Ecuador

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Overview

Over the last decade, Ecuador has been Latin America’s “basket case,” going through economic meltdowns and seven different presidents, three of whom were ousted by coups. The country tied its currency to the US dollar in 2000 to control runaway inflation, which had devastating effects on the nation’s economy in 1998, when El Niño caused $3 billion in damage to oil production, its main export. Massive strikes followed in 1999. President Rafael Correa is one of several leftist Latin American leaders, including Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Bolivia’s Evo Morales, who have led the region’s shift from free market neo-liberalism toward a stronger government hand in social programs and natural resource policy. The country’s human rights record continues to be poor, but that hasn’t stopped President Correa from dedicating his administration to maintaining Ecuadorian sovereignty in the hopes of making the country more competitive on the international market. Although his administration has not been free of scandal, Correa has worked to combat drug trafficking, while building trade, investment and financial ties.

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Basic Information

Lay of the Land: Ecuador lies on the equator (from which it derives its name) on the Pacific coast of South America. The Galápagos Islands, 600 miles off the coast, also belong to Ecuador. The country offers great geographical diversity, from coastal lowland to high, snowcapped Andean peaks to the tropical Amazon rain forests of eastern Ecuador. The Andes, while dividing the country in two, also provide a temperate climatic zone. Thus, although the capital city, Quito, lies almost on the equator, its 9,000-foot elevation is responsible for its year-round springlike climate.

 
Population: 13.9 million
 
Religions: Catholic 85.0%, Protestant 12.1%, Ethnoreligious 0.9%, Baha'i 0.1%, Buddhist 0.1%, Chinese Universalist 0.1%, non-religious 1.4%.
 
Ethnic Groups: mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 65%, Amerindian 25%, Spanish and others 7%, black 3%.
 
Languages: Spanish (official) 72.0%, Quichua (official) language cluster (e.g. Chimborazo Highland, Imbabura Highland, Cañar Highland., Napo Lowland, Northern Pastaza...) 11.2%, Shuar 0.3%, Cofán (official) 0.006%. There are 23 living languages in Ecuador.
 

 

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History
The tribes in the northern highlands of Ecuador formed the Kingdom of Quito around 1000. It was then absorbed into the Inca Empire. Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro conquered the land in 1532 and turned the country into a Spanish colony through the 18th Century. The first revolt against Spain occurred in 1809. In 1819, Ecuador joined Venezuela, Colombia and Panama in a confederacy known as Greater Colombia.
 
After independence forces defeated the royalist army in 1822, Ecuador joined Simon Bolivar’s Republic of Grand Colombia, only to become a separate republic in 1830. The 19th Century was marked by instability, with a rapid succession of rulers. The conservative Gabriel Garcia Moreno unified the country in the 1860s with the support of the Catholic Church. In the late 1800s, world demand for cocoa tied the economy to commodity exports and led to migrations from the highlands to the agricultural frontier on the coast.
 
A liberal revolution in 1895 under Eloy Alfaro reduced the power of the clergy and opened the way for capitalist development. The end of the cocoa boom produced renewed political instability and a military coup in 1925. The 1930s and 1940s were marked by populist politicians, such as five-time President JoséVelasco Ibarra.
 
Peru invaded Ecuador in 1941 and seized a large tract of Ecuadoran territory in the disputed Amazon region. In January 1942, Ecuador signed the Rio Protocol to end the war with Peru. Ecuador agreed to a border that conceded to Peru much territory Ecuador had previously claimed in the Amazon region.
 
After World War II, a recovery in the market for agricultural commodities and the growth of the banana industry helped restore prosperity and political peace. From 1948-1960, three presidents—beginning with Galo Plaza—were freely elected and completed their terms. Political turbulence returned in the 1960s, followed by a period of military dictatorship between 1972 and 1979. The 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s saw a return to democracy, but instability returned by the middle of the decade.
 
In 1981 and 1995 war broke out again with Peru over their shared border. In May 1999, Ecuador and Peru signed a treaty ending the nearly 60-year border dispute.
 
Abdalá Bucaram, from the Guayaquil-based Ecuadorian Roldosista Party (PRE), won the presidency in 1996 on a platform that promised populist economic and social policies and challenged what Bucaram termed the power of the nation’s oligarchy. During his short term of office, Bucaram’s administration was severely criticized for corruption. Bucaram was deposed by the Congress in February 1997 on grounds of alleged mental incompetence. In his place, Congress named Fabián Alarcón interim president. Alarcon’s presidency was endorsed by a May 1997 popular referendum.
 
In 1998, Ecuador experienced one of its worst economic crises. El Niño caused $3 billion in damage; the price of its principal export, oil, plunged; and its inflation rate, 43%, was the highest in Latin America. In 1999, the government was near bankruptcy, the currency lost 40% of its value against the dollar, and the poverty rate soared to 70%, doubling in five years. The president’s economic austerity plan was protested with massive strikes in March 1999.
 
President Jamil Mahuad was overthrown in January 2000 in the first military coup in Latin America in a decade. The junta gave power to the vice president, Gustavo Noboa. Faced with the worst economic crisis in Ecuador’s history, Noboa restructured Ecuador’s foreign debt, adopted the US dollar as the national currency and continued privatization of state-owned industries, generating enormous opposition. In February 2001, the government cut fuel prices after violent protests by Indians, who are among Ecuador’s most disadvantaged people. Within two years, Ecuador’s economy had rebounded from the brink of collapse. The economy grew by 5.4% for 2001, the highest rate in Latin America. Inflation was 22%, down from 91% in 2000, and the budget was balanced. But chronic corruption among senior government officials, as well as among the courts and the judiciary, continued.
 
Noboa turned over the government on January 15, 2003, to his successor, Lucio Gutiérrez, a former army colonel who first came to public attention as a member of the short-lived junta in 2000. After taking office, Gutiérrez adopted relatively conservative fiscal policies and defensive tactics that included replacing the Supreme Court and declaring a state of emergency in the capital to combat mounting opposition. The situation came to a head on April 20, 2005, when political opponents and popular uprisings in Quito prompted Congress to strip Gutiérrez of the presidency. When the military withdrew its support, Gutierrez went into temporary exile. Congress declared Vice President Alfredo Palacio the new president.
 
In presidential elections on October 15, 2006, third-time candidate Alvaro Noboa won the first round. However, Rafael Correa, Palacio’s former finance minister, running on an anti-establishment reform platform, bested Noboa in the second round presidential runoff on November 26. Election observers characterized the elections as “generally free, fair and transparent.” Noboa’s National Institutional Renovation and Action Party won the largest bloc in Congress in 2006 elections, followed by Gutiérrez’s Patriotic Society Party; Correa’s Proud and Sovereign Fatherland Alliance movement did not field any congressional candidates.
 
In March 2007, 57 members of Congress were dismissed on the grounds that they violated campaign laws. Following that, the Congress was largely deadlocked and later effectively replaced by a constituent assembly that was voted into power on September 30, 2007. The assembly, which was inaugurated on November 29, 2007, approved a text for a new constitution on July 29, 2008. Voters overwhelmingly approved the new constitution that will concentrate power in the hands of Correa, advance his reformist agenda and enable him to remain in office until 2017.
 
The constitution would enable Correa to appoint a special Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control whose powers could supersede those of elected governors and Congress. The council can appoint officials such as bank regulators and prosecutors to the electoral panel, as well as judges. Felipe Mantilla, a former interior minister and now dean of the law school at Guayaquil's Espiritu Santo University, said the new constitution would create an ominous “hyper-presidentialism.”
 
Ecuador voters approve constitution, exit polls show (by Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times)
A Country Study: Ecuador (Library of Congress)
History (Best of Ecuador)
History of Ecuador (Wikipedia)

 

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Ecuador's Newspapers
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History of U.S. Relations with Ecuador

Ecuador declared war on Japan immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Ecuador granted the US base rights in the Galápagos Islands, primarily for the defense of the Panama Canal against possible Japanese attack. The United States constructed an air base on one of the Galápagos Islands, manned it until the end of World War II, and then turned it over to Ecuador.

 
In 1952 an agreement between the two governments resulted in the establishment of a United States Military Group that incorporated the already existing army, navy and air force missions and led to the delivery of significant amounts of United States military support. The United States withdrew the military group in 1971 as a consequence of a dispute over fishing rights, but subsequently reestablished it.
 
Between 1950 and 1988, almost 8,000 Ecuadorian officers and non-commissioned officers received US military training. Ecuadorian military personnel attended training programs in the former Panama Canal Zone and in the United States, including programs offered by the United States Naval Academy.
 
Deliveries of United States military assistance to Ecuador between 1950 and 1988, including credit sales, totaled almost $123 million.
 
Three difficulties affected bilateral relations between the US and Ecuador in the 1970s and 1980s. One was the United States Foreign Trade Act of 1974, which denied (until the 1980s) favorable tariff treatment to all OPEC members, even though neither Ecuador nor Venezuela participated in the 1973 oil boycott of the United States. Ecuador also reacted indignantly in early 1977 when the United States prohibited Israel from selling a dozen Kfir fighter-bombers to Ecuador because the aircraft contained licensed General Electric engines. In 1981, however, the United States lifted the prohibition.
 
An additional aggravation was a dispute over the extent of the territorial sea claimed by Ecuador since 1953 and its rights over migratory fish traveling through these waters. In the early 1970s, Ecuador seized about 100 tuna boats flying the United States flag and collected fines and fees totaling more than $6 million. No additional seizures occurred until November 1980, when 10 tuna boats were detained while fishing, and their owners were fined. That action provoked a United States embargo on the importing of tuna from Ecuador. Although still unresolved, the territorial sea and fishing issues did not adversely affect bilateral relations for most of the 1980s.
 
Ecuador was a strong supporter of the 1986 Baker Plan (named after then US Secretary of the Treasury James A. Baker III) for alleviating Third World debt, which called for fresh infusions of capital into debt-ridden countries, contingent on structural reforms. Nevertheless, Ecuador stopped paying interest on its debt in 1987. The government of Léon Febres Cordero also ignored petroleum production quotas set by OPEC and threatened to withdraw from the cartel as well.
 
Febres Cordero approved “Operation Blazing Trails,” a US-sponsored civic-action project to repair bridges and roads in the earthquake-devastated province of Napo. The project involved rotating contingents of 600 American troops through the country at 15-day intervals beginning in May 1986, until an Ecuadorian congressional resolution in July called for their immediate withdrawal. Marxist and centrist leaders alike had denounced Cordero’s approval of the project as a violation of national sovereignty.
 
Ecuador and the US agreed in 1999 to a 10-year arrangement whereby US military surveillance aircraft could use the airbase at Manta, Ecuador, as a Forward Operating Location to detect drug trafficking flights through the region. President Rafael Correa has stated that he will not to renew the lease for the Forward Operating Location unless Ecuador is allowed to establish a military base in Miami.
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Current U.S. Relations with Ecuador

The United States and Ecuador have maintained close ties based on mutual interests involving combating drug trafficking and building trade, investment and financial ties.

 
The United States assists Ecuador’s economic development directly through the Agency for International Development (USAID) and through multilateral organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank. In addition, the US Peace Corps and the State Department’s Narcotic Affairs Section operate sizable programs in Ecuador.
 
Ecuador claims a 200-mile territorial sea. The United States, in contrast, claims a 12-mile boundary and jurisdiction for the management of coastal fisheries up to 200 miles from its coast, but excludes highly migratory species. Although successive Ecuadorian governments have declared a willingness to explore possible solutions to this issue, the US and Ecuador have yet to resolve fundamental differences concerning the recognition of territorial waters.
 
Ecuador has completely ruled out a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US for economic reasons. Ecuador hopes that the US Congress will reinstate the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) for a more sustained period of time rather than the two-year period that was touted by the Bush Administration. The Trade Promotion Act was first established to recognize the sacrifices made by the Andean populations to combat drug trafficking.
 
The Ecuadorian government announced in July 2008 that it will not renew its 10-year lease (expiring in 2009) with the United States for its military base in Manta, which is responsible for 60% of drug interdictions in the eastern Pacific.
 
There are an estimated two million Ecuadorians living in the United States and approximately 20,000 American citizens residing in Ecuador. The 1990 census counted only 191,000 Ecuadorians in the US, although the Ecuadorian consulate in Manhattan estimated that there were a total of 500,000, including undocumented immigrants. Around 60% of Ecuadorians live in the New York City area, and about 10% live in Los Angeles, making it the second largest community.
 
In 2006, 205,077 Americans visited Ecuador, nearly the same as in 2005. The number of Americans traveling to Ecuador has increased in fits and bursts since 2002, when 150,582 Americans went to the South American country.
 
In 2006, 147,173 Ecuadorians visited the US. The number of Ecuadorians traveling to the US has fluctuated in recent years, with a low of 119,737 (2003) and a high of 147,173 (2006) since 2002.
 
Ecuador: Political and Economic and US Relations (Congressional Research Service) (PDF)
US-Ecuador Relations (Latin America Studies.org)
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Where Does the Money Flow

The United States is Ecuador’s principal trading partner. In 2006, Ecuador exported about $6.8 billion in products to the US. Since 1991 Ecuador has benefited from duty-free entry for certain of its exports under the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) and received additional trade benefits under the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) in 2002. The US Congress approved the latest extension of those benefits through 2009, but the agreement will be reviewed in June. In May 2004 Ecuador entered into negotiations for an Andean free trade agreement with the US, Colombia and Peru, but negotiations between the US and Ecuador have not resumed since the government of Ecuador announced controversial reforms to hydrocarbons legislation in April 2006.

 
Some of the top US imports from Ecuador (2006 to 2007) included vegetables and preparations, which increased from $45.8 million to $53.5 million, lumber and wood in the rough, which rose from $28.5 million to $31.6 million, nonmonetary gold, which rose from $14.3 million to $44.7 million (which is up from just $1.7 million in 2003), and apparel and household goods which increased from $10.2 million to $11.2 million. 
 
US imports from Ecuador that declined included crude oil, which fell from $5.3 billion in 2006 to $4.3 billion in 2007 (from a low of $1.3 billion in 2003), industrial organic chemicals, which fell from $26.2 million in 2006 to $13.1 million in 2007, and bauxite and aluminum, which decreased from $23.5 million in 2006 to $14.7 million in 2007 (this is up from 2003, however, when the number was just $4.7 million). 
 
Top American exports to Ecuador included wheat, which rose from $4.3 million in 2006 to $31.8 million in 2007, corn which rose from $50.2 million in 2006 to $91 million in 2007, iron and steel mill products, which rose from $1.9 million in 2006 to $25.4 million in 2007, and plastic materials, rising from $113.2 million in 2006 to $203.3 million in 2007. 
 
US exports to Ecuador on the decline included computer accessories, which fell from $87.3 million in 2006 to $73.1 million in 2007, drilling and oilfield equipment, which decreased from $122.6 million in 2006 to $109.9 million in 2007, and fuel oil, which fell from $814.5 million in 2006 to $422.9 million in 2007 (this number is up from 2003's $75.5 million, however).
 
Ecuador received $32 million in aid from the US in 2007. The largest recipient programs were Counter-Narcotics ($16.3 million), Economic Growth: Environment ($6.1 million), and Child Survival and Health ($2 million). The budget estimate for 2008 decreased aid to $25.2 million, but maintained a similar division of funds except for the reduction in size of Counter-Narcotics to $9.1 million. The budget request for 2009 will increase funding back up to $32.5 million. The programs receiving the most aid will be Counter-Narcotics ($13.4 million), Good Governance ($3.5 million), Economic Growth: Environment ($3 million), and Trade and Investment ($3.5 million).
 
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Controversies

Ecuador's President Opposes U.S. Air Base in Manta        

In May 2008, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa announced that he would oppose US plans to build a permanent base in the country as part of its war on drugs in the Andes. Flights from the existing base flew missions over the Pacific looking for drug boats from Colombia. A 10-year agreement, signed in 1999, allows the US to conduct airborne radar detection at Manta, a port city. However, the deal doesn't require the US to pay rent or allow its citizens to be tried in Ecuadorian courts for crimes committed in the country. The deal was never submitted to Ecuador’s Congress for approval. Correa has said that the base at Manta compromises Ecuador's sovereignty, and citizens worry that it could drag them into the long civil war being waged in Colombia. When the existing agreement ends in 2009, the US may move Manta’s operations to Curacao and El Salvador. 
Ecuador opposes outpost in U.S. war on drugs (by Simon Romero, New York Times)
 
Giant Dole Food Co. Closes Ecuador Operations Over Higher Tariffs
In October 2006, Dole Food Co. said it would close its operations in Ecuador, wiping out 850 jobs. The company cited rising costs and competition from overseas growers, but experts pointed out that Ecuador did not have a trade agreement with Washington, and therefore American companies doing business there were subject to higher tariffs. Experts in Ecuador said that granting the US trade preferences would be disastrous for Ecuador and make the country far less competitive than its neighbors and result in the loss of thousands of jobs.
Ecuador Reaps Costs Of Anti-Trade Fervor (by Juan Forero, Washington Post)
 
Ecuador Cancels Occidental Petroleum's Contract Over Stock Sale
In May 2006, Ecuador cancelled Occidental Petroleum’s contract for operating inside the country and ordered the company’s assets to be seized. Ecuador had found that Occidental had made illegal stock sales without consulting the government. Occidental is based in California and had been pumping 100,000 barrels of crude (or about 20% of the country’s daily production) from Ecuador’s Amazon basin. Indigenous groups inside Ecuador also launched protests to gain a fair share of the country’s oil profits.
 
Ecuador's Human Rights Record Raises Controversy
In September 2005, Human Rights Watch called upon the US government to suspend Ecuador's trade benefits for failing to comply with the labor rights requirements of the Andean Trade Preferences Act. The country maintains a poor human rights record on workers' right to freedom of association and child labor. At the time of filing, the US had not yet ruled on similar petitions submitted in 2003 and 2004. According to the U.S., workers were fired for speaking out and often discriminated against in hiring practices. Unions were discouraged through creation of obstacles and foot-dragging. A climate of fear existed for many, including child laborers, who were left largely unprotected by understaffed and undersupplied investigators. 
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Human Rights

The State Department reported in 2008 that there continue to be problems with Ecuador’s human rights in the following areas: isolated unlawful killings and use of excessive force by security forces; occasional killing and abuse of suspects and prisoners by security forces, sometimes with impunity; poor prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; a high number of pretrial detainees; and corruption and denial of due process within the judicial system.

 
Members of the National Police were accused of murder, attempted murder, rape, extortion, kidnappings, and alien smuggling. Societal problems continued, including violence against women; discrimination against women, indigenous people, Afro-Ecuadorians, and homosexuals; trafficking in persons and sexual exploitation of minors; and child labor.
 
While the constitution and laws prohibit torture and similar forms of intimidation and punishment, some police reportedly continued to torture and abuse suspects and prisoners, often with impunity. Conditions in prisons and detention centers generally were poor and tended to be worse in the tropical coastal areas than in the temperate highlands.
 
In February 2006, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention noted that provisions in the Criminal Procedure Code, the Penal Code, and some regulations adopted by central or provincial authorities “undermine the guarantees and protection offered.” The working group cited two laws of particular concern: One imposes an obligation on judges to order detention for persons awaiting trial, i.e., “preventive detention,” which in practice created a situation in which thousands of persons were detained for longer periods than the constitution allows, often years longer, thus violating their right to be tried within a reasonable time. The second measure abolishes sentence reductions, which led to a large number of persons serving lengthy sentences for minor offenses. In September 2006 the Constitutional Court ruled the preventive detention provision unconstitutional, holding that no person can remain in prison unsentenced for more than one year for penal crimes and six months for lesser crimes. The clock for inmates already incarcerated and all future incarcerated individuals started on October 23.
 
The National Police are under the authority of the Ministry of Government. National Police effectiveness was impaired by corruption, poor hiring procedures, and insufficient training, supervision, and resources.
 
While the constitution provides for an independent judiciary, in practice the judiciary was at times susceptible to outside pressure and corruption. The media reported extensively on the susceptibility of the judiciary to bribes for favorable decisions and resolution of legal cases and on judges parceling out cases to outside lawyers who wrote judicial sentences on cases before the court and sent them back to the presiding judge for signature. Comision Ecumenica de Derechos Humanos (CEDHU} further asserted that judges occasionally reached decisions based on media influence or political and economic pressures.
 
Despite efforts to modernize the court system, the judiciary continued to operate slowly and inconsistently. There were lengthy delays before most cases came to trial. Judges reportedly rendered decisions more quickly or more slowly as a result of political pressure or, in some cases, the payment of bribes. The failures of the justice system contributed to cases in which communities took the law into their own hands, such as mob violence against suspected criminals.
 
Civilian courts and the Administrative Conflicts Tribunal, generally considered independent and impartial, handle lawsuits seeking damages for, or cessation of, human rights violations. However, civilian lawsuits seeking damages for alleged wrongs by the state were rarely filed since such suits were time-consuming and difficult to prosecute, with judges taking up to a decade to rule on the merits.
 
The constitution provides for freedom of peaceful assembly, and the government generally respected this right in practice; however, security forces used force and tear gas to quell some violent demonstrations, resulting in several injuries. Public rallies require prior government permits, which generally were granted, although exceptions occurred.
 
The law provides criminal penalties for official corruption; however, the government did not implement the law effectively. The World Bank's worldwide governance indicators reflected that government corruption was a serious problem.
 
The constitution prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, disability, language, or social status; however, women, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, Afro-Ecuadorians, homosexuals, and transgendered persons continued to face discrimination.
 
Although the law prohibits violence against women, including within marriage, abuses were widespread.
The law criminalizes rape, including spousal rape, and provides a penalty of up to 25 years in prison. In cases of statutory rape involving “amorous” sex with a minor, the rapist may marry the victim, which cancels the charges unless the marriage subsequently is annulled. The penalty for rape where death occurred is 35 years’ imprisonment.
 
Despite the legal prohibition of sexual harassment, women’s rights organizations described harassment in the workplace as common. Consejo Nacional de las Mujeres (CONAMU) is charged with designing public policies to promote women's human rights and equality in cases of sexual harassment. Despite legal protections of women's rights in politics, the home, and employment, societal discrimination against women was pervasive, particularly with respect to educational and economic opportunities for older women and for those in the lower economic strata. Although women enjoy the same legal status as men, the Office of Gender reported that women often did not receive equal rights in practice. According to the government, women received approximately 65% of the pay received by men for equal work. Women’s advocates alleged that culture and tradition inhibited achievement of full equality for women. There were fewer women than men employed in professional work and skilled trades.
 
The government was committed to children's rights and welfare and has increased funding for child health and education; however, those steps were not fully effective. The law requires that children receive a minimum of 10 years of education; however, due to shortages of schools, inadequate school funding, and the comparatively high cost of books and uniforms, the government rarely enforced this requirement. The Ministry of Education reported that most children achieved a sixth-grade education, with no notable difference in the attendance rates of boys and girls. The citizen movement Social Contract for Education estimated that 660,000 children ages six to 17 (approximately 22 percent of school-age children) did not attend school. Commercial sexual exploitation of minors remained a problem.
 
While the criminal laws prohibit trafficking in persons, there were reports that persons were trafficked within, to, from, and through the country. The country was a source, transit, and destination country for persons trafficked for the purpose of sexual and labor exploitation. The most recent statistics, from a 2003 International Labor Organization (ILO) report, estimated that 5,200 minors were engaged in prostitution. A 2006 ILO report indicated that victims were trafficked to Colombia and Venezuela and from Colombia into the country; however, most victims were trafficked within the country. Accounts indicated that traffickers lured young victims romantically or with promises of legitimate employment and then forced them into prostitution. According to press reports, some poverty-stricken parents also sold their children into trafficking situations, including prostitution, forced labor in agriculture, or street begging.
 
Although the law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, homosexuals, transsexuals, and transvestites continued to suffer discrimination from both public and private bodies.
 
The law prohibits forced or compulsory labor, including by children; however, there were reports that children were trafficked for labor. The law prohibits exploitation of children in the workplace and forced or compulsory labor; however, the government did not effectively enforce the law, and child labor remained a problem.
 
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors

Van Brugh Livingston
Appointment: Apr 10, 1848
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 12, 1848

 
John Trumbull Van Alen
Appointment: Jun 5, 1849
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 19, 1849
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Aug 10, 1850. Did not serve under his second appointment.
 
Courtland Cushing
Appointment: Sep 28, 1850
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 3, 1851
 
Philo White
Appointment: Jul 18, 1853
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 27, 1853
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 14, 1858
 
Charles R. Buckalew
Appointment: Jun 14, 1858
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 20, 1858
 
Frederick Hassaurek
Appointment: Mar 27, 1861
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 15, 1861
 
William T. Coggeshall
Appointment: May 4, 1866
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 20, 1866
Termination of Mission: Died at Guapolo, Aug 3, 1867
 
James R. Hubbell
Not commissioned; nomination rejected by the Senate.
George H. Parker
Not commissioned; nomination tabled by the Senate.
Shelah Waters
Not commissioned; nomination not confirmed by the Senate.
Alexander L. Russell
Not commissioned; nomination withdrawn before the Senate acted upon it.
 
David A. Nunn
Appointment: Apr 21, 1869
Took oath of office but did not proceed to post.
 
E. Rumsey Wing
Appointment: Nov 16, 1869
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 23, 1870
Termination of Mission: Died at post, Oct 5, 1874
 
George Maney
Not commissioned; nomination withdrawn before the Senate acted upon it.
 
Thomas Biddle
Appointment: Feb 2, 1875
Died at Guayaquil, May 7, 1875, before his official reception.
 
Christian Wullweber
Appointment: Jul 12, 1875
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 20, 1875
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 25, 1876
 
Rowland B. Mahany
Appointment: Feb 24, 1892
Presentation of Credentials: May 22, 1892
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jun 12–23, 1893
 
Edward H. Strobel
Appointment: Apr 14, 1894
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 15, 1894
Termination of Mission: Left post, Dec 31, 1894
 
James D. Tillman
Appointment: Jan 24, 1895
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 3, 1895
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Dec 15, 1897
 
Archibald J. Sampson
Appointment: Sep 18, 1897
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 16, 1897
Termination of Mission: Left post on or soon after Jul 15, 1905
 
Joseph W. J. Lee
Appointment: Sep 18, 1905
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 30, 1905
Termination of Mission: Left Ecuador, Feb 21, 1907
 
Williams C. Fox
Appointment: Jan 10, 1907
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 18, 1907
Termination of Mission: Relinquished charge, Jul 19, 1911
 
Evan E. Young
Appointment: Jul 6, 1911
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 8, 1911
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jan 29, 1912
 
Montgomery Schuyler, Jr.
Appointment: Mar 1, 1913
Presentation of Credentials: May 24, 1913
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 29, 1913
 
Charles S. Hartman
Appointment: Jul 28, 1913
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 30, 1913
Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 20, 1922
 
Gerhard A. Bading
Appointment: Mar 9, 1922
Presentation of Credentials: May 15, 1922
Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 1, 1929
 
Franklin Mott Gunther
Appointment: Jan 22, 1930
Did not serve under this appointment.
 
William Dawson
Appointment: May 9, 1930
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 9, 1930
Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 27, 1935
 
Antonio C. Gonzalez
Appointment: Dec 10, 1934
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 7, 1935
Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 30, 1938
 
Boaz Long
Appointment: Mar 22, 1938
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 29, 1938
Termination of Mission: Left post, May 1, 1943
 
Robert M. Scotten
Appointment: Mar 27, 1943
Presentation of Credentials: May 27, 1943
Termination of Mission: Left post, Apr 17, 1947
 
John F. Simmons
Appointment: Apr 10, 1947
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 16, 1947
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 12, 1950
 
Paul C. Daniels
Appointment: Apr 19, 1951
Presentation of Credentials: May 25, 1951
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 9, 1953
 
Sheldon T. Mills
Appointment: Jul 2, 1954
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 19, 1954
Termination of Mission: Left post, Apr 6, 1956
 
Christian M. Ravndal
Appointment: Jul 21, 1956
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 29, 1956
Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 1, 1960
 
David Brewer Karrick
Appointment: Jul 16, 1960
Commissioned during a recess of the Senate. Took oath of office, but died in the U.S. before proceeding to post.
 
Maurice M. Bernbaum
Appointment: Oct 8, 1960
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 16, 1960
Termination of Mission: Left Ecuador, Jan 14, 1965
 
Wymberley DeR. Coerr
Appointment: Feb 4, 1965
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 24, 1965
Termination of Mission: Recall requested by Government of Ecuador, Oct 7, 1967
 
Edson O. Sessions
Appointment: Aug 1, 1968
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 26, 1968
Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 15, 1970
 
Findley Burns, Jr.
Appointment: Mar 17, 1970
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 9, 1970
Termination of Mission: Left post, May 18, 1973
 
Robert C. Brewster
Appointment: Jul 24, 1973
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 1, 1973
Termination of Mission: Left post, Apr 8, 1976
 
Richard J. Bloomfield
Appointment: Apr 6, 1976
Presentation of Credentials: May 31, 1976
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jan 21, 1978
 
Raymond E. Gonzalez
Appointment: Jul 18, 1978
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 31, 1978
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jan 28, 1982
 
Samuel Friedlander Hart
Appointment: Dec 10, 1982
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 22, 1982
Termination of Mission: Left post, Apr 5, 1985
 
Fernando Enrique Rondon
Appointment: Jul 12, 1985
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 8, 1985
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 26, 1988
 
Richard Newton Holwill
Appointment: Jul 15, 1988
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 27, 1988
Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 25, 1989
 
Paul C. Lambert
Appointment: Jun 27, 1990
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 2, 1990
Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 1, 1992
 
Walter Scott Light
Nomination of Jul 25, 1992, was not acted upon by the Senate. James F. Mack served as Chargé d'Affaires ad interim, Feb 1992–Nov 1993.
 
Peter F. Romero
Appointment: Oct 8, 1993
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 16, 1993
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 25, 1996
 
Leslie M. Alexander
Appointment: Jul 17, 1996
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 5, 1996
Termination of Mission: Left post Jun 11, 1999
 
Gwen C. Clare
Appointment: Jul 7, 1999
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 24, 1999
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 3, 2001
 
Kristie A. Kenney
Appointment: Aug 8, 2002
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 25, 2002
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 6, 2005
 
Linda Jewell
Appointment: May 31, 2005
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 29, 2005
Termination of Mission: 2008
 
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Ecuador's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Cely, Nathalie

For the first time in nine months, the South American nation of Ecuador has an ambassador at its Washington, DC, embassy. On January 18, 2012, Nathalie Cely Suárez replaced Luis Gallegos, whom the U.S. expelled in April 2011 as retaliation for Ecuador’s expulsion of U.S. ambassador Heather Hodges, after the release by WikiLeaks of a diplomatic cable in which Hodges discussed allegedly corrupt police officials appointed by President Rafael Correa, and even speculated that Correa “must have known” about the corruption.

 
Born in Portoviejo, Ecuador, on December 28, 1965, Cely earned a degree in economics at the Catholic University of Guayaquil in 1990, and in 2001 a Master’s in Public Administration and a Diploma in Public and Social Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she was an Edward Mason Fellow. From 2005 to 2008, Cely was a candidate for a Doctorate in Development Economics at the FLACSO (Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences). Her doctoral project was on “Determinants of collective action in the generation of private and public goods of associative networks.”
 
Cely worked in the private sector early in her career, including two stints with financial firm Stratega. Her first jobs were as a currency trader and then, in 1993, Vice President of Banco Union, where she collaborated with Roberto Baquerizo Valenzuela, a brother of Ecuadoran President Gustavo Noboa, who was accused in 2000 of irregularities during the banking crisis of the late 1990s.
 
From December 1996 to July 1998, Cely was Vice President of Development at Stratega, where she was a member of the management committee and was responsible for launching trading operations in 1998. She left for public service, serving from August 1998 to June 1999 as Benefits Outreach Program Director at CONAM (the National Council of State Modernization), where she designed and implemented a cash grant program to cushion the impact of the elimination of subsidies to gas, diesel and electrical energy on Ecuador’s poorest citizens.
 
Returning to Stratega in 2002, Cely was co-founder and President of the Stratega Foundation and of Stratega Business Development Services, subsidiaries of Stratega dedicated to promoting sustainable business development by working with micro and small businesses in Ecuador. She remained at Stratega until February 2007, at the same time working as a consultant on numerous development projects, including several involving the Inter-American Development Bank (“IDB”), which is the largest source of development financing for Latin America.
 
Cely consulted on projects such as designing a strategy for implementing reforms of Suriname’s elementary education system pursuant to IDB funding (January-December 2003); preparing reformed lending policies for an IDB Competitive Support Program for Ecuador (April-October 2003); designing an agenda for achieving more efficient and transparent social spending in Guatemala (June–December 2003); designing an action plan and terms of reference relating to competitiveness reform in Guyana for an IDB Competitive Support Program (October-December 2004); designing an action plan for Ecuador’s climate change initiative under IDB funding (October-December 2004); consulting for the Ecuador Inter-American Development Bank (April-October 2005); and designing a program to implement a $25 million loan to the Bahamas (October 2005-January 2006).
 
Cely returned to government to serve the left-leaning administration of President Rafael Correa, whom she first met when both were students at the Catholic University of Guayaquil. She served as Coordinating Minister of Social Development from March 2007 to April 2009, where she was responsible for ncreasing economic opportunity for working people and the poor. From May 2009 to November 2011, Cely served as Coordinating Minister of Production, Employment and Competitiveness. Since July 2009, Cely has served on the International Advisory Board of the Netherlands Development Organization.
 
Cely is the author of several publications on economic issues, especially in the field of development. She is married to Ivan Hernández, and they have two sons, Ivan and Daniel.
 
Nathalie Cely, una ministra frontal e influyente (by Carolina Enríquez, El Comercio)
 
 

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Ecuador's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
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U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador

Namm, Adam
ambassador-image

President Barack Obama has turned to an experienced Latin America hand, Adam E. Namm, to serve as the new ambassador to Ecuador, replacing former ambassador Heather Hodges, who in April 2011 was expelled by the Ecuadorian government after the release by WikiLeaks of a diplomatic cable in which Hodges discussed allegedly corrupt police officials appointed to positions of high command by President Rafael Correa, and even speculated that Correa “must have known” about the corruption.

 
Born circa 1963, Namm is the son of Arnold Namm, the owner of GNP Specialties, and his wife Susan Hammel Namm. He graduated in 1981 from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Namm earned an A.B. in International Relations from Brown University circa 1985, and an M.S. in National Security Strategy in 2004 from the National War College, where he wrote a paper analyzing the Spanish Civil War in light of the works of military theorists Carl von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu.
 
Namm began his career at the State Department in 1987. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Namm has served both overseas and stateside. His overseas postings include stints as Management Counselor in Islamabad, Pakistan; Human Resources Officer in Bogota, Colombia; General Services Officer in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; and Consular Officer in Bogota and Santo Domingo. His domestic assignments have included Executive Assistant in the Bureau of Administration, Director of the Office of Allowances, Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Management, Desk Officer and Post Management Officer in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, and two consecutive assignments at the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO), including Director of OBO from April 2009 to September 2011. 
 
Namm speaks Spanish and French.
 
A longtime resident of Arlington, Virginia, in 2006, Namm allowed his name to be used in a New York Times story on rodent extermination; the story detailed Namm’s run-ins with rats, which had pushed up a floorboard in his home and thoroughly frightened a pet hamster.
 
Namm and his wife, Mei Huang, have one daughter.
 
Squeamishly Waging the Rodent War (by Alina Tugend, New York Times)
Ecuador Expels U.S. Ambassador Over WikiLeaks Cable (by Simon Romero, New York Times)
 
 

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Previous U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador

Hodges, Heather
ambassador-image

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Heather M. Hodges has served as the US ambassador to Ecuador since July 15, 2008. Hodges has a BA in Spanish from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota, and an MA from New York University. She speaks fluent Spanish. 

 
Hodges joined the Foreign Service in 1980 and was assigned to Caracas, Venezuela. Following Caracas, she served in Guatemala and later in Washington as Peru Desk Officer. In 1987, Hodges received a Pearson Fellowship and served as counsel to the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and Refugee Affairs. In January 1989, she became consul general at the US Consulate in Bilbao, Spain. In 1991, she returned to Washington to serve as deputy director of the Office of Cuban Affairs.
 
In 1993, Hodges was assigned to Managua, Nicaragua, as Deputy Chief of Mission. From August 1996 to June 1997, she participated in the State Department’s Senior Seminar, a leadership program for select members of the Foreign Service. She served as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Lima, Peru, from July 1997 to May 2000 and was also Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Madrid, Spain, from June 2000 to July 2003.
 
She served as US ambassador to Moldova from September 2003 to May 2006 and was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of the Director General Director before taking on her current assignment.
 

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Overview

Over the last decade, Ecuador has been Latin America’s “basket case,” going through economic meltdowns and seven different presidents, three of whom were ousted by coups. The country tied its currency to the US dollar in 2000 to control runaway inflation, which had devastating effects on the nation’s economy in 1998, when El Niño caused $3 billion in damage to oil production, its main export. Massive strikes followed in 1999. President Rafael Correa is one of several leftist Latin American leaders, including Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez and Bolivia’s Evo Morales, who have led the region’s shift from free market neo-liberalism toward a stronger government hand in social programs and natural resource policy. The country’s human rights record continues to be poor, but that hasn’t stopped President Correa from dedicating his administration to maintaining Ecuadorian sovereignty in the hopes of making the country more competitive on the international market. Although his administration has not been free of scandal, Correa has worked to combat drug trafficking, while building trade, investment and financial ties.

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Basic Information

Lay of the Land: Ecuador lies on the equator (from which it derives its name) on the Pacific coast of South America. The Galápagos Islands, 600 miles off the coast, also belong to Ecuador. The country offers great geographical diversity, from coastal lowland to high, snowcapped Andean peaks to the tropical Amazon rain forests of eastern Ecuador. The Andes, while dividing the country in two, also provide a temperate climatic zone. Thus, although the capital city, Quito, lies almost on the equator, its 9,000-foot elevation is responsible for its year-round springlike climate.

 
Population: 13.9 million
 
Religions: Catholic 85.0%, Protestant 12.1%, Ethnoreligious 0.9%, Baha'i 0.1%, Buddhist 0.1%, Chinese Universalist 0.1%, non-religious 1.4%.
 
Ethnic Groups: mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 65%, Amerindian 25%, Spanish and others 7%, black 3%.
 
Languages: Spanish (official) 72.0%, Quichua (official) language cluster (e.g. Chimborazo Highland, Imbabura Highland, Cañar Highland., Napo Lowland, Northern Pastaza...) 11.2%, Shuar 0.3%, Cofán (official) 0.006%. There are 23 living languages in Ecuador.
 

 

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History
The tribes in the northern highlands of Ecuador formed the Kingdom of Quito around 1000. It was then absorbed into the Inca Empire. Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro conquered the land in 1532 and turned the country into a Spanish colony through the 18th Century. The first revolt against Spain occurred in 1809. In 1819, Ecuador joined Venezuela, Colombia and Panama in a confederacy known as Greater Colombia.
 
After independence forces defeated the royalist army in 1822, Ecuador joined Simon Bolivar’s Republic of Grand Colombia, only to become a separate republic in 1830. The 19th Century was marked by instability, with a rapid succession of rulers. The conservative Gabriel Garcia Moreno unified the country in the 1860s with the support of the Catholic Church. In the late 1800s, world demand for cocoa tied the economy to commodity exports and led to migrations from the highlands to the agricultural frontier on the coast.
 
A liberal revolution in 1895 under Eloy Alfaro reduced the power of the clergy and opened the way for capitalist development. The end of the cocoa boom produced renewed political instability and a military coup in 1925. The 1930s and 1940s were marked by populist politicians, such as five-time President JoséVelasco Ibarra.
 
Peru invaded Ecuador in 1941 and seized a large tract of Ecuadoran territory in the disputed Amazon region. In January 1942, Ecuador signed the Rio Protocol to end the war with Peru. Ecuador agreed to a border that conceded to Peru much territory Ecuador had previously claimed in the Amazon region.
 
After World War II, a recovery in the market for agricultural commodities and the growth of the banana industry helped restore prosperity and political peace. From 1948-1960, three presidents—beginning with Galo Plaza—were freely elected and completed their terms. Political turbulence returned in the 1960s, followed by a period of military dictatorship between 1972 and 1979. The 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s saw a return to democracy, but instability returned by the middle of the decade.
 
In 1981 and 1995 war broke out again with Peru over their shared border. In May 1999, Ecuador and Peru signed a treaty ending the nearly 60-year border dispute.
 
Abdalá Bucaram, from the Guayaquil-based Ecuadorian Roldosista Party (PRE), won the presidency in 1996 on a platform that promised populist economic and social policies and challenged what Bucaram termed the power of the nation’s oligarchy. During his short term of office, Bucaram’s administration was severely criticized for corruption. Bucaram was deposed by the Congress in February 1997 on grounds of alleged mental incompetence. In his place, Congress named Fabián Alarcón interim president. Alarcon’s presidency was endorsed by a May 1997 popular referendum.
 
In 1998, Ecuador experienced one of its worst economic crises. El Niño caused $3 billion in damage; the price of its principal export, oil, plunged; and its inflation rate, 43%, was the highest in Latin America. In 1999, the government was near bankruptcy, the currency lost 40% of its value against the dollar, and the poverty rate soared to 70%, doubling in five years. The president’s economic austerity plan was protested with massive strikes in March 1999.
 
President Jamil Mahuad was overthrown in January 2000 in the first military coup in Latin America in a decade. The junta gave power to the vice president, Gustavo Noboa. Faced with the worst economic crisis in Ecuador’s history, Noboa restructured Ecuador’s foreign debt, adopted the US dollar as the national currency and continued privatization of state-owned industries, generating enormous opposition. In February 2001, the government cut fuel prices after violent protests by Indians, who are among Ecuador’s most disadvantaged people. Within two years, Ecuador’s economy had rebounded from the brink of collapse. The economy grew by 5.4% for 2001, the highest rate in Latin America. Inflation was 22%, down from 91% in 2000, and the budget was balanced. But chronic corruption among senior government officials, as well as among the courts and the judiciary, continued.
 
Noboa turned over the government on January 15, 2003, to his successor, Lucio Gutiérrez, a former army colonel who first came to public attention as a member of the short-lived junta in 2000. After taking office, Gutiérrez adopted relatively conservative fiscal policies and defensive tactics that included replacing the Supreme Court and declaring a state of emergency in the capital to combat mounting opposition. The situation came to a head on April 20, 2005, when political opponents and popular uprisings in Quito prompted Congress to strip Gutiérrez of the presidency. When the military withdrew its support, Gutierrez went into temporary exile. Congress declared Vice President Alfredo Palacio the new president.
 
In presidential elections on October 15, 2006, third-time candidate Alvaro Noboa won the first round. However, Rafael Correa, Palacio’s former finance minister, running on an anti-establishment reform platform, bested Noboa in the second round presidential runoff on November 26. Election observers characterized the elections as “generally free, fair and transparent.” Noboa’s National Institutional Renovation and Action Party won the largest bloc in Congress in 2006 elections, followed by Gutiérrez’s Patriotic Society Party; Correa’s Proud and Sovereign Fatherland Alliance movement did not field any congressional candidates.
 
In March 2007, 57 members of Congress were dismissed on the grounds that they violated campaign laws. Following that, the Congress was largely deadlocked and later effectively replaced by a constituent assembly that was voted into power on September 30, 2007. The assembly, which was inaugurated on November 29, 2007, approved a text for a new constitution on July 29, 2008. Voters overwhelmingly approved the new constitution that will concentrate power in the hands of Correa, advance his reformist agenda and enable him to remain in office until 2017.
 
The constitution would enable Correa to appoint a special Council of Citizen Participation and Social Control whose powers could supersede those of elected governors and Congress. The council can appoint officials such as bank regulators and prosecutors to the electoral panel, as well as judges. Felipe Mantilla, a former interior minister and now dean of the law school at Guayaquil's Espiritu Santo University, said the new constitution would create an ominous “hyper-presidentialism.”
 
Ecuador voters approve constitution, exit polls show (by Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times)
A Country Study: Ecuador (Library of Congress)
History (Best of Ecuador)
History of Ecuador (Wikipedia)

 

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Ecuador's Newspapers
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History of U.S. Relations with Ecuador

Ecuador declared war on Japan immediately after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Ecuador granted the US base rights in the Galápagos Islands, primarily for the defense of the Panama Canal against possible Japanese attack. The United States constructed an air base on one of the Galápagos Islands, manned it until the end of World War II, and then turned it over to Ecuador.

 
In 1952 an agreement between the two governments resulted in the establishment of a United States Military Group that incorporated the already existing army, navy and air force missions and led to the delivery of significant amounts of United States military support. The United States withdrew the military group in 1971 as a consequence of a dispute over fishing rights, but subsequently reestablished it.
 
Between 1950 and 1988, almost 8,000 Ecuadorian officers and non-commissioned officers received US military training. Ecuadorian military personnel attended training programs in the former Panama Canal Zone and in the United States, including programs offered by the United States Naval Academy.
 
Deliveries of United States military assistance to Ecuador between 1950 and 1988, including credit sales, totaled almost $123 million.
 
Three difficulties affected bilateral relations between the US and Ecuador in the 1970s and 1980s. One was the United States Foreign Trade Act of 1974, which denied (until the 1980s) favorable tariff treatment to all OPEC members, even though neither Ecuador nor Venezuela participated in the 1973 oil boycott of the United States. Ecuador also reacted indignantly in early 1977 when the United States prohibited Israel from selling a dozen Kfir fighter-bombers to Ecuador because the aircraft contained licensed General Electric engines. In 1981, however, the United States lifted the prohibition.
 
An additional aggravation was a dispute over the extent of the territorial sea claimed by Ecuador since 1953 and its rights over migratory fish traveling through these waters. In the early 1970s, Ecuador seized about 100 tuna boats flying the United States flag and collected fines and fees totaling more than $6 million. No additional seizures occurred until November 1980, when 10 tuna boats were detained while fishing, and their owners were fined. That action provoked a United States embargo on the importing of tuna from Ecuador. Although still unresolved, the territorial sea and fishing issues did not adversely affect bilateral relations for most of the 1980s.
 
Ecuador was a strong supporter of the 1986 Baker Plan (named after then US Secretary of the Treasury James A. Baker III) for alleviating Third World debt, which called for fresh infusions of capital into debt-ridden countries, contingent on structural reforms. Nevertheless, Ecuador stopped paying interest on its debt in 1987. The government of Léon Febres Cordero also ignored petroleum production quotas set by OPEC and threatened to withdraw from the cartel as well.
 
Febres Cordero approved “Operation Blazing Trails,” a US-sponsored civic-action project to repair bridges and roads in the earthquake-devastated province of Napo. The project involved rotating contingents of 600 American troops through the country at 15-day intervals beginning in May 1986, until an Ecuadorian congressional resolution in July called for their immediate withdrawal. Marxist and centrist leaders alike had denounced Cordero’s approval of the project as a violation of national sovereignty.
 
Ecuador and the US agreed in 1999 to a 10-year arrangement whereby US military surveillance aircraft could use the airbase at Manta, Ecuador, as a Forward Operating Location to detect drug trafficking flights through the region. President Rafael Correa has stated that he will not to renew the lease for the Forward Operating Location unless Ecuador is allowed to establish a military base in Miami.
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Current U.S. Relations with Ecuador

The United States and Ecuador have maintained close ties based on mutual interests involving combating drug trafficking and building trade, investment and financial ties.

 
The United States assists Ecuador’s economic development directly through the Agency for International Development (USAID) and through multilateral organizations such as the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank. In addition, the US Peace Corps and the State Department’s Narcotic Affairs Section operate sizable programs in Ecuador.
 
Ecuador claims a 200-mile territorial sea. The United States, in contrast, claims a 12-mile boundary and jurisdiction for the management of coastal fisheries up to 200 miles from its coast, but excludes highly migratory species. Although successive Ecuadorian governments have declared a willingness to explore possible solutions to this issue, the US and Ecuador have yet to resolve fundamental differences concerning the recognition of territorial waters.
 
Ecuador has completely ruled out a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US for economic reasons. Ecuador hopes that the US Congress will reinstate the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) for a more sustained period of time rather than the two-year period that was touted by the Bush Administration. The Trade Promotion Act was first established to recognize the sacrifices made by the Andean populations to combat drug trafficking.
 
The Ecuadorian government announced in July 2008 that it will not renew its 10-year lease (expiring in 2009) with the United States for its military base in Manta, which is responsible for 60% of drug interdictions in the eastern Pacific.
 
There are an estimated two million Ecuadorians living in the United States and approximately 20,000 American citizens residing in Ecuador. The 1990 census counted only 191,000 Ecuadorians in the US, although the Ecuadorian consulate in Manhattan estimated that there were a total of 500,000, including undocumented immigrants. Around 60% of Ecuadorians live in the New York City area, and about 10% live in Los Angeles, making it the second largest community.
 
In 2006, 205,077 Americans visited Ecuador, nearly the same as in 2005. The number of Americans traveling to Ecuador has increased in fits and bursts since 2002, when 150,582 Americans went to the South American country.
 
In 2006, 147,173 Ecuadorians visited the US. The number of Ecuadorians traveling to the US has fluctuated in recent years, with a low of 119,737 (2003) and a high of 147,173 (2006) since 2002.
 
Ecuador: Political and Economic and US Relations (Congressional Research Service) (PDF)
US-Ecuador Relations (Latin America Studies.org)
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Where Does the Money Flow

The United States is Ecuador’s principal trading partner. In 2006, Ecuador exported about $6.8 billion in products to the US. Since 1991 Ecuador has benefited from duty-free entry for certain of its exports under the Andean Trade Preferences Act (ATPA) and received additional trade benefits under the Andean Trade Promotion and Drug Eradication Act (ATPDEA) in 2002. The US Congress approved the latest extension of those benefits through 2009, but the agreement will be reviewed in June. In May 2004 Ecuador entered into negotiations for an Andean free trade agreement with the US, Colombia and Peru, but negotiations between the US and Ecuador have not resumed since the government of Ecuador announced controversial reforms to hydrocarbons legislation in April 2006.

 
Some of the top US imports from Ecuador (2006 to 2007) included vegetables and preparations, which increased from $45.8 million to $53.5 million, lumber and wood in the rough, which rose from $28.5 million to $31.6 million, nonmonetary gold, which rose from $14.3 million to $44.7 million (which is up from just $1.7 million in 2003), and apparel and household goods which increased from $10.2 million to $11.2 million. 
 
US imports from Ecuador that declined included crude oil, which fell from $5.3 billion in 2006 to $4.3 billion in 2007 (from a low of $1.3 billion in 2003), industrial organic chemicals, which fell from $26.2 million in 2006 to $13.1 million in 2007, and bauxite and aluminum, which decreased from $23.5 million in 2006 to $14.7 million in 2007 (this is up from 2003, however, when the number was just $4.7 million). 
 
Top American exports to Ecuador included wheat, which rose from $4.3 million in 2006 to $31.8 million in 2007, corn which rose from $50.2 million in 2006 to $91 million in 2007, iron and steel mill products, which rose from $1.9 million in 2006 to $25.4 million in 2007, and plastic materials, rising from $113.2 million in 2006 to $203.3 million in 2007. 
 
US exports to Ecuador on the decline included computer accessories, which fell from $87.3 million in 2006 to $73.1 million in 2007, drilling and oilfield equipment, which decreased from $122.6 million in 2006 to $109.9 million in 2007, and fuel oil, which fell from $814.5 million in 2006 to $422.9 million in 2007 (this number is up from 2003's $75.5 million, however).
 
Ecuador received $32 million in aid from the US in 2007. The largest recipient programs were Counter-Narcotics ($16.3 million), Economic Growth: Environment ($6.1 million), and Child Survival and Health ($2 million). The budget estimate for 2008 decreased aid to $25.2 million, but maintained a similar division of funds except for the reduction in size of Counter-Narcotics to $9.1 million. The budget request for 2009 will increase funding back up to $32.5 million. The programs receiving the most aid will be Counter-Narcotics ($13.4 million), Good Governance ($3.5 million), Economic Growth: Environment ($3 million), and Trade and Investment ($3.5 million).
 
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Controversies

Ecuador's President Opposes U.S. Air Base in Manta        

In May 2008, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa announced that he would oppose US plans to build a permanent base in the country as part of its war on drugs in the Andes. Flights from the existing base flew missions over the Pacific looking for drug boats from Colombia. A 10-year agreement, signed in 1999, allows the US to conduct airborne radar detection at Manta, a port city. However, the deal doesn't require the US to pay rent or allow its citizens to be tried in Ecuadorian courts for crimes committed in the country. The deal was never submitted to Ecuador’s Congress for approval. Correa has said that the base at Manta compromises Ecuador's sovereignty, and citizens worry that it could drag them into the long civil war being waged in Colombia. When the existing agreement ends in 2009, the US may move Manta’s operations to Curacao and El Salvador. 
Ecuador opposes outpost in U.S. war on drugs (by Simon Romero, New York Times)
 
Giant Dole Food Co. Closes Ecuador Operations Over Higher Tariffs
In October 2006, Dole Food Co. said it would close its operations in Ecuador, wiping out 850 jobs. The company cited rising costs and competition from overseas growers, but experts pointed out that Ecuador did not have a trade agreement with Washington, and therefore American companies doing business there were subject to higher tariffs. Experts in Ecuador said that granting the US trade preferences would be disastrous for Ecuador and make the country far less competitive than its neighbors and result in the loss of thousands of jobs.
Ecuador Reaps Costs Of Anti-Trade Fervor (by Juan Forero, Washington Post)
 
Ecuador Cancels Occidental Petroleum's Contract Over Stock Sale
In May 2006, Ecuador cancelled Occidental Petroleum’s contract for operating inside the country and ordered the company’s assets to be seized. Ecuador had found that Occidental had made illegal stock sales without consulting the government. Occidental is based in California and had been pumping 100,000 barrels of crude (or about 20% of the country’s daily production) from Ecuador’s Amazon basin. Indigenous groups inside Ecuador also launched protests to gain a fair share of the country’s oil profits.
 
Ecuador's Human Rights Record Raises Controversy
In September 2005, Human Rights Watch called upon the US government to suspend Ecuador's trade benefits for failing to comply with the labor rights requirements of the Andean Trade Preferences Act. The country maintains a poor human rights record on workers' right to freedom of association and child labor. At the time of filing, the US had not yet ruled on similar petitions submitted in 2003 and 2004. According to the U.S., workers were fired for speaking out and often discriminated against in hiring practices. Unions were discouraged through creation of obstacles and foot-dragging. A climate of fear existed for many, including child laborers, who were left largely unprotected by understaffed and undersupplied investigators. 
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Human Rights

The State Department reported in 2008 that there continue to be problems with Ecuador’s human rights in the following areas: isolated unlawful killings and use of excessive force by security forces; occasional killing and abuse of suspects and prisoners by security forces, sometimes with impunity; poor prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; a high number of pretrial detainees; and corruption and denial of due process within the judicial system.

 
Members of the National Police were accused of murder, attempted murder, rape, extortion, kidnappings, and alien smuggling. Societal problems continued, including violence against women; discrimination against women, indigenous people, Afro-Ecuadorians, and homosexuals; trafficking in persons and sexual exploitation of minors; and child labor.
 
While the constitution and laws prohibit torture and similar forms of intimidation and punishment, some police reportedly continued to torture and abuse suspects and prisoners, often with impunity. Conditions in prisons and detention centers generally were poor and tended to be worse in the tropical coastal areas than in the temperate highlands.
 
In February 2006, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention noted that provisions in the Criminal Procedure Code, the Penal Code, and some regulations adopted by central or provincial authorities “undermine the guarantees and protection offered.” The working group cited two laws of particular concern: One imposes an obligation on judges to order detention for persons awaiting trial, i.e., “preventive detention,” which in practice created a situation in which thousands of persons were detained for longer periods than the constitution allows, often years longer, thus violating their right to be tried within a reasonable time. The second measure abolishes sentence reductions, which led to a large number of persons serving lengthy sentences for minor offenses. In September 2006 the Constitutional Court ruled the preventive detention provision unconstitutional, holding that no person can remain in prison unsentenced for more than one year for penal crimes and six months for lesser crimes. The clock for inmates already incarcerated and all future incarcerated individuals started on October 23.
 
The National Police are under the authority of the Ministry of Government. National Police effectiveness was impaired by corruption, poor hiring procedures, and insufficient training, supervision, and resources.
 
While the constitution provides for an independent judiciary, in practice the judiciary was at times susceptible to outside pressure and corruption. The media reported extensively on the susceptibility of the judiciary to bribes for favorable decisions and resolution of legal cases and on judges parceling out cases to outside lawyers who wrote judicial sentences on cases before the court and sent them back to the presiding judge for signature. Comision Ecumenica de Derechos Humanos (CEDHU} further asserted that judges occasionally reached decisions based on media influence or political and economic pressures.
 
Despite efforts to modernize the court system, the judiciary continued to operate slowly and inconsistently. There were lengthy delays before most cases came to trial. Judges reportedly rendered decisions more quickly or more slowly as a result of political pressure or, in some cases, the payment of bribes. The failures of the justice system contributed to cases in which communities took the law into their own hands, such as mob violence against suspected criminals.
 
Civilian courts and the Administrative Conflicts Tribunal, generally considered independent and impartial, handle lawsuits seeking damages for, or cessation of, human rights violations. However, civilian lawsuits seeking damages for alleged wrongs by the state were rarely filed since such suits were time-consuming and difficult to prosecute, with judges taking up to a decade to rule on the merits.
 
The constitution provides for freedom of peaceful assembly, and the government generally respected this right in practice; however, security forces used force and tear gas to quell some violent demonstrations, resulting in several injuries. Public rallies require prior government permits, which generally were granted, although exceptions occurred.
 
The law provides criminal penalties for official corruption; however, the government did not implement the law effectively. The World Bank's worldwide governance indicators reflected that government corruption was a serious problem.
 
The constitution prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, disability, language, or social status; however, women, persons with disabilities, indigenous people, Afro-Ecuadorians, homosexuals, and transgendered persons continued to face discrimination.
 
Although the law prohibits violence against women, including within marriage, abuses were widespread.
The law criminalizes rape, including spousal rape, and provides a penalty of up to 25 years in prison. In cases of statutory rape involving “amorous” sex with a minor, the rapist may marry the victim, which cancels the charges unless the marriage subsequently is annulled. The penalty for rape where death occurred is 35 years’ imprisonment.
 
Despite the legal prohibition of sexual harassment, women’s rights organizations described harassment in the workplace as common. Consejo Nacional de las Mujeres (CONAMU) is charged with designing public policies to promote women's human rights and equality in cases of sexual harassment. Despite legal protections of women's rights in politics, the home, and employment, societal discrimination against women was pervasive, particularly with respect to educational and economic opportunities for older women and for those in the lower economic strata. Although women enjoy the same legal status as men, the Office of Gender reported that women often did not receive equal rights in practice. According to the government, women received approximately 65% of the pay received by men for equal work. Women’s advocates alleged that culture and tradition inhibited achievement of full equality for women. There were fewer women than men employed in professional work and skilled trades.
 
The government was committed to children's rights and welfare and has increased funding for child health and education; however, those steps were not fully effective. The law requires that children receive a minimum of 10 years of education; however, due to shortages of schools, inadequate school funding, and the comparatively high cost of books and uniforms, the government rarely enforced this requirement. The Ministry of Education reported that most children achieved a sixth-grade education, with no notable difference in the attendance rates of boys and girls. The citizen movement Social Contract for Education estimated that 660,000 children ages six to 17 (approximately 22 percent of school-age children) did not attend school. Commercial sexual exploitation of minors remained a problem.
 
While the criminal laws prohibit trafficking in persons, there were reports that persons were trafficked within, to, from, and through the country. The country was a source, transit, and destination country for persons trafficked for the purpose of sexual and labor exploitation. The most recent statistics, from a 2003 International Labor Organization (ILO) report, estimated that 5,200 minors were engaged in prostitution. A 2006 ILO report indicated that victims were trafficked to Colombia and Venezuela and from Colombia into the country; however, most victims were trafficked within the country. Accounts indicated that traffickers lured young victims romantically or with promises of legitimate employment and then forced them into prostitution. According to press reports, some poverty-stricken parents also sold their children into trafficking situations, including prostitution, forced labor in agriculture, or street begging.
 
Although the law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, homosexuals, transsexuals, and transvestites continued to suffer discrimination from both public and private bodies.
 
The law prohibits forced or compulsory labor, including by children; however, there were reports that children were trafficked for labor. The law prohibits exploitation of children in the workplace and forced or compulsory labor; however, the government did not effectively enforce the law, and child labor remained a problem.
 
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Debate
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Past Ambassadors

Van Brugh Livingston
Appointment: Apr 10, 1848
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 12, 1848

 
John Trumbull Van Alen
Appointment: Jun 5, 1849
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 19, 1849
Note: Commissioned during a recess of the Senate; recommissioned after confirmation on Aug 10, 1850. Did not serve under his second appointment.
 
Courtland Cushing
Appointment: Sep 28, 1850
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 3, 1851
 
Philo White
Appointment: Jul 18, 1853
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 27, 1853
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 14, 1858
 
Charles R. Buckalew
Appointment: Jun 14, 1858
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 20, 1858
 
Frederick Hassaurek
Appointment: Mar 27, 1861
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 15, 1861
 
William T. Coggeshall
Appointment: May 4, 1866
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 20, 1866
Termination of Mission: Died at Guapolo, Aug 3, 1867
 
James R. Hubbell
Not commissioned; nomination rejected by the Senate.
George H. Parker
Not commissioned; nomination tabled by the Senate.
Shelah Waters
Not commissioned; nomination not confirmed by the Senate.
Alexander L. Russell
Not commissioned; nomination withdrawn before the Senate acted upon it.
 
David A. Nunn
Appointment: Apr 21, 1869
Took oath of office but did not proceed to post.
 
E. Rumsey Wing
Appointment: Nov 16, 1869
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 23, 1870
Termination of Mission: Died at post, Oct 5, 1874
 
George Maney
Not commissioned; nomination withdrawn before the Senate acted upon it.
 
Thomas Biddle
Appointment: Feb 2, 1875
Died at Guayaquil, May 7, 1875, before his official reception.
 
Christian Wullweber
Appointment: Jul 12, 1875
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 20, 1875
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 25, 1876
 
Rowland B. Mahany
Appointment: Feb 24, 1892
Presentation of Credentials: May 22, 1892
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jun 12–23, 1893
 
Edward H. Strobel
Appointment: Apr 14, 1894
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 15, 1894
Termination of Mission: Left post, Dec 31, 1894
 
James D. Tillman
Appointment: Jan 24, 1895
Presentation of Credentials: Jun 3, 1895
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Dec 15, 1897
 
Archibald J. Sampson
Appointment: Sep 18, 1897
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 16, 1897
Termination of Mission: Left post on or soon after Jul 15, 1905
 
Joseph W. J. Lee
Appointment: Sep 18, 1905
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 30, 1905
Termination of Mission: Left Ecuador, Feb 21, 1907
 
Williams C. Fox
Appointment: Jan 10, 1907
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 18, 1907
Termination of Mission: Relinquished charge, Jul 19, 1911
 
Evan E. Young
Appointment: Jul 6, 1911
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 8, 1911
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jan 29, 1912
 
Montgomery Schuyler, Jr.
Appointment: Mar 1, 1913
Presentation of Credentials: May 24, 1913
Termination of Mission: Presented recall, Sep 29, 1913
 
Charles S. Hartman
Appointment: Jul 28, 1913
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 30, 1913
Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 20, 1922
 
Gerhard A. Bading
Appointment: Mar 9, 1922
Presentation of Credentials: May 15, 1922
Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 1, 1929
 
Franklin Mott Gunther
Appointment: Jan 22, 1930
Did not serve under this appointment.
 
William Dawson
Appointment: May 9, 1930
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 9, 1930
Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 27, 1935
 
Antonio C. Gonzalez
Appointment: Dec 10, 1934
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 7, 1935
Termination of Mission: Left post, Mar 30, 1938
 
Boaz Long
Appointment: Mar 22, 1938
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 29, 1938
Termination of Mission: Left post, May 1, 1943
 
Robert M. Scotten
Appointment: Mar 27, 1943
Presentation of Credentials: May 27, 1943
Termination of Mission: Left post, Apr 17, 1947
 
John F. Simmons
Appointment: Apr 10, 1947
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 16, 1947
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 12, 1950
 
Paul C. Daniels
Appointment: Apr 19, 1951
Presentation of Credentials: May 25, 1951
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 9, 1953
 
Sheldon T. Mills
Appointment: Jul 2, 1954
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 19, 1954
Termination of Mission: Left post, Apr 6, 1956
 
Christian M. Ravndal
Appointment: Jul 21, 1956
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 29, 1956
Termination of Mission: Left post, Aug 1, 1960
 
David Brewer Karrick
Appointment: Jul 16, 1960
Commissioned during a recess of the Senate. Took oath of office, but died in the U.S. before proceeding to post.
 
Maurice M. Bernbaum
Appointment: Oct 8, 1960
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 16, 1960
Termination of Mission: Left Ecuador, Jan 14, 1965
 
Wymberley DeR. Coerr
Appointment: Feb 4, 1965
Presentation of Credentials: Mar 24, 1965
Termination of Mission: Recall requested by Government of Ecuador, Oct 7, 1967
 
Edson O. Sessions
Appointment: Aug 1, 1968
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 26, 1968
Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 15, 1970
 
Findley Burns, Jr.
Appointment: Mar 17, 1970
Presentation of Credentials: Apr 9, 1970
Termination of Mission: Left post, May 18, 1973
 
Robert C. Brewster
Appointment: Jul 24, 1973
Presentation of Credentials: Oct 1, 1973
Termination of Mission: Left post, Apr 8, 1976
 
Richard J. Bloomfield
Appointment: Apr 6, 1976
Presentation of Credentials: May 31, 1976
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jan 21, 1978
 
Raymond E. Gonzalez
Appointment: Jul 18, 1978
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 31, 1978
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jan 28, 1982
 
Samuel Friedlander Hart
Appointment: Dec 10, 1982
Presentation of Credentials: Dec 22, 1982
Termination of Mission: Left post, Apr 5, 1985
 
Fernando Enrique Rondon
Appointment: Jul 12, 1985
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 8, 1985
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 26, 1988
 
Richard Newton Holwill
Appointment: Jul 15, 1988
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 27, 1988
Termination of Mission: Left post, Nov 25, 1989
 
Paul C. Lambert
Appointment: Jun 27, 1990
Presentation of Credentials: Jul 2, 1990
Termination of Mission: Left post, Feb 1, 1992
 
Walter Scott Light
Nomination of Jul 25, 1992, was not acted upon by the Senate. James F. Mack served as Chargé d'Affaires ad interim, Feb 1992–Nov 1993.
 
Peter F. Romero
Appointment: Oct 8, 1993
Presentation of Credentials: Nov 16, 1993
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 25, 1996
 
Leslie M. Alexander
Appointment: Jul 17, 1996
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 5, 1996
Termination of Mission: Left post Jun 11, 1999
 
Gwen C. Clare
Appointment: Jul 7, 1999
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 24, 1999
Termination of Mission: Left post Jul 3, 2001
 
Kristie A. Kenney
Appointment: Aug 8, 2002
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 25, 2002
Termination of Mission: Left post, Jul 6, 2005
 
Linda Jewell
Appointment: May 31, 2005
Presentation of Credentials: Aug 29, 2005
Termination of Mission: 2008
 
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Ecuador's Ambassador to the U.S.
ambassador-image Cely, Nathalie

For the first time in nine months, the South American nation of Ecuador has an ambassador at its Washington, DC, embassy. On January 18, 2012, Nathalie Cely Suárez replaced Luis Gallegos, whom the U.S. expelled in April 2011 as retaliation for Ecuador’s expulsion of U.S. ambassador Heather Hodges, after the release by WikiLeaks of a diplomatic cable in which Hodges discussed allegedly corrupt police officials appointed by President Rafael Correa, and even speculated that Correa “must have known” about the corruption.

 
Born in Portoviejo, Ecuador, on December 28, 1965, Cely earned a degree in economics at the Catholic University of Guayaquil in 1990, and in 2001 a Master’s in Public Administration and a Diploma in Public and Social Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she was an Edward Mason Fellow. From 2005 to 2008, Cely was a candidate for a Doctorate in Development Economics at the FLACSO (Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences). Her doctoral project was on “Determinants of collective action in the generation of private and public goods of associative networks.”
 
Cely worked in the private sector early in her career, including two stints with financial firm Stratega. Her first jobs were as a currency trader and then, in 1993, Vice President of Banco Union, where she collaborated with Roberto Baquerizo Valenzuela, a brother of Ecuadoran President Gustavo Noboa, who was accused in 2000 of irregularities during the banking crisis of the late 1990s.
 
From December 1996 to July 1998, Cely was Vice President of Development at Stratega, where she was a member of the management committee and was responsible for launching trading operations in 1998. She left for public service, serving from August 1998 to June 1999 as Benefits Outreach Program Director at CONAM (the National Council of State Modernization), where she designed and implemented a cash grant program to cushion the impact of the elimination of subsidies to gas, diesel and electrical energy on Ecuador’s poorest citizens.
 
Returning to Stratega in 2002, Cely was co-founder and President of the Stratega Foundation and of Stratega Business Development Services, subsidiaries of Stratega dedicated to promoting sustainable business development by working with micro and small businesses in Ecuador. She remained at Stratega until February 2007, at the same time working as a consultant on numerous development projects, including several involving the Inter-American Development Bank (“IDB”), which is the largest source of development financing for Latin America.
 
Cely consulted on projects such as designing a strategy for implementing reforms of Suriname’s elementary education system pursuant to IDB funding (January-December 2003); preparing reformed lending policies for an IDB Competitive Support Program for Ecuador (April-October 2003); designing an agenda for achieving more efficient and transparent social spending in Guatemala (June–December 2003); designing an action plan and terms of reference relating to competitiveness reform in Guyana for an IDB Competitive Support Program (October-December 2004); designing an action plan for Ecuador’s climate change initiative under IDB funding (October-December 2004); consulting for the Ecuador Inter-American Development Bank (April-October 2005); and designing a program to implement a $25 million loan to the Bahamas (October 2005-January 2006).
 
Cely returned to government to serve the left-leaning administration of President Rafael Correa, whom she first met when both were students at the Catholic University of Guayaquil. She served as Coordinating Minister of Social Development from March 2007 to April 2009, where she was responsible for ncreasing economic opportunity for working people and the poor. From May 2009 to November 2011, Cely served as Coordinating Minister of Production, Employment and Competitiveness. Since July 2009, Cely has served on the International Advisory Board of the Netherlands Development Organization.
 
Cely is the author of several publications on economic issues, especially in the field of development. She is married to Ivan Hernández, and they have two sons, Ivan and Daniel.
 
Nathalie Cely, una ministra frontal e influyente (by Carolina Enríquez, El Comercio)
 
 

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Ecuador's Embassy Web Site in the U.S.
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U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador

Namm, Adam
ambassador-image

President Barack Obama has turned to an experienced Latin America hand, Adam E. Namm, to serve as the new ambassador to Ecuador, replacing former ambassador Heather Hodges, who in April 2011 was expelled by the Ecuadorian government after the release by WikiLeaks of a diplomatic cable in which Hodges discussed allegedly corrupt police officials appointed to positions of high command by President Rafael Correa, and even speculated that Correa “must have known” about the corruption.

 
Born circa 1963, Namm is the son of Arnold Namm, the owner of GNP Specialties, and his wife Susan Hammel Namm. He graduated in 1981 from Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. Namm earned an A.B. in International Relations from Brown University circa 1985, and an M.S. in National Security Strategy in 2004 from the National War College, where he wrote a paper analyzing the Spanish Civil War in light of the works of military theorists Carl von Clausewitz and Sun Tzu.
 
Namm began his career at the State Department in 1987. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Namm has served both overseas and stateside. His overseas postings include stints as Management Counselor in Islamabad, Pakistan; Human Resources Officer in Bogota, Colombia; General Services Officer in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; and Consular Officer in Bogota and Santo Domingo. His domestic assignments have included Executive Assistant in the Bureau of Administration, Director of the Office of Allowances, Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Management, Desk Officer and Post Management Officer in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, and two consecutive assignments at the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations (OBO), including Director of OBO from April 2009 to September 2011. 
 
Namm speaks Spanish and French.
 
A longtime resident of Arlington, Virginia, in 2006, Namm allowed his name to be used in a New York Times story on rodent extermination; the story detailed Namm’s run-ins with rats, which had pushed up a floorboard in his home and thoroughly frightened a pet hamster.
 
Namm and his wife, Mei Huang, have one daughter.
 
Squeamishly Waging the Rodent War (by Alina Tugend, New York Times)
Ecuador Expels U.S. Ambassador Over WikiLeaks Cable (by Simon Romero, New York Times)
 
 

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Previous U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador

Hodges, Heather
ambassador-image

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Heather M. Hodges has served as the US ambassador to Ecuador since July 15, 2008. Hodges has a BA in Spanish from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota, and an MA from New York University. She speaks fluent Spanish. 

 
Hodges joined the Foreign Service in 1980 and was assigned to Caracas, Venezuela. Following Caracas, she served in Guatemala and later in Washington as Peru Desk Officer. In 1987, Hodges received a Pearson Fellowship and served as counsel to the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and Refugee Affairs. In January 1989, she became consul general at the US Consulate in Bilbao, Spain. In 1991, she returned to Washington to serve as deputy director of the Office of Cuban Affairs.
 
In 1993, Hodges was assigned to Managua, Nicaragua, as Deputy Chief of Mission. From August 1996 to June 1997, she participated in the State Department’s Senior Seminar, a leadership program for select members of the Foreign Service. She served as the Deputy Chief of Mission in Lima, Peru, from July 1997 to May 2000 and was also Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Madrid, Spain, from June 2000 to July 2003.
 
She served as US ambassador to Moldova from September 2003 to May 2006 and was Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of the Director General Director before taking on her current assignment.
 

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