‘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 …

Colombian refugees in Ecuador trapped in loops of poverty and insecurity (The New Humanitarian)

QUITO, ECUADOR - Claudia’s* life changed the day she saw a paramilitary group kill a man in her hometown of Buenaventura, one of the most violent places in Colombia.  Not only did she see the killers. Worse, they saw her. They threatened to murder her if she told anyone what she had seen. She promised …

Workers Resist Pandemic-Era Disaster Capitalism in Ecuador (In These Times)

QUITO, ECUADOR — Paula had been in quar­an­tine with her hus­band and two kids for 15 days by the end of March 2020 under Ecuador’s strict lock­down, which includ­ed a nation­wide 2 p.m. cur­few. Then, Paula’s boss called. Busi­ness was suf­fer­ing; he would have to let some peo­ple go and cut salaries. He asked Paula if she would agree to …

‘Trapped again’: Quarantined Ecuador indigenous groups fight Amazon oil spill (Reuters)

QUITO, ECUADOR - When the Kichwa community closed off their village near the Coca River in Ecuador's northern Amazon rainforest in March to protect themselves from the coronavirus pandemic, they planned to live off fishing and whatever food they could grow. But about two weeks into their quarantine, two damaged oil pipelines leaked thousands of …