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INTRODUCTION


 
What is now Ecuador formed part of the northern Inca Empire until the Spanish conquest in 1533. Quito became a seat of Spanish colonial government in 1563 and part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717. The territories of the Viceroyalty - New Granada (Colombia), Venezuela, and Quito - gained their independence between 1819 and 1822 and formed a federation known as Gran Colombia. When Quito withdrew in 1830, the traditional name was changed in favor of the "Republic of the Equator." Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors. A border war with Peru that flared in 1995 was resolved in 1999. Although Ecuador marked 30 years of civilian governance in 2004, the period was marred by political instability. Protests in Quito contributed to the mid-term ouster of three... See More



GEOGRAPHY


Location:

 Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru

Geographic Coordinates:

 2 00 S, 77 30 W

Area:

 Total: 283,561 sq km
Land: 276,841 sq km
Water: 6,720 sq km

Note: includes Galapagos Islands

Area - Comparative:

 Slightly smaller than Nevada

Land Boundaries:

 Total: 2,010 km
Border countries: Colombia 590 km, Peru 1,420 km

Coastline:

 2,237 km (Rank: 56)

Maritime Claims:

 Territorial sea: 200 nm
Continental shelf: 100 nm from 2,500-m isobath

Climate:

 Tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands

Terrain:

 Coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and flat to rolling eastern jungle (oriente)

Elevation Extremes:

 Lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m
Highest point: Chimborazo 6,267 m

Note: due to the fact that the earth is not a perfect sphere and has an equatorial bulge, the highest point on the planet furthest from its center is Mount Chimborazo not Mount Everest, which is merely the highest peak above sea-level

Natural Resources:

 Petroleum, fish, timber, hydropower

Land Use:

 Arable land: 5.71%
Permanent crops: 4.81%
Other: 89.48% (2005)

Irrigated Land:

 8,650 sq km (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 432 cu km (2000)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 Total: 16.98 cu km/yr (12%/5%/82%)
Per capita: 1,283 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural Hazards:

 Frequent earthquakes; landslides; volcanic activity; floods; periodic droughts

Volcanism: Ecuador experiences volcanic activity in the Andes Mountains; Sangay (elev. 5,230 m), which erupted in 2010, is mainland Ecuador's most active volcano; other historically active volcanoes in the Andes include Antisana, Cayambe, Chacana, Cotopaxi, Guagua Pichincha, Reventador, Sumaco, and Tungurahua; Fernandina (elev. 1,476 m), a shield volcano that last erupted in 2009, is the most active of the many Galapagos volcanoes; other historically active Galapagos volcanoes include Wolf, Sierra Negra, Cerro Azul, Pinta, Marchena, and Santiago

Environment - Current Issues:

 Deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution; pollution from oil production wastes in ecologically sensitive areas of the Amazon Basin and Galapagos Islands

Environment - International Agreements:

 Party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - Note:

 Cotopaxi in Andes is highest active volcano in world

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PEOPLE AND SOCIETY


Nationality:

 Noun: Ecuadorian(s)
Adjective: Ecuadorian

Ethnic Groups:

 Mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 65%, Amerindian 25%, Spanish and others 7%, black 3%

Languages:

 Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)

Religions:

 Roman Catholic 95%, other 5%

Population:

 15,007,343 (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 30.1% (male 2,301,840/female 2,209,971)
15-64 years: 63.5% (male 4,699,548/female 4,831,521)
65 years and over: 6.4% (male 463,481/female 500,982) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 25.7 years
Male: 25 years
Female: 26.3 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 1.443% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 19.96 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 5 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 -0.52 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Urbanization:

 Urban population: 67% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: 2% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 Guayaquil 2.634 million; QUITO (capital) 1.801 million (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.93 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 140 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 19.65 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 23.02 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 16.11 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 75.73 years
Male: 72.79 years
Female: 78.82 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 2.42 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 5% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 1.48 physicians/1,000 population (2000)

Hospital Bed Density:

 1.5 beds/1,000 population (2008)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 97% of population
Rural: 88% of population
Total: 94% of population
Unimproved:
Urban: 3% of population
Rural: 12% of population
Total: 6% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 96% of population
Rural: 84% of population
Total: 92% of population
Unimproved:
Urban: 4% of population
Rural: 16% of population
Total: 8% of population (2008)

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 0.4% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - People Living With HIV/AIDS:

 37,000 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - Deaths:

 2,200 (2009 est.)

Major Infectious Diseases:

 Degree of risk: high
Food or waterborne diseases: bacterial diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
Vectorborne diseases: dengue fever and malaria
Water contact disease: leptospirosis (2009)

Children Under 5 - Underweight:

 6.2% (2004)

Literacy:

 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 91%
Male: 92.3%
Female: 89.7% (2001 census)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 14 years
Male: 13 years
Female: 14 years (2008)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24:

 Total: 14.1%
Male: 11.7%
Female: 18.1% (2009)

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GOVERNMENT


Country Name:

 Conventional long form: Republic of Ecuador
Conventional short form: Ecuador
Local long form: Republica del Ecuador
Local short form: Ecuador

Government Type:

 Republic

Capital:

 Name: Quito
Geographic coordinates: 0 13 S, 78 30 W
Time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative Divisions:

 24 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Azuay, Bolivar, Canar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Galapagos, Guayas, Imbabura, Loja, Los Rios, Manabi, Morona-Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Pichincha, Santa Elena, Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas, Sucumbios, Tungurahua, Zamora-Chinchipe

Independence:

 24 May 1822 (from Spain)

National Holiday:

 Independence Day (independence of Quito), 10 August (1809)

Constitution:

 October 20, 2008

Legal System:

 Civil law based on the Chilean civil code with modifications

International Law Organization Participation:

 Has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage:

 16 years of age; universal, compulsory for persons ages 18-65, optional for other eligible voters

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: President Rafael CORREA Delgado (since 15 January 2007); Vice President Lenin MORENO Garces (since 15 January 2007); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government

Head of government: President Rafael CORREA Delgado (since 15 January 2007); Vice President Lenin MORENO Garces (since 15 January 2007)

Cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president

Elections: the president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a four-year term and can be re-elected for another consecutive term; election last held on 26 April 2009 (next to be held in 2013)

Election results: President Rafael CORREA Delgado reelected president; percent of vote - Rafael CORREA Delgado 52%; Lucio GUTIERREZ 28.2%; Alvaro NOBOA 11.4%; other 8.4%

Legislative Branch:

 Unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (124 seats; members are elected through a party-list proportional representation system to serve four-year terms)

Elections: last held on 26 April 2009 (next to be held in 2013)

Election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PAIS 59, PSP 19, PSC 11, PRIAN 7, MPD 5, PRE 3, other 20; note - defections by members of National Assembly are commonplace, resulting in frequent changes in the numbers of seats held by the various parties

Judicial Branch:

 National Court of Justice or Corte Nacional de Justicia (according to the Constitution, justices are elected through a procedure overseen by the Judiciary Council); Constitutional Court or Corte Constitucional (Constitutional Court justices are appointed by a commission composed of two delegates each from the Executive, Legislative, and Transparency branches of government)

Political Parties and Leaders:

 Alianza PAIS movement [Rafael Vicente CORREA Delgado]; Democratic Left or ID [Dalton BACIGALUPO]; Ethical and Democratic Network or RED [Martha ROLDOS]; Institutional Renewal and National Action Party or PRIAN [Vicente TAIANO]; Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement - New Country or MUPP-NP [Rafael ANTUNI]; Patriotic Society Party or PSP [Lucio GUTIERREZ Borbua]; Popular Democratic Movement or MPD [Luis VILLACIS]; Roldosist Party or PRE [Abdala BUCARAM Pulley, director]; Social Christian Party or PSC [Pascual DEL CIOPPO]; Socialist Party - Broad Front or PS-FA [Rafael QUINTERO]; Warrior's Spirit Movement [Jaime NEBOT]

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders:

 Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador or CONAIE [Marlon SANTI, president]; Federation of Indigenous Evangelists of Ecuador or FEINE [Manuel CHUGCHILAN, president]; National Federation of Indigenous Afro-Ecuatorianos and Peasants or FENOCIN [Luis Alberto ANDRANGO Cadena, president]; National Teacher's Union or UNE [Mariana PALLASCO]

International Organization Participation:

 CAN, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, MINUSTAH, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, RG, UN, UNAMID, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Efrain Baus PALACIOS
Chancery: 2535 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
Telephone: [1] (202) 234-7200
FAX: [1] (202) 667-3482
Consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New Haven, New Orleans, New York, Newark (New Jersey), Phoenix, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico)

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Timothy ZUNIGA-BROWN
Embassy: Avenida Avigiras E12-170 y Avenida Eloy Alfaro, Quito
Mailing address: Avenida Guayacanes N52-205 y Avenida Avigiras
Telephone: [593] (2) 398-5000
FAX: [593] (2) 398-5100
Consulate(s) general: Guayaquil

Flag Description:

 Three horizontal bands of yellow (top, double width), blue, and red with the coat of arms superimposed at the center of the flag; the flag retains the three main colors of the banner of Gran Columbia, the South American republic that broke up in 1830; the yellow color represents sunshine, grain, and mineral wealth, blue the sky, sea, and rivers, and red the blood of patriots spilled in the struggle for freedom and justice

Note: similar to the flag of Colombia, which is shorter and does not bear a coat of arms

National Symbols:

 Andean condor

National Anthem:

 Name: "Salve, Oh Patria!" (We Salute You Our Homeland)
Lyrics/music: Juan Leon MERA/Antonio NEUMANE

Note: adopted 1948; Juan Leon MERA wrote the lyrics in 1865; only the chorus and second verse are sung

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ECONOMY


Economy - Overview:

 Ecuador is substantially dependent on its petroleum resources, which have accounted for more than half of the country's export earnings and approximately one-third of public sector revenues in recent years. In 1999/2000, Ecuador suffered a severe economic crisis, with GDP contracting by 5.3%. Poverty increased significantly, the banking system collapsed, and Ecuador defaulted on its external debt. In March 2000, the Congress approved a series of structural reforms that also provided for the adoption of the US dollar as legal tender. Dollarization stabilized the economy, and positive growth returned in the years that followed, helped by high oil prices, remittances, and increased non-traditional exports. From 2002-06 the economy grew an average of 5.2% per year, the highest five-year average in 25 years. After moderate growth in 2007, the economy reached a growth rate of 7.2% in 2008, in large part due to high global petroleum prices and increased public sector investment. President Rafael CORREA, who took office in January 2007, defaulted in December 2008 on Ecuador's sovereign debt, which, with a total face value of approximately US$3.2 billion, represented about 80% of Ecuador's private external debt. In May 2009, Ecuador bought back 91% of its "defaulted" bonds via an international auction. Economic policies under the CORREA administration - including an announcement in late 2009 of its intention to terminate 13 bilateral investment treaties, including one with the United States - have generated economic uncertainty and discouraged private investment. The Ecuadorian economy contracted 0.4% in 2009 due to the global financial crisis and to the sharp decline in world oil prices and remittance flows. Growth picked up to a 3.7% rate in 2010, according to Ecuadorian government estimates.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $115 billion (2010 est.)
$111.4 billion (2009 est.)
$111 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $58.91 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 3.2% (2010 est.)
0.4% (2009 est.)
7.2% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $7,800 (2010 est.)
$7,600 (2009 est.)
$7,700 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 6.4%
Industry: 35.9%
Services: 57.7% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 4.645 million (urban) (2010 est.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 8.3%
Industry: 21.2%
Services: 70.4% (2005)

Unemployment Rate:

 7.6% (2010 est.)
8.5% (2009 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:

 33.1% (June 2010)

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: 1%
Highest 10%: 35.3%

Note: data for urban households only (June 2010)

Distribution of Family Income - Gini Index:

 46.9 (June 2010)
50.5 (2006)

Note: data are for urban households

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons:

 Refugees (country of origin): 11,526 (Colombia); note - UNHCR estimates as many as 250,000 Columbians are seeking asylum in Ecuador, many of whom do not register as refugees for fear of deportation (2007)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 25.2% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget:

 Revenues: $21.5 billion
Expenditures: $23.7 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 36.5% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -3.7% of GDP (2011 est.)

Public Debt:

 23.2% of GDP (2010 est.)
19.9% of GDP (2009 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 3.6% (2010 est.)
5.2% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

 8.68% (31 December 2010)
9.19% (31 December 2009)

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 9% (31 December 2010 est.)
9.203% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $9.215 billion (31 December 2009)
$5.907 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $9.79 billion (31 December 2009)
$9.383 billion (31 December 2008)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $6.421 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$5.201 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $21.22 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$18.83 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $16.62 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$12.31 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market Value of Publicly Traded Shares:

 $5.263 billion (31 December 2010)
$4.248 billion (31 December 2009)
$4.562 billion (31 December 2008)

Agriculture - Products:

 Bananas, coffee, cocoa, rice, potatoes, manioc (tapioca), plantains, sugarcane; cattle, sheep, pigs, beef, pork, dairy products; balsa wood; fish, shrimp

Industries:

 Petroleum, food processing, textiles, wood products, chemicals

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 3.1% (2010 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 18.06 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 81%
Hydro: 19%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 14.75 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 21 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 1.099 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - Production:

 485,600 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 201,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 364,500 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 80,430 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 6.51 billion bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 296 million cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 296 million cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 7.985 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 -$1.917 billion (2010 est.)
-$179.8 million (2009 est.)

Exports:

 $18.06 billion (2010 est.)
$14.41 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Petroleum, bananas, cut flowers, shrimp, cacao, coffee, wood, fish

Exports - Partners:

 US 37.3%, Panama 13%, Peru 6.2%, Colombia 4.5%, Russia 4.2%, Chile 4.2% (2010)

Imports:

 $19.64 billion (2010 est.)
$14.27 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Industrial materials, fuels and lubricants, nondurable consumer goods

Imports - Partners:

 US 29.6%, Colombia 9.3%, China 8.1%, Venezuela 5.9%, Brazil 5.3% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $2.622 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$3.792 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $14.32 billion (30 June 2011 est.)
$14.73 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of Direct Foreign Investment - Abroad:

 $6.848 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$7.962 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Direct Foreign Investment - At Home:

 $12.11 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$11.95 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert United States Dollar to Any Currency

The US dollar became Ecuador's currency in 2001

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COMMUNICATIONS


Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 2.086 million (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 14.781 million (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: generally elementary but being expanded

Domestic: fixed-line services provided by multiple telecommunications operators; fixed-line teledensity stands at about 14 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular use has surged and subscribership reached about 95 per 100 persons in 2009

International: country code - 593; landing points for the PAN-AM and South America-1 submarine cables that provide links to the west coast of South America, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and extending onward to Aruba and the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2009)

Broadcast Media:

 Many TV and radio stations are privately-owned; the government owns and runs one national television station and controls two others, as well as multiple radio stations; Ecuador has multiple television networks and TV channels, and a large number of local channels; more than 400 radio stations; broadcast media required by law to give the government free air time to broadcast programs produced by the state (2007)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 392, FM 35, shortwave 29 (2001)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 7 (plus 14 repeaters) (2000)

Internet Country Code:

 .ec

Internet Hosts:

 67,975 (2010)

Internet Users:

 3.352 million (2009)

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TRANSPORTATION


Airports:

 428 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 105
Over 3,047 m: 3
2,438 to 3,047 m: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 17
914 to 1,523 m: 25
Under 914 m: 55 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 323
914 to 1,523 m: 39
Under 914 m: 284 (2010)

Heliports:

 2 (2010)

Pipelines:

 Extra heavy crude 434 km; gas 5 km; oil 1,378 km; refined products 1,262 km (2010)

Railways:

 Total: 965 km
Narrow gauge: 965 km 1.067-m gauge (2010)

Roadways:

 Total: 43,670 km
Paved: 6,472 km
Unpaved: 37,198 km (2007)

Waterways:

 1,500 km (most inaccessible) (2010)

Merchant Marine:

 Total: 41
By type: cargo 1, chemical tanker 3, liquefied gas 1, passenger 9, petroleum tanker 26, refrigerated cargo 1
Registered in other countries: 7 (Bolivia 1, Panama 6) (2010)

Ports and Terminals:

 Esmeraldas, Guayaquil, Manta, Puerto Bolivar

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MILITARY


Military Branches:

 Ecuadorian Armed Forces: Ecuadorian Land Force (Fuerza Terrestre Ecuatoriana, FTE), Ecuadorian Navy (Fuerza Naval del Ecuador (FNE), includes Naval Infantry, Naval Aviation, Coast Guard), Ecuadorian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Ecuatoriana, FAE) (2011)

Military Service Age and Obligation:

 20 years of age for selective conscript military service; 12-month service obligation (2008)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 3,728,906
Females age 16-49: 3,844,918 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 2,834,213
Females age 16-49: 3,269,535 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 152,593
Female: 147,143 (2010 est.)

Military Expenditures:

 0.9% of GDP (2009)

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TRANSNATIONAL ISSUES


Disputes - International:

 Organized illegal narcotics operations in Colombia penetrate across Ecuador's shared border, which thousands of Colombians also cross to escape the violence in their home country

Illicit Drugs:

 Significant transit country for cocaine originating in Colombia and Peru, with much of the US-bound cocaine passing through Ecuadorian Pacific waters; importer of precursor chemicals used in production of illicit narcotics; attractive location for cash-placement by drug traffickers laundering money because of dollarization and weak anti-money-laundering regime; increased activity on the northern frontier by trafficking groups and Colombian insurgents(2011)

Trafficking in Persons:

 Current situation: Ecuador is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; the majority of trafficking victims are believed to be women and children trafficked within the country from border and central highland areas to urban centers for nonconsensual commercial sexual exploitation, as well as for domestic servitude, forced begging, and forced labor in mines and other hazardous work; children are forced to work as domestic servants, street vendors, and beggars and some are forced to engage in criminal activity, such as drug trafficking and robbery; Ecuadorian women are subjected to forced prostitution in Colombia, Peru, and Western Europe; Ecuador is a destination country for Colombian, Peruvian, and to a lesser extent, Chinese women and girls subjected to sex trafficking

Tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - the government did not show evidence of increased efforts to address forced labor and sex trafficking crimes involving adults, or trafficking-related complicity of local government officials, and government protections for adult victims remained inadequate; the government did, however, sustain modest law enforcement measures against child sex trafficking offenders, and continued to work with civil society and the private sector to raise awareness of forced labor and sex trafficking of children (2011)

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Last Updated: December 2011

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