Crabbers face danger and poverty to save Ecuador’s mangroves (Reuters)

MACHALA, Ecuador - The small motorboat left the dock at the end of Neiva Carrascal's street and hummed out into the ocean off the southern coast of Ecuador, keeping close to the shore lined with tangled branches of mangroves. Every day, Carrascal and 80 others from her port community in the city of Machala go out to collect …

Indigenous Ecuadorans fight back as metal mining eats into Amazon (Reuters)

MAIKIUANTS, ECUADOR - The brightly colored chiva bus rocked back and forth, branches scraping across its sides, as it traveled down the narrow dirt road traversing mountain ranges of the Cordillera del Condor, in Ecuador's southern Amazon. The region, which stretches about 150 km (93 miles) along the border with Peru, is famous for its …

Traumatised families demand reforms after Ecuador prison riots (Al Jazeera)

GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR – Alex Burbano’s youngest brother, Jonathan, was quiet and serious. The 23-year-old was halfway through a two-year prison sentence when he was killed in a massacre at Guayaquil’s Litoral Penitentiary in September 2021. It was one of the deadliest in a string of Ecuadorian prison riots last year, resulting in 119 deaths. Alex …

‘We are all suffering’: What’s going on inside Ecuador’s prisons? (Al Jazeera)

QUITO, ECUADOR – More than 300 people have been killed inside Ecuador’s prisons so far this year, as a series of violent riots between rival gangs left officials scrambling to find ways to end the bloodshed. The latest riot took place last week behind the cement walls of Penitenciaria del Litoral, a facility in the …

Court convenes historic hearing in Indigenous territory on land consent issue (Mongabay)

SINANGOE, ECUADOR - Early on the morning of Nov. 15, five Constitutional Court judges arrived by canoe to the Indigenous Cofan community of Sinangoe in Ecuador’s northern Amazon rainforest, wearing rubber boots and loose clothing to weather the intense jungle heat. This visit marked the first time in the country’s history that judges from the …

How corruption has added to Latin America’s COVID death toll (The New Humanitarian)

QUITO, ECUADOR - After coming down with COVID-19 in December, Vinicio Sánchez visited three health centres in a single day. At the first, a clinic in the south of Ecuadorian capital, Quito, he was told he needed oxygen but they had none left to give him. He was referred to a specialist COVID-19 centre in …

La última línea de resistencia cofán (GK, Ecuador)

SINANGOE, ECUADOR - Era un día soleado de febrero de 2020, cuando 12 hombres indígenas Cofán decidieron realizar un control de rutina en su territorio en el norte de la Amazonía ecuatoriana. Estaban caminando por la selva por los senderos que alguna vez sus ancestros atravesaron, sospechando que podrían encontrar mineros operando ilegalmente en su …

How will Ecuador’s elections affect the future of the Amazon? (Al Jazeera)

QUITO, ECUADOR - Environmentalists and Indigenous communities in Ecuador are concerned about the fate of the Amazon rainforest ahead of Sunday’s presidential elections, as the two leading candidates’ environmental plans received moderate to poor rankings from advocates. Illegal logging, oil spills and large-scale mining projects have threatened both the rainforest, often called the lungs of …

Ecuador to vote amid economic crisis and widespread discontent (Al Jazeera)

QUITO, ECUADOR – Ecuadorians will head to the polls on Sunday to elect a new president amid widespread discontent over the country’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, an economic crisis worsened by COVID-19, and several corruption scandals. Sixteen presidential candidates will be on the ballot, though most have polled under two percent support and are …