NUEVO MAPA POLÍTICO 2009, ver:
POLITICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE DIVISIONS:
Ecuador is divided into 24 provinces: Azuay, Bolivar, Cañar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Galapagos, Guayas, Imbabura, Loja, Los Ríos, Manabí, Morona-Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Pichincha, Santa Elena, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, Sucumbíos, Tungurahua, Zamora-Chinchipe.
The provinces, their capitals and populations are the following:
INTER-ANDEAN REGION (SIERRA)
COASTAL REGION (COSTA)
AMAZON REGION (REGIÓN AMAZÓNICA)
GALAPAGOS ISLANDS (ARCHIPIÉLAGO DE COLÓN)
OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Ecuador
CAPITAL OF ECUADOR: Quito
CAPITAL: Quito P. 1´615.809 (2000 est.)
Quito, Guayaquil (main port
and largest city P. 2´117.553-2000 est.) and Cuenca.
United States Dollar (USD)
Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) in Quito
Jose Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport
in Guayaquil (GYE)
Country code: 593
City Codes: Quito 2, Guayaquil 4,
Cuenca 7, Ibarra 6, Ambato 3, Galápagos 5
110/120 V AC 60 HZ
Ecuador Continental: GMT -5.
Galapagos Islands: GMT -6.
The Republic of Ecuador is located on the Northwest Coast of South America and lies on both the Northern and the Southern Hemispheres, divided by the Parallell 0, or the Equator line. Ecuador’s continental territory is bordered by Colombia to the North, Peru to the South & East, and the Pacific Ocean to the West. Despite its small size, Ecuador is one of the most geographically, biologically, ethnically and culturally diverse countries in the world.
Ecuador’s continental territory is crossed from North to South by the Andes mountain range that divides it into three strongly distinct natural regions: the Coastal Region (Costa), the Inter-Andean Region (Sierra) and the Amazon Region (Región Amazónica). In addition to these regions on the mainland, Ecuador has a fourth region: the Galapagos Islands (Archipiélago de Colón) located 1,000 kilometers from Ecuador’s coastline. The topography of the country ranges from sea level up to 6,268.2 m / 20,565 ft (Chimborazo Volcano) in the Andean snowcaps, and the climate from tropical equatorial rainy weather to perpetual snow.
The Coastal Region lies West of the Andes towards the Pacific Ocean. It consists of coastal lowlands and minor mountain ranges. It generally has a tropical climate –hot and moist, averaging 25º C (76º F) to 31º C (90º F) during the year; however, the cold Humboldt current lower the heat and humidity during dry season, which make the beaches enjoyable throughout the year. This zone has very active industrial, financial and commercial activities. Guayaquil is the main port and handles most of the country’s export and import goods. Esmeraldas is the port for the Ecuadorian oil export. Manta is the main port for shrimp and fish exports.
The Inter-Andean Region is the country’s geographical heartland, lying between the two major chains of the Andes mountains: the Western Chain (Cordillera Occidental) and the Eastern Chain (Cordillera Oriental). The Eastern Chain is wider and higher; however, the inactive volcano Chimborazo ís the highest point in Ecuador and part of the Western Chain. The highest active volcano in the world is the Ecuadorian Cotopaxi, reaching 5,897 meters.
This high rolling plateau runs North-South between the Coastal and the Amazon Regions, and includes what the German Explorer Alexander Von Humboldt named "The Valley of the Volcanos". In this valley lies Quito, the capital of Ecuador. The climate varies according to the altitude; during the year a subtropical climate prevails in the Andean valleys; at higher altitudes it is tempered and spring-like and at nights are cold. In Quito the temperature ranges from 7ºC (55º F) at night, to 26ºC (78ºF) at noon, averaging 15ºC (64ºF). The Inter-Andean region has developed agriculturally and expanded its flower industry. In this Andean region is very rich culturally and traditionally .
The Amazon Region begins East of the Andes. This region is characterized by its exhuberant and unique rainforest ecosystems. High temperatures prevail with abundant rainfall. The average temperature varies from 23ºC to 26 ºC (72º F to 80º F). The rivers originate from melting snow in the mountains, emptying into the Amazon and Napo Rivers. The Napo River is the longest in Ecuador, flowing 530 miles. Most oilfields are located in this region, which provides over 40% of the country’s exports. The Yasuni National Park is one of the most bio-diverse regions on the planet, and was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1989.
The Galapagos Islands, declared as Natural Patrimony of the Humanity by UNESCO in 1978, are located in the Pacific Ocean, aprox. 1.000 kilometers from Ecuadorian coastline. This is where Charles Darwin found his inspiration and substantiation for his theory of evolution by natural selection. The periodically changing currents have allowed many different species to immigrate to the islands. Some, such as sea lions, fur seals, and penguins, could swim with the help of the currents and giant tortoises are known to float and could have been carried by the same currents. In 1831, Charles Darwin sailed to the Galapagos Islands in the HMS Beagle. These islands were volcanically created and still remain active. The climate is pleasantly sub-tropical, averaging 28 Cº (85ºF). There are 13 major islands, 6 smaller islands and over 40 islets. Also known as the Enchanted Isles, the Galapagos are of great biological interest, and house an incredible high rate of endemic species. The Archipelago holds one of the most valuable national parks on earth and is the second largest marine reserve in the world. The Ecuadorian authorities make great efforts to preserve these natural treasures.
Advanced indigenous cultures, such as the Chorrera, Jama Coaque, Bahia, Tolita, Machalilla and Valdivia (The oldest known culture in the Americas), flourished between 10.000 BC and 1.500 AD in the coastal territory of today’s Ecuador. In the highlands, many socially and economically organized tribes such as the Quitus, Cañaris, Puruhaes, Panzaleos and Paltas, were present since ancient times.
The Inca Empire extended from the territories of present day central Chile in the South to what today is Colombia in the North, advancing towards the North through wars with the independent established tribes. In 1460 AD the Inca ruler Tupac Yupanqui invaded present Ecuador from the South. Huayna Capac, son of Tupac Yupanqui, finished the conquest helped by a strong leadership and polices of intermarriage and resettlement.
The Incas spread the use of Quechua, the language of the Incas, which is still widely spoken in Ecuador. Before Huayna Capac died in 1526, he divided the empire between his two sons, Atahualpa who ruled over the North part (Ecuador) while Huascar over the South part of the empire (Peru). The split inheritance was an unconventional move and the two brothers soon entered in a civil war for complete control, which was defined on the side of Atahualpa. When the Spanish conquerors arrived in Ecuador in 1532 the empire was still unstable, weakened and divided.
Due to the arrival of the Spanish conquerors to the Pacific coast of South America, the Inca civilization occupied the present Ecuadorian territory during 70 years.
After the Inca Empire’s defeat in 1534, the Spanish colonists established themselves and became the new ruling elite. Almost three centuries of Ecuador’s history correspond to the colonial era and are marked by a continuous mixture of the European and native people and their cultures. This melting of cultures evolved differentent from both the aboriginal and the Spanish.
During the colonial era temples and monasteries were built and arts flourished with important works on sculpture and painting. Outstanding personalities like Charles Marie de la Condamine, French geographer and mathematician, and Alexander Von Humboldt, German scientist and geographer, travelled to Ecuador to conduct investigations.
In 1563 during the Colonial Period, Ecuador became the seat of the Royal Audience of Quito. A centralist and intolerant colonial administration was the most important reason for the beginning of South American independence movements. The Creoles were discriminated of the important positions, causing general displeasure, encouraged by the ideas of the French and the North American Revolutions.
On August 10, 1809, Quito established the first self-governing Junta in the Spanish colonies in America. Guayaquil declared its independence on October 9, 1820. One of Bolivar’s generals and statesmen Antonio José de Sucre led the independence troops into battles against the Spanish Royalist Army and at the foothills of Pichincha; the volcano overlooking the capital city, victory was finally secured on May 24, 1822. Ecuador achieved independence and joined the Gran Colombia, established by Simón Bolívar who relinquishes his power on April 27, 1830. Ecuador as well as the other countries that conformed the Gran Colombia separated and became independent Republics.
The first years of the Republic were marked by instability and power struggles, caused mainly by the division between conservatives and liberals. The conservative landowners in the Sierra, most of them Catholics, supported church sponsored religious education for all, were dedicated to agriculture with not much communications with the outside world. In contrast, the people in the Coast where mostly liberal oriented who favored free enterprise, development of agricultural exports and trade and where less influenced by the Church.
Three outstanding Presidents shaped politics in the 19th Century: General Juan José Flores, first President of Ecuador, Venezuelan born, hero of the independence wars and connected to the aristocratic class of Quito, Gabriel García Moreno who consolidated the country, carried out many useful public works and lead an era of conservatism with support of the Catholic Church until 1895 when General Eloy Alfaro Delgado led a liberal revolution that reduced the power of the clergy and sparked an era of capitalist development.
During the end of the 19th Century and the first quarter of the 20th Century, the country flourished economically associated with the cocoa exports boom that helped to improve and stabilize the country’s administration. Political instability predominated during the 1930s and 1940s. In 1941, Ecuador was invaded by Peru and lost control over much of its Amazon Territory. After World War II, Ecuador's economy received a boost due to banana exports. A period of peace and prosperity from 1948 to 1960 followed with three freely elected Presidents completing their terms in Office. One key figure during these years was the five-time President, Jose María Velasco Ibarra.
In the 1960s, foreign companies began to develop oil resources in the Ecuadorian Amazon region; this brought economic prosperity in the 1970s, as Ecuador became a mayor exporter of oil. In 1972, a nationalist military regime seized power. In a 1978 referendum, the people of Ecuador voted for a new Constitution and in 1979, Ecuador returned to a democratic Government. Jaime Roldos from Concentración de Fuerzas Populares (Populist party) was elected in that year but died in 1981 in an airplane accident in the southern province of Loja. His constitutional successor, Oswaldo Hurtado from Democracia Popular (Christian Democrat), held the Presidency until 1984.
In August 1984 León Febres Cordero from the "Partido Social Cristiano" (Social Christian Party) was elected President. Then Rodrigo Borja from "Partido Izquierda Democrática" (Social Democratic Party) was elected in 1988. Sixto Durán Ballén, a former member of the Social Christian Party and founder of "Partido Unidad Republicana" (United Republican Party), was president from 1992-1996. In August 1996,
Abdalá Bucaram from "Partido Roldosista Ecuatoriano" (Ecuadorian Party founded by Jaime Roldós), assumed the Presidency. In February 1997, a general strike ousted Mr. Bucaram. The Ecuadorian Congress appointed the President of Congress, Mr. Fabián Alarcón Ribera, as Interim President of Ecuador for a period of 18 months. The people of Ecuador confirmed these decisions in a national referendum held in May 1997.
In 1998, Mr. Jamil Mahuad Witt from “Democracia Popular” (Christian Democratic Party) was elected President. On January 21, 2000, and after numerous days of uprising by indigenous groups & trade unions opposing President Mahuad's economic policies, culminated in ousting the President. President Mahuad left the government palace and Vice-President Gustavo Noboa Bejarano assumed the presidency for the rest of the term. Coronel Lucio Gutiérrez Borbúa succeeded the presidency in the November 2002 elections.
In January 15th, 2007, Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado took office as the 56th President of Ecuador. Rafael Correa won the second round of elections in November of 2006 with 58 percent of the votes. The President was re-elected for a second term in April 2009, which was the first time in thirty years that the country had re-elected a President.
Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado
President of Ecuador
Ecuador is a constitutional state of rights and justice, that is social, democratic, sovereign, independent, singular, intercultural, plurinational and secular. It is organized as a republic and governed in a decentralized manner. Sovereignty lies with the people, whose will is the basis of authority which, is exercised through the organs of public power and through the forms of direct participation set forth by the Constitution. The non-renewable natural resources of the state’s territory are property of the state, inalienable, unrenounceable and imprescriptible. (Constitution, Art. No.1)
The Executive branch includes 31 Ministries. The President also appoints the Provincial Governors, who represent the central government at the local level. Local voters directly elect Provincial Prefects, Councellors, and Municipal Mayors.
The President is the Head of State, Head of the Government and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. The President and Vice President are elected jointly in direct universal suffrage for a term of four years. The President and Vice President can be re-elected. The President appoints the Cabinet Ministers, who head the following Ministries:
(Information above was updated: 17/06/2010)
Legislative Branch: The National Assembly is unicameral legislative body, responsible for passing laws, International Treaties, the Fiscal Budget proposed by the Government and supervising the executive power. The National Assembly has 124 members that were elected in April of 2009, through a party-list proportional representation system to serve a four-year term.
Judicial Branch: The Judicial Branch consists of the National Court of Justice (CNJ- Corte Nacional de Justicia). The judiciary is composed of the National Court of Justice, superior circuit courts, other courts and tribunals that hear cases in accordance with the constitution and other laws, and the Judicature Council, which is charged with administering the court system and disciplining judges. There also are military and police tribunals that have the same status as circuit courts, as well as criminal, provincial, and cantonal (county) courts. The Judicature Council elects the 21 judges. The Judicial Branch also has two autonomous bodies: the Attorney General and the Public Defender. Related Articles in the new Constitution are listed below:
Art. 178. - The jurisdictional organs, without prejudice to the other organs with equally recognized powers in the Constitution, are those in charge of administering justice, and they will be the following:
1. The National Court of Justice.
2. The provincial courts of justice.
3. The tribunals and judges established by law.
4. Justices of the peace.
Art. 182.-The National Court of Justice will be composed of twenty one judges, who will have specialized sub court dockets and will be appointed to nine year terms; they may not be reelected and they will be replaced in groups of three every three years. They will end in their positions in accordance with the law.
The judges of the National Court of Justice will elect a President from among their members who will represent the Judicial Branch and will serve for three years. In each court level a president will be elected for a period of one year. There will be alternates who will constitute part of the Judicial Branch, who will be selected according to the same processes and will have the same responsibilities and will be bound by the same regime on conflicts of interests as the principals.
Art. 184. - The duties of the National Court of Justice, in addition to those determined by law, are the following:
1. - Know appeals for higher courts, review, and others established by law.
2. - Develop a system of jurisprudential precedents based on three repeated judgments.
3. - Know the cases initiated against State officials with privilege.
4. - Introduce draft laws related to the system of the administration of justice.
Ecuador has diplomatic relations with most countries. The foreign policy is conducted by the president and accordingly executed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ecuador is a member in several international organizations. Some of them are listed as follows:
Historically, the economy of Ecuador has based its performance on the agricultural sector and particularly on the exports of a few commodities: cocoa, coffee and bananas. The industry has been largely oriented to servicing the domestic market.
In the early 1970s the discovery of large oil deposits in the Amazon Region brought economic growth, improved the living standards and transformed Ecuador’s economy from an agrarian one, dependant on the exports of agricultural commodities, to one reliant on the exports of petroleum. In 1973 petroleum exports rose to first place and by the 1980s accounted for about half of the total export earnings. The oil “boom” was accompanied by a sharp increase in Government spending and employment, which were financed principally by oil revenues and external borrowing.
After a period of economic prosperity, brought on by the new oil wealth, Ecuador experienced a slowdown in economic growth that challenged its economic development process. In the 1980s the Ecuadorian economy was exposed to a series of external shocks: the foreign debt crisis that affected all developing countries throughout this period, the 1986 sharp decline in world oil prices which reduced oil revenues by half and the March 1987 earthquake that damaged a large stretch of Ecuador’s sole oil pipeline, originating the suspension for several months of crude oil and supply for refining.
During the late 1980s the Government adopted policies of liberalization and diversification of the economy with the objective to attenuate the future negative consequences brought on by the decline of the price of a single product. An increase in the oil export prices allowed Ecuador to recover partially. From 1988 to 1992, in a context of increasing oil export prices and reductions in Government spending in real terms, the Ecuadorian Government took measures to stabilize the economy. Despite Government’s policies, inflation grew rapidly averaging 59,7% annually.
In 1992 the Government adopted a Macroeconomic Stabilization Plan, supported by the International Monetary Fund. Inflation decreased from 60,2% in 1992 to 31% in 1993 and 25,4% in 1994, international reserves increased from a low US$ 224 million in August 1992 to US$ 1,2 billion in December 1993 and US$ 1,7 billion in December 1994. The consolidated non-financial public sector deficit decreased from 1,2% of GDP for 1992 to 0,1% for 1993 and 0,2% for 1994, and the GDP grew by 2% in 1993 and 4,3% in 1994.
In 1995, several adverse situations, including the military confrontation with Peru, known as the Cenepa Conflict, the resignation of the Vice-president, who had wide influence in the economic matters and the energetic crisis caused by the insufficiency of rains in the zone of hydroelectric generation, conspired against the Ecuadorian efforts of stabilization.
In 1996, the populist leader Abdalá Bucaram was elected President. His Government announces the "Convertibility Plan", publicized as a solution to face inflation and to correct macroeconomic imbalances. The unconventional plan and his personal unorthodox style gained him much publicity, but was also a cause for severe conflicts with the Congress and the labour, business and professional organizations. In February 1997, the Congress unseated Bucaram and appointed Interim President Fabián Alarcón.
In 1998, Jamil Mahuad was elected President. In October 1998 the Peace Agreements of Brasilia were signed with Peru, ending one of the longest territorial disputes in the continent.
The poor performance in the economy during 1997 and 1998, culminated in a severe economic and financial crisis in 1999. The worst economic crisis in Ecuadorian history was the result of a highly expansionary monetary policy mixed with unsustainable fiscal deficit, aggravated by a very negative context. In 1997 the climate phenomenon of El Niño, destroyed much of the infrastructure, a substantial fall in the international oil prices and the international emergent markets instability during 1997 and 1998. In 1999, the GDP contracted 7,3%, a mandatory banking holiday and freezing of deposits resulted in 60% of bank assets in administration of the state, annual inflation reached 60,7% and the national currency collapsed with a 196,6% depreciation. In January 2000, a decision to adopt the US dollar and replace the local currency was taken, as a drastic way to avoid hyperinflation and to put an end to the rapid depreciation of the sucre, subsequent protests led to the removal of President Mahuad and Vice president Gustavo Noboa stepped into the Presidency by Constitutional Decree.
President Noboa confirmed and implemented Dollarization, entered into negotiations with the IMF and carried out a series of reforms that are transforming the nation on the bases of productivity, competitiveness, transparency and democracy.
Even though Ecuador has experienced recent economical difficulties, the country is rapidly regaining stability and setting the conditions for a prolonged growth. Ecuador has reaffirmed its support for free market principles. On march 2000, the Congress approved the Economic Transformation Law, that encourages companies doing business in the country and will do much to attract new foreign investment.
In February 2001, Ecuador signed a contract with an international consortium to build a heavy crude oil pipeline. The consortium will invest over US$ 1 billion. The new pipeline will allow Ecuador to double its oil exports when it becomes operational, at the beginning of 2004.
In April 2000, the country reached a Stand-By Agreement with the International Monetary Fund, which is currently in force. For more details, please refer to:
Most significant economic indicators are dramatically improving. In 2001, the economy grew 5.4%, the highest in Latin America. The construction sector had the strongest growth that is 19.9%. Inflation was 22.4%, foreign multinationals invested USD 1.3 billion, bank deposits had a 51.6% growth, and tax earnings 56%.
Ecuador offers interesting investment opportunities. The basic infrastructure and the different possibilities in all the productive areas are quite appealing options. According to studies carried out by the UNCTAD, foreign investors consider Ecuador to have the following strengths:
Ecuador also offers the following opportunities:
Please, refer to the following web pages:
Banco Central del Ecuador (BCE)
Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas y Censos (INEC)
Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales Sede Ecuador (FLACSO)
The Coat of Arms of Ecuador was given to the country at the National Congress of 1900. In the shape of a heart, the Coat of Arms rests on a bundle of sheaves, which is the Republic's insignia for dignity.
Four flags adorn the outer part of the Coat of Arms. The palm and laurel branches between them symbolize victory. The condor perched at the top offers the country shelter and protection under its outstretched wings and stands ready to strike out against any enemy.
Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer represent parts of the Zodiac. The Sun takes its place in the middle of these signs corresponding to March, April, May, and June, months, which are historically significant to Ecuadorians.
In the background is the majestic Chimborazo mountain rising to a lovely blue sky. The highest in the Andes Range, this mountain unites with the Guayas River, formed from its snows, to give us the brotherhood of the Sierra and the Coast.
In the lower foreground, the steamboat "Guayas" is seen crossing the wide river. This boat, which began service on October 9, 1841, was constructed by Vicente Rocafuerte and was the first of its kind in Ecuador and South America. The mast consists of a rod with two wings at the top and two snakes encircling it. This is the sign of the caduceus, which symbolizes accord and trade.
The inspiration and design for the Republic of Ecuador's flag came from the well-known forerunner of the South American Independence, General Francisco Miranda. Then the Republics of Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela adopted it. These three countries formed a confederation from 1822 until 1830, the year in which they each became separate nations. The flag's yellow, red and blue stripes remain the same for the three sovereign states: Colombia's flag simply has the three stripes, Venezuela has eight stars displayed in an arch, and Ecuador has the national Coat of Arms in the center.
The Ecuadorian flag has three horizontal stripes, which from the bottom up are red, blue, and yellow. The yellow stripe is twice as wide as the red and blue ones. The symbolism of the colors are as follows: red stands for the blood shed by the soldiers and martyrs of the battles independence; blue represents the color of the sea and the sky; and, yellow symbolizes the abundance and fertility of the crops and land.
Please click to listen to the National Anthem of Ecuador (midi file 12,7 kb)
EMBASSY OF ECUADOR IN SWEDEN
CONCURRENT TO DENMARK, NORWAY, FINLAND, ISLAND, ESTONIA, LATVIA AND LITHUANIA
H.E. Mr. Mario Aníbal Guerrero Murgueytio
Ambassador of Ecuador
* * * * * * * * * *
E-mail (Presione Aquí / Click Here)
CONSULATES OF ECUADOR
Open/Abierto: 9:00 -12:00
Nils-Eric R. Wranne
Västra Trädgårdsgatan 11A, 1tr.-V
Dr. Dainis Krievins
* * * * * * * * * *
1, Antonijas Str.
LV-1010 Riga, LATVIA
Tel/Fax: (+371) 7805 576
The Embassy of Ecuador
111 53 Stockholm
Tel: 46-(08) 679 6070
Fax: 46-(08) 611 5593
E-mail (Presione Aquí / Click Here)