Ecuador: New mortgage law passes National Assembly
New mortgage law passes National Assembly, US senator pressures for extradition of Brockton murderer and Colombian FARC financial leader is captured near Ecuadorian border.
Ecuador’s National Assembly has passed a bill on 8 May that would require banks to forgive any outstanding debt on mortgages for first-time home buyers of properties worth up to $146,000 if they default and forfeit the home.
The measure, called the Law for the Regulation of Housing Credits and Cars, seeks to discourage a real estate bubble of the type caused in the United States and Europe.
Ecuador’s Association of Private Banks director, Cesar Robalino, stated that measure would discourage new home construction and make getting mortgages more difficult for consumers. The measure is also perceived as putting consumers’ debt onto banks’ accounts. ‘It creates moral risk and stimulates a culture of not paying debts,’ said Robalino.
However, government’s spokesman argues that the measure will equilibrate the socio-economic balance between banks’ profits and consumers’ chances to access real estate.
U.S. seeks extradition of Brockton murderer
U.S. Senator John Kerry is pushing authorities in Ecuador to extradite a man sentenced to 25- year prison term there for the murder of a woman and her toddler son in Brockton, Massachussets.
Luis Guaman was sentenced for the February 2011 killing of 25-year-old Maria Palaguachi-Cela and her 2-year-old son, Brian last 7 May by a court in Cuenca, Ecuador.
In a letter dated 10 May to Ambassador Nathalie Cely, Kerry stated that there are ways to return Guaman to the United States for trial without violating Ecuador constitution, noting that the crime occurred in this country and the victims were US citizens.
Massachusetts prosecutors sought Guaman’s extradition, hoping to put him in prison for life without parole. But Ecuador insisted on trying him in his homeland because its new constitution bars extradition of its citizens. Kerry asked Ecuadorian authorities to ensure that Guaman remains in prison.
FARC high-rank member captured near border
A suspected Colombian FARC leader was captured by Ecuadorean forces just a few miles from the border on 7 May.
Wilson Tapiero, the alleged financial chief of the 48th Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, was captured near the spot where Colombian commandos briefly invaded in 2008 to kill the FARC’s second-ranking leader.
Three men and three women were also arrested on a farm in northeastern Ecuador. Army units also recovered arms, motorcycles, uniforms and FARC literature. An Ecuadorean judge on ordered the indefinite jailing of Tapiero on 8 May.
Posted by: Alejandra Diaz