Ecuador 28/11/10

On the 23rd of November the Ecuadorian government announced the expiry of five major national resource contracts after renegotiations were rejected.

Eight other agreements were extended, including the Chilean state owned Enap and the Spanish-Argentinian Repsol-YPF. Amongst those rejecting the changes was the Brazilian state owned oil country Petrobras. However, it still holds a 11% stake in the second pipeline in the country. The president Inacio Lula da Silva affirms that the failure of this renegotiation will not bring negative consequences to the diplomatic relations between Brazil and Ecuador.

Meanwhile, on Saturday 27 November the president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, announced the full restoration of relations with Ecuador in an agreement that took place on Friday 26 November at the summit of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in Georgetown, capital of Guyana. Santos and Correa also announced the forthcoming appointment of ambassadors in both countries before Christmas.

The main purpose of the UNASUR summit main was to establish mechanisms of support to the democracies of the countries involved. Sanctions discussed included limiting trade, closing land borders and air operations. The decision is a clear support for democracy in Ecuador, which last September suffered a police uprising in retaliation to benefit cuts, a fact that Quito qualifies as an attempted coup which threatened democracy in the small OPEC member country.

In other news, the Census of Population and Housing was carried out on Sunday the 28th of November to update the statistics of the country after nearly a decade. The Minister of Social Development, Jeannette Sanchez, said the poll “is a fundamental fact in order to plan and design public policy” in the country according to updated data.

In addition, the president Rafael Correa said the data that emerged are essential for designing effective public policies and the annual program for the allocation of resources to local governments. The Chairman confirmed that in the advent of a centralised computer system the country hopes that in the future a written census of this nature will no longer be required.

References:
Ecuador – Colombia Relations
Petrobras and Correa
Unasur and the Coup
News on the Census
Petrobras Exit