because as I see it, between the call for social mobilizations for next week, the fight over the Opportunities law, the constant cases of corruption, the struggle with […]

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Pandora papers investigation moves ahead in National Assembly, Lasso says half-a-billion dollars paid in taxes

Pandora papers investigation moves ahead in National Assembly, Lasso says half-a-billion dollars paid in taxes

The Constitutional Guarantees Commission of the National Assembly is advancing with the investigation of the Pandora Papers, which revealed that before being president, Guillermo Lasso had links with 14 companies in countries or jurisdictions considered tax havens. Lasso said he had dissolved the companies in 2017, after a law was passed that prohibited officials and politicians […]

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Ecuador ranks 92nd on the Rule of Law Index

Ecuador ranks 92nd on the Rule of Law Index

Ecuador is in position 92 out of 139 in a ranking that annually measures respect for the rule of law, a legal principle that, specifically, establishes that the law must govern, apply and protect all people who live in a country. It was famously condensed by the second president of the United States, John Adams, who said that […]

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Provincial Court of Santo Domingo ratified sentence in favor of the Furukawa workers

Update to: A modern-day slavery case in which a Japanese company and the government of Ecuador were forced to apologizePublished: Volume 5, Issue 31 The Provincial Court of Justice of Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas partially ratified the sentence of first instance in favor of the former workers of Furukawa Plantaciones CA. This was announced by the […]

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Volume 6, Issue 1

From the week of October, 10 2021

Guayaquil Mayor Cynthia Viteri is proposing that citizens carry weapons

Guayaquil Mayor Cynthia Viteri is proposing that citizens carry weapons

The mayor said that innocent people have the right to defend themselves against criminals. Here is what some experts think about his proposal. Cynthia Viteri, mayor of the port city of Guayaquil, said she agrees that citizens carry weapons. In a recent interview the mayor said, “I believe that innocents should carry weapons because now a criminal is approaching […]

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The latest IMF report on Ecuador is optimistic

The latest IMF report on Ecuador is optimistic

The IMF published the report detailing the results of the latest mission to Ecuador. It includes details on the current situation of the country and suggested policies for the management of...

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Assembly votes for the Constitutional Guarantees Commission to take charge of the investigation into Lasso’s assets identified in the Pandora’s papers

Assembly votes for the Constitutional Guarantees Commission to take charge of the investigation into Lasso’s assets identified in the Pandora’s papers

Lasso says that he has not broken the law and that all his assets have paid taxes in Ecuador. The Assembly wants to corroborate that statement.  The journalistic investigation Pandora Papers continues to impact Ecuadorian politics and especially President Guillermo Lasso. The investigation revealed that Lasso had ties to 14 offshore companies that he got rid of in 2017 […]

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Organized crime charges against Abdalá and Jacobo Bucaram are dismissed

Organized crime charges against Abdalá and Jacobo Bucaram are dismissed

The criminal process for organized crime faced by former President Abdalá Bucaram, his son Jacobo, and five other people has been one of the most followed media reports in 2021. In the most recent event of the case, a judge ruled that the Prosecutor’s Office could not prove the participation of the Bucaram in the […]

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Who stole my papers?

Who stole my papers?

With all the talk of the Pandora Papers in the news here, it made me think back to the Pentagon Papers and the impact they had in politics in America. For those who don’t know, the Pentagon Papers were a government report from the office of the Secretary of Defense that laid out the extent […]

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Volume 5, Issue 52

From the week of October, 03 2021

Constitutional Court ratifies removal of Quito mayor Yunda, Guarderas charges ahead

Constitutional Court ratifies removal of Quito mayor Yunda, Guarderas charges ahead

The extraordinary protection action presented by Santiago Guarderas was accepted Almost two months have passed since Jorge Yunda returned to occupy the office of the Mayor of Quito. Dozens of followers received him at the door of the mayor’s office with music and banners after he was removed from his post for 11 days. The atmosphere was triumphant. […]

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US loans $150 million to Ecuadorian women-owned businesses, part of plan to compete with China in Latin America

US loans $150 million to Ecuadorian women-owned businesses, part of plan to compete with China in Latin America

The Biden administration this week announced a $150 million loan from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) to support women-owned businesses in Ecuador, a step the White House sees as a model for the kind of projects the United States plans to support as it kicks off a new initiative to compete with China’s Belt and […]

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The Pandora Papers expose finances of Guillermo Lasso, the banker who became President

The Pandora Papers expose finances of Guillermo Lasso, the banker who became President

The President of Ecuador is one of the three active Latin American heads of state that appear in the investigation called ‘Pandora Papers.’ Ecuador is once again in the news at the international level, and not only because of the prison crisis it faces. This October 3, 2021, President Guillermo Lasso was named as one of the three active Latin American […]

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Update to: Ecuador and OPEC will reduce oil production

Update to: Ecuador and OPEC will reduce oil productionPublished: Volume 3, Issue 21OPEC and allies decide they will increase crude production just a little This Monday the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and their allies decided that they will continue with their strategy of moderate production increases for the month of […]

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The devil made me do it

The devil made me do it

I’m sure that like me, sometimes you get on the internet and look for something, and that leads you to look at something else, and so on, and so on, and so on. You go down a rabbit hole, and sometimes you find simply amazing things. That happened to me today. And since I still […]

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Update to: Attorney who won judgment against Chevron may get his day in court

Update to: Attorney who won judgment against Chevron may get his day in court

Update to: Attorney who won judgment against Chevron may get his day in courtPublished: Volume 3, Issue 20US Lawyer Sentenced for Contempt in Ecuador Chevron Case Steve Donziger’s sentence is the latest step in a long legal saga that goes back to his representation of Ecuadorean villagers trying to hold Chevron liable for water and […]

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Debt with China falls as obligations to the IMF and other multilaterals increases

Debt with China falls as obligations to the IMF and other multilaterals increases

Ecuador’s debt with the IMF amounted to $6,174 billion thru July 2021, 19.44% more than the obligations with China, according to the Ministry of Finance. Meanwhile, the public debt with China fell by 37.1% between July 2016 and July 2021: it went from $5.431 billion to $5.169 billion. This is good news because the conditions […]

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Law for the Creation of Opportunities raises three types of alternative contracts and reduced hours

Law for the Creation of Opportunities raises three types of alternative contracts and reduced hours

The proposed law also includes changes in maternity and paternity leave, flexibility in working hours and modifications to rest hours. The creation of employment is, according to the Government, the objective pursued by the draft Creation of Opportunities Law, delivered by President Guillermo Lasso to the Assembly on Friday, September 24. According to official data, […]

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Volume 5, Issue 51

From the week of September, 25 2021

Representatives of thirteen universities forced to close in 2012 file a complaint against Correa and three former officials of his government

Representatives of thirteen universities forced to close in 2012 file a complaint against Correa and three former officials of his government

The 13 universities closed by the Rafael Correa government are asking that an investigation be started with the charge of ‘organized crime’ The legal representatives of thirteen universities that were forced to close during the government of Rafael Correa presented, last Wednesday morning, a criminal complaint for the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate former President Correa and three […]

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Lasso’s Opportunities Law faces uphill battle in Assembly, may be heading for popular consultation

Lasso’s Opportunities Law faces uphill battle in Assembly, may be heading for popular consultation

Last Friday, President Guillermo Lasso handed over to the President of the Assembly, Guadalupe Llori, his bill for the Creation of Opportunities Law It will be an important week for President Lasso and his Bill for the “Law of Creation of Opportunities,” which he submitted on Friday to the Council of Legislative Administration, a body […]

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Health Minister Garzón says that to reach herd immunity, Ecuador will begin giving Covid-19 vaccine to children 5 and older in the second week of October

Health Minister Garzón says that to reach herd immunity, Ecuador will begin giving Covid-19 vaccine to children 5 and older in the second week of October

Ecuador will begin vaccination against Covid-19 in children from the age of 5 in mid-October, the Minister of Public Health, Ximena Garzón, announced last Thursday. “We are going to start vaccinating from the age of 5 from the second week of October,” declared the health minister, stating that until then the current program to administer anti […]

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Jorge Yunda’s case goes to the plenary session of the Constitutional Court

Update to: UPDATES: 09-07-2021Published: Volume 5, Issue 48 The judges will decide on the extraordinary protection action filed by Santiago Guarderas and Mónica Sandoval This Friday, September 24, 2021, the draft resolution that will resolve the extraordinary protection action filed by Santiago Guarderas and Mónica Sandoval will be received in the plenary session of the Constitutional Court. This appeal is against the […]

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Five years in EU trade agreement has been positive for Ecuador, explain Ecuador trade groups and EU ambassador

Five years in EU trade agreement has been positive for Ecuador, explain Ecuador trade groups and EU ambassador

After the agreement signed almost five years ago, imports have increased, exports even more Since the trade agreement Ecuador signed with the European Union (EU) five years ago, there is a greater diversification of products on the shelves of national supermarkets and pharmacies with cheeses, liquors, chocolates, sausages, oils, pharmaceutical products, among others. There have also […]

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Hearing against two former defense ministers and others for the purchase of Dhruv helicopters postponed to October

Update to: Assembly Commission says murder of Air Force general could be a ‘state crime’Published: Volume 3, Issue 19 Of the seven Dhruv helicopters acquired in 2008 under the Rafael Correa government, four of them crashed between 2009 and 2015 Due to the request of several defenders who will be charged with the crime of […]

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America may have been populated thousands of years earlier than previously thought

America may have been populated thousands of years earlier than previously thought

Humans arrived in America at least 7,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to new research findings The issue of the arrival of the first humans to the American continent has generated controversy for decades. Many researchers are skeptical of the evidence that humans existed in North America more than 16,000 years. Now, a team working […]

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A throwdown in the valley

A throwdown in the valley

One of the best things that has happened for us while living in Ecuador has been meeting many people who end up leaving here to move to other countries. Because that means we have places and friends to visit! Having travelled all over the world for most of the last 15 years of my career, […]

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“Health has no ideology” says Lasso at UN

“Health has no ideology” says Lasso at UN

"Health has no ideology," said the president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso at the 76th United Nations General Assembly, held on September 21st in New York. After saying that, he brought up the tragic...

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Volume 5, Issue 50

From the week of September, 19 2021

Government confirms date for meeting with Conaie

Minister Alexandra Vela indicated that President Guillermo Lasso will dialogue with indigenous leaders.

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In last 11 months, Ecuadorian illegal immigrants detained or deported from the United States were charged $1.345 billion by coyotes

According to 1800migrante.com, a minimum of $15,000 is paid from Ecuador for irregular travel to the United States (US). Over the last 11 months, 89,644 Ecuadorians have been arrested trying to cross illegally into the US.

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Foreigner arrested for trying to smuggle 213 seahorses thru Guayaquil airport

International trade in this species, whose populations are on the verge of extinction, is prohibited The Ecuadorian National Police reported that a foreign citizen was apprehended at the Guayaquil airport for transporting 213 seahorses. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) places all species of seahorses in its Appendix II, recognizing that they […]

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Police arrest a subject involved in illicit trafficking of people, with a firearm, three passports and $5,000 in the south of Cuenca

With $5,000 in his possession, a firearm and three passports, William B., a citizen who presented a hostile and suspicious attitude to the police who apprehended him in the south of Cuenca, was arrested Thursday night. When verifying his judicial record, it was learned that the 25-year-old Ecuadorian has a criminal record for the alleged […]

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Stop making demands

Stop making demands

Everywhere you look in Ecuador’s newspapers, you see President Lasso’s name: he’s going to CELEC, he’s speaking at the UN, he is being hailed for stopping Covid-19 in Ecuador, he has a meeting set...

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Prices of gasoline and diesel have both increased by more than $0.60 a gallon in the last fifteen months

Prices of gasoline and diesel have both increased by more than $0.60 a gallon in the last fifteen months

In the last fifteen months, since the removal of subsidies, prices for extra gasoline, extra with ethanol (ecopaís) gasoline, and diesel fuel have experienced an increase of between 63 cents and 65 cents. It was in the last government of the government of Lenín Moreno, that Executive Decree 1054 was issued, which established that from May 20, 2020 a […]

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Minas de Huascachaca, Ecuador’s largest wind power plant, to start operations in 2022

Minas de Huascachaca, Ecuador’s largest wind power plant, to start operations in 2022

A semi-desert area on the edges of Loja and Azuay, made up of plateaus, with dirt roads and little settled population, is the place where 14 wind turbines will be located in the coming months that will take advantage of the force of the wind to produce energy. This set of wind turbines – each […]

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Maduro and OAS disrupt focus of CELAC summit

Maduro and OAS disrupt focus of CELAC summit

Leaders of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) held a summit in Mexico on Saturday, which criticized the OAS, requested that the United States change its relationship with...

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Ecuador Finance Minister Cueva says new global bond issuance will be “orderly and predictable”

Ecuador Finance Minister Cueva says new global bond issuance will be “orderly and predictable”

Debt with international bondholders reached $17.759 billion thru July 2021 Finance Minister Simón Cueva expects Ecuador to return to international markets for the issuance of new Global bonds in 2022, after the country was mainly financed over the last three years with credits from multilateral organizations. In a discussion with international investors, Cueva said that […]

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Volume 5, Issue 49

From the week of September, 12 2021

Whew!

Whew!

I’ve been dealing with some health issues over the past year. They’ve not exactly been a secret, but I’ve not gone into detail about them with many people. That’s all about to change. Today, after a year of surgeries, medications, therapy, and a plethora of doctor’s appointments, I got a “cleaner” bill of health than […]

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UPDATES: 09/14/2021

UPDATES: 09/14/2021

Update to: Chinese fishing boats approaching Galapagos: what’s being done, what species they endanger and who comprises the fleetPublished: Volume 5, Issue 3917 months later: the Fisheries Law still does not have a regulation. Why? Seventeen months have passed since the Organic Law for the Development of Aquaculture and Fisheries was issued and there is still no regulation to […]

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Tracking the spread and outcome of the coronavirus in Ecuador: Updated for Tuesday, September 14, 2021

We weren’t sure we would ever see the day when we considered ending this report. Back in early 2020, and for a long time afterward, it looked like this pandemic was here to stay and the numbers would never improve, either here in Ecuador or world-wide. It looks like we can safely say that Ecuador […]

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SHORT STORIES OF INTEREST: 04-14-2021

New fuel prices push diesel to $1.65 and extra gasoline to $2.39 On Saturday, the Agency for the Regulation and Control of Energy and Non-Renewable Natural Resources (ARC) released the new rate for petroleum derivatives, which varies between an eleven and five cent increase. The new provisions issued September 11th established that a gallon of diesel will cost $1.65 and gasoline […]

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Minister Garzón wants government to be remembered for having changed public health

Minister Garzón wants government to be remembered for having changed public health

The Minister of Public Health, Ximena Garzón Villalba, has overseen one of the greatest public health achievements of the national government: vaccinating 9 million people against COVID-19 in 100 days. The journey, of course, has not been easy. Beyond vaccination, her goal is to design and begin to implement the “Ten-Year Public Health Plan,” which she […]

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Lasso reaches agreement with IMF and pursues trade agreements across the globe

Lasso reaches agreement with IMF and pursues trade agreements across the globe

The quick arrival of foreign resources will provide liquidity of $4.5 billion to finance various projects. President Lasso said in an interview last Thursday that his government had reached an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that will unblock the disbursement of resources from abroad and will provide liquidity of $4.5 billion dollars for financing […]

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Volume 5, Issue 48

From the week of September, 05 2021

Teachers say conditions in Ecuador make it difficult provide sex education while early pregnancies cause hundreds of deaths

Teachers say conditions in Ecuador make it difficult provide sex education while early pregnancies cause hundreds of deaths

Experts say disseminating scientific information based on human rights without religious biases is one of the mechanisms to reduce early pregnancy. Over the last year, the lack of contact between teachers and students has limited the guidance of sexual education in the education establishments of the country. Adolescent pregnancy and the country’s high maternal mortality […]

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UPDATES: 09-07-2021

UPDATES: 09-07-2021

Update to: In a surprise shift in the Quito mayoral saga, Yunda is returned to office by the Provincial Court of Pichincha Published: Volume 5, Issue 43 Three months after the removal of Mayor Jorge Yunda, his position remains in dispute A ruling from the Provincial...

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Well, that was a great 3-month effort!

Well, that was a great 3-month effort!

I’m watching with fascination how much China says it is willing to give to Ecuador in the future. It’s already the number one provider of vaccines to the country. And debt, and it’s even the number one importer of Ecuadorian shrimp. And now its ambassador says it wants to expand on all those things: give […]

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Productive sector sees opportunities and risks in an agreement with China

Productive sector sees opportunities and risks in an agreement with China

Exporters see potential; manufactures and artisans warn of complications to compete. Almost 50% of the textile products sold in the local market come from China. The rest is shared between national production and those of other countries. This occurs without Ecuador having a trade agreement with the Asian giant. Due to their economy of scale […]

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Tracking the spread and outcome of the coronavirus in Ecuador: Updated for Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Before we go into number this week, let’s outline the major changes in the environment of Covid-19 in Ecuador. This week the Ministry of Health is turning back to first doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to get those people that have held off until now (labeled “laggards”). It will also continue to give second doses […]

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Short Stories of Interest: 09-07-2021

Government decides that the protection for former presidents and vice presidents will only be within Ecuador President Guillermo Lasso modified some of the conditions for the protection and security provided to former presidents and former vice presidents. Through Executive Decree 179, dated August 31st, Lasso established that the protection will be provided “only within the […]

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Foreign Minister Mauricio Montalvo: ‘Ecuador is going to become a magnet for attracting foreign investment’

Foreign Minister Mauricio Montalvo: ‘Ecuador is going to become a magnet for attracting foreign investment’

The signing of trade agreements with several countries is a priority in the Government’s foreign policy. After one hundred days of government, in a recent interview Foreign Minister Mauricio Montalvo made an evaluation of the work carried out at the level of international relations and stated that the priority for the coming months is to […]

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Ecuador reached the goal of vaccinating 9 million people in 100 days

Ecuador reached the goal of vaccinating 9 million people in 100 days

Vice President, Alfredo Borrero, and the Minister of Health, Ximena Garzón, announced on the September 1, 2021, that the goal of vaccinating nine million people in 100 days was met. On September 1, 2021, the government of President Guillermo Lasso fulfilled one of its first objectives: to vaccinate nine million people in its first 100 […]

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Volume 5, Issue 47

From the week of August 29, 2021

Vice President Borrero says, “the health structure is eaten away by corruption”

Vice President Borrero says, “the health structure is eaten away by corruption”

Vice President Alfredo Borrero leads the vaccination against Covid-19 and the revamping of the public health system and says that the problems of the country’s hospitals have a common element: corruption.

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UPDATES: 08-30-2021

UPDATES: 08-30-2021

Update to: Banana sector reinforces prevention measures to avoid Foc R4T fungus Published: Volume 5, Issue 27 Controls in banana provinces are reinforced to prevent the entry of Fusarium Race 4 Last week, the Ministry of Agriculture announced that in towns such as...

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Tracking the spread and outcome of the coronavirus in Ecuador: Updated for Monday, August 30th, 2021

Before we go into number this week, let’s outline the major changes in the environment of Covid-19 in Ecuador. First and foremost, the increase in cases of the Delta variant in several provinces of the country has forced the Ministry of Health to adjust the vaccination schedule, advancing the application of the second dose of […]

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Fuel and social subsidies of $5.645 billion found in 2021 proforma budget along with $4.8 billion deficit

Fuel and social subsidies of $5.645 billion found in 2021 proforma budget along with $4.8 billion deficit

The highest subsidy for fuels is in gas for domestic use which reaches $813 million.

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Ecuador’s amphibians may be the species most threatened by climate change

Ecuador’s amphibians may be the species most threatened by climate change

Ecuadorian biologist Mauricio Ortega talks about the threats amphibians face in the region. His work with environmental DNA allows researchers to know about possible diseases that can attack them and to plan control strategies for invasive species such as tilapia, trout and bullfrog that are great threats to amphibians.

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Ecuador faces 5 challenges to achieving herd immunity

Ecuador faces 5 challenges to achieving herd immunity

The Government aims to vaccinate 14.8 million people by the end of 2021 to achieve herd immunity. This goal includes children over the age of eight.

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Are you using that bed?

Are you using that bed?

I heard from an old friend this week, we hadn’t talked in a year or so. What I like to call the “missing year” (or year and a half) that we all experienced in most of 2020 and more than half of 2021. I had talked to him about three months into the pandemic, and […]

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8 out of 10 households with children in Ecuador have less income as a result of the pandemic

8 out of 10 households with children in Ecuador have less income as a result of the pandemic

For families with children, it will take 11 years to get out of poverty, three times longer than for households without children.

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Volume 5, Issue 46

From the week of August 22, 2021

UPDATES: 08-23

UPDATES: 08-23

Update to: Financing proposal for expansion of Galapagos reserve still has no response from GovernmentPublished: Volume 5, Issue 26Ecuador analyzes debt swap for new reserve in Galapagos Ecuador is analyzing an environmental debt swap to create a new reserve around the Galapagos archipelago that will expand the limits to fishing through a negotiation between all the parties […]

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Tracking the spread and outcome of the coronavirus in Ecuador

Updated for Tuesday, August 24, 2021 Only a year ago the collapse of the country’s healthcare system was making headlines around the world. Today, with its successful vaccination campaign, it is setting an example for countries in the region and globally. Today, Ecuador currently administers the highest daily number of doses per 100 people in the […]

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Lasso makes chronic childhood malnutrition a focus in his government, allocates additional $155 million

Lasso makes chronic childhood malnutrition a focus in his government, allocates additional $155 million

Chronic childhood malnutrition (DCI) continues to be a problem in Ecuador, and in fact it has worsened over the last 7 years. In 2018 (the latest firm figures available), 27.2% of children under two years were underweight and height, compared to 24.8% in 2014. Specialists are saying that the situation worsened with the pandemic and now, one […]

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Exports to Russia increase over 2020, but lack of trade deal with Eurasian Economic Union could cause problems starting in mid-October

Exports to Russia increase over 2020, but lack of trade deal with Eurasian Economic Union could cause problems starting in mid-October

From January to May of this year, $434 million worth of goods have been exported to Russia, third most in exports after the United States and the European Union.

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Ecuador’s Amazon being stripped of balsa with no controls

Ecuador’s Amazon being stripped of balsa with no controls

Ecuador is the world’s biggest exporter of balsa wood, most of it shipped to China. Indigenous communities in Ecuador’s Pastaza River Basin say balsa is being logged illegally in their territories and is damaging the ecological integrity of the region and hurting Indigenous communities.  The problem has reportedly spread to neighboring Peru, where Indigenous communities accuse Ecuadoran balsa loggers of felling commercially valuable trees and even kidnapping a child.

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Ecuador to selectively give third COVID-19 vaccine, study shows mixing formulations may increase immunity

Ecuador to selectively give third COVID-19 vaccine, study shows mixing formulations may increase immunity

This week Ecuador announced that it will administer a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine to people with weak immune systems and will carry out tests to determine if the rest of the inoculated population also needs a booster, Health Minister Ximena Garzon said on Tuesday. The government of President Guillermo Lasso is using Pfizer, […]

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Ecuador investigating more than 160 pandemic related cases of corruption

Ecuador investigating more than 160 pandemic related cases of corruption

During the presidential term of Lenín Moreno, whose term ended in May, the Attorney General’s Office had to create a specialized Task Force to be able to process and carry out investigations into alleged illegal acts related to the acquisition of products for the health emergency. As part of the cross-border project ‘Watch the pandemic,’ the following report details several of the emblematic cases, involving officials, businessmen and even the children of former Ecuadorian President Abdalá Bucaram.

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Don’t fall prey

Don’t fall prey

I’m in Florida now waiting for some medical appointments and wondering how things got so bad here in the US. By that I mean politically, socially, and even religiously. So much of those three things have merged together, with basis in the belief of many of the conspiracy theories going around the country. There is […]

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Volume 5, Issue 45

From the week of August 15, 2021

UPDATES: 08/17/2021

UPDATES: 08/17/2021

Update to: In a surprise shift in the Quito mayoral saga, Yunda is returned to office by the Provincial Court of PichinchaPublished: Volume 4, Issue 43TCE says Guarderas is the mayor of Quito The Contentious Electoral Tribunal (TCE) ruled on Tuesday, August 10, and has ratified that the mayor of the city of Quito is Santiago Guarderas, […]

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Tracking the spread and outcome of the coronavirus in Ecuador: Updated for Tuesday, August 17th, 2021

Good news is hard to come by in the context of the current health crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean. That’s why we are particularly excited to see some encouraging developments in Ecuador. Only a year ago the collapse of the country’s healthcare system was making headlines around the world. Today, with its successful […]

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The Quito Metro has no light at the end of the tunnel

The Quito Metro has no light at the end of the tunnel

The project was stared in 2012 and has idled thru four mayors, seven managers and several postponements. The Quito Metro is like a brand new 21st century bus that lacks, at least, the driver, the turnstile for passengers to pass and pay, the entire technological system and the network of trans-shipment connections. Without this, the 22 kilometers of the tunnel built, […]

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Recognition of territory, respect for ancestral knowledge and cessation of violence: the vision of life of indigenous peoples

Recognition of territory, respect for ancestral knowledge and cessation of violence: the vision of life of indigenous peoples

August 9th was the International Day of Indigenous Peoples, a date established by the United Nations in December 1994.

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No positive outcome

No positive outcome

I watched President Biden’s speech yesterday regarding what was happening in Afghanistan amid his decision to pull the last of the US’s troops out of the country. Earlier, I had seen the images of people dying while trying to get on board a departing aircraft at the Kabul airport. So, I say these words with […]

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New changes to traffic laws go into effect

New changes to traffic laws go into effect

A set of at least 65 changes included in the reforms of the Organic Law on Traffic, Land Transportation and Road Safety (LOTTSV), came into effect this past Tuesday. For example, as of August 10th, drivers have 90 business days to pay their pending violations and the...

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Legal abortions for rape still difficult for most victims to access

Legal abortions for rape still difficult for most victims to access

Rocio Rosero, spokeswoman for the National Women’s Coalition, talks about the critical points that the bill that the Ombudsman’s Office presented to the National Assembly has encountered to decriminalize abortion for rape in the country.

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Andean Community (CAN) agrees to free movement, residence, and work

Andean Community (CAN) agrees to free movement, residence, and work

As of last Wednesday, citizens of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru can reside, work, and move freely between these four countries, a “historic milestone” in regional integration, according to the Secretary General of the Andean Community (CAN), Jorge Hernando Pedraza. The so-called “Decision 878” promoted by the CAN, which establishes the Andean Migration Statute, opens […]

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