The Washington Times | 7/24/2009 12:00:00 AM
EDITORIAL: Cut off Ecuador
Narco-guerrillas are too cozy in Quito. Several recent developments make it imperative for the United States to end the trade preferences it gives to the leftist government of Ecuador.
On July 15, Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa said that in his new role as president of the Union of South American Nations, he will try to create a regional organization to shut down critics in the media. This frightening move against a free press came two weeks after Mr. Correa began efforts to shut down Ecuador's Teleamazonas television network.
On July 16, Ecuador's state-owned Petroecuador oil company seized the oil fields of the Anglo-French Perenco Corp. This was despite a demand in May from an official arbitration body of the World Bank that the Ecuadorean government stop seizing oil. The expropriation of oil is nothing new. In 2006, Ecuador did the same thing to the American Occidental Petroleum Corp.
Most damning of all, Associated Press reported on July 17 that "an hourlong video" of a rebel leader "appears to dispel any doubts that Colombia's largest rebel army gave money to the 2006 election campaign" of Mr. Correa. That army, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (known by its Spanish acronym, FARC), is officially labeled a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department. The Council on Foreign Relations identifies the Marxist FARC as an outfit known for major cocaine trafficking, kidnapping, hijacking, assassinations and other murders.
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