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Ecuador's Correa wants US military to leave

Ecuador's leftist President Rafael Correa said Wednesday he would ask the United States to withdraw American military personnel assigned to its embassy in Quito. Correa said he became aware of what he described as an outsized presence after learning that four US military personnel were aboard an Ecuadoran military helicopter that came under fire on October 3 last yearnear the border with Colombia.

Ecuador's Correa rebukes 'intrusions' by UN, Americas court

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa on Saturday rebuked requests by major international bodies for clarification on his anti-abortion position and decision to extract oil from an Amazon reserve. The president revealed that his government had received letters from the UN and Inter-American Court of Human Rights pressing him on the matters, which he says are domestic. Speaking on his weekly radio and television program, Correa said the inter-American court had inquired into the government's controversial plans to extract oil in Yasuni Park.

Ecuador's Correa rebukes 'intrusions' by UN, Americas court

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa on Saturday rebuked requests by major international bodies for clarification on his anti-abortion position and decision to extract oil from an Amazon reserve. The president revealed that his government had received letters from the UN and Inter-American Court of Human Rights pressing him on the matters, which he says are domestic. Speaking on his weekly radio and television program, Correa said the inter-American court had inquired into the government's controversial plans to extract oil in Yasuni Park.

Ecuador orders policeman who tried to kill president detained

Ecuadoran authorities Wednesday ordered a policeman accused of involvement in a failed 2010 coup bid against President Rafael Correa be held pending investigation. Prosecutor Franz Valverde in Quito ordered the detention of the officer, whose name was not disclosed. The officer faces a charge of attempting to kill the president; if convicted he could spend up to 12 years in prison. The prosecutor's office said the arrest was made based on a videotape in which the suspect allegedly appears.

USAID to pull out of Ecuador, US embassy official

The US Agency for International Development has decided to end its operations in Ecuador after failing to reach an agreement with its leftist government, a US embassy official said Tuesday. It came a day after Ecuador announced it was freezing cooperation with USAID, saying the agency cannot "carry out any new activity, nor extend timeframes for completion of projects" until a new framework agreement has been signed. The embassy official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the agency had decided to end its operations next year, after 60 years.

Ecuador freezes cooperation with USAID

Ecuador announced Monday that it was freezing cooperation with USAID, after charging last year the US agency was meddling in its domestic affairs. Quito's international cooperation office in late November informed the US Agency for International Development that it will not be able "to carry out any new activity, nor extend timeframes for completion of (current) projects," the Ecuadoran office said in a statement. The halt will stretch "until our governments have negotiated and signed a new framework agreement," the Ecuadoran office added.

Ecuador faces legal quandary over intra-indigenous violence

Quito, Dec 16 (EFE).- Ecuador's attorney general said Monday that the Constitutional Court will be consulted regarding what penalties should be imposed in a case involving deadly violence between two different indigenous groups in Amazonia. Authorities are grappling with how to reconcile the Ecuadorian penal code with indigenous traditions that view revenge killings as legitimate, Galo Chiriboga told reporters. "For them this is not bad, for us it's very bad. For them it's almost nothing, and for us: a terrible crime," he said.

Ecuador shutters environmental group, accuses it of inciting abusive public behaviour

QUITO, Ecuador - President Rafael Correa's government has shut down a non-profit environmental group that opposes Amazon rainforest oil drilling, alleging it was involved in disturbing public order. The closure Wednesday is the first of an advocacy group by Correa's government, which has been criticized as hostile to free expression and has broadened state authority over nonprofits by decree this year. More than a dozen government agents descended unannounced on the Quito offices of the Pachamama Foundation and shut it down.

Ecuador seeks EU trade deal by early 2014

Ecuador will aim to conclude a trade agreement with the EU by early 2014, President Rafael Correa said Friday, stressing it would not lead to an outright free trade pact. "We will negotiate and seek to sign an accord with the European Union, but not at any price," the socialist leader said in an interview with La Voz de Arenillas radio in Ecuador. Correa in May 2009 called off talks with the EU, saying that the trade deal then being mooted was in fact a free trade agreement despite "whatever pretty name" the Brussels-based bloc was putting on it.

Chevron alleges Ecuador fraud in oil pollution case

Chevron claimed Tuesday that corrupt Ecuadoran plaintiffs mounted an elaborate fraud to win a multi-billion-dollar case against it for polluting the Amazonian rainforest, in arguments before a US court. "It was a scheme so audacious, so bold it would make a Mafia boss blush," argued Randy Mastro, a lawyer for the US oil giant. "But Chevron didn't give in and that's why Chevron is here to get justice."
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