Ecuador. The growing exchange rate crisis to which Ecuador’s currency sucre was exposed in 1999 (the dollar quadrupled in value) led to a dramatic event in the first days of the year. After succeeding in losing 20% of its value in just one week, on January 9, President Jamil Mahuad took the drastic step of completely replacing the national currency with the US dollar as a means of payment.
The immediate consequence was that the capital Quito on January 21 was taken in by thousands of Indians organized by the chief opponent of the government’s policy, the Indian organization Conaie, and which occupied the palace of Congress, demanded the resignation of the president and established a “people’s parliament”. A triumvirate consisting of Conai’s leader, the commander-in-chief and the chairman of the Supreme Court stood at the head of a “national rescue government”.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Ecuador. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
However, a constitutional compromise was soon reached by taking over the presidential post by Vice President Gustavo Noboa, who has also gone ahead with implementing the currency reform. However, its main purpose, forcing inflation from 60% to 10%, was not immediately achieved, but instead led to a price increase of 50-300%, as trade sought to set the value of the new fixed exchange rate against the dollar (25,000 sucres) as a low price.
It also led to a reversal in public opinion – hitherto fairly positive to the dollarization, since it only formalized a situation that has long prevailed – but of a temporary nature. For example, Conaie has failed to get a great hearing for their calls for strikes and demonstrations for the rest of the year.
Following Ecuador’s tumultuous dollarization, discussions on similar measures have gained momentum in several other countries, including Argentina and El Salvador.
The state continued its practice of issuing fines to the media for a variety of violations. In May 2015, a fine of US $ 3,540 was issued to La Hora newspaper for failing to cover a public event attended by the Mayor of Loja and which the authorities believed was of public interest. The daily refused to pay the fine. As in Brazil, the bourgeoisie used its control over the media to undermine the president and the incumbent government. In other words, there was a conflict between the concern for freedom of the press and the state’s right to protect itself from undermining business.
Pope Frans visited Ecuador in July. A visit that drew hundreds of thousands to his public worship services in Quito and Guayaquil.
In April 2016, leaders of Ecuador’s Indigenous Peoples Organizations were given priority over the Inter-American Human Rights Organization, criticizing the state’s restrictions on their right to organize.
That same month, the country was hit by an earthquake in the northwest. The quake had a strength of 7.8 on the Richter scale. At least 676 were killed and 16,600 injured. It was the worst earthquake in the country since 1949. Authorities estimated that the damage ran up to $ 3 billion. US $.
In September, the authorities disbanded the teachers’ union (UNE), arguing that it had not registered its main board.
In December, the conflict between authorities and the Shuar people peaked. This time it was about the Shuar people’s opposition to a mining project in Morona Santiago. Following a series of violent clashes and harassment by the authorities, the authorities declared a state of emergency in the area and arrested the chairman of the Inter-Provincial Association of Shuarcentre, Agustín Wachapá.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Ecuador in 2000 was 12,681,012, ranking number 63 in the world. The population growth rate was 2.050% yearly, and the population density was 51.0594 people per km2.