Friday, August 19, 2005


Latin American crisis deepens as troops occupy Ecuadoran oil provinces

Latin American crisis deepens Ecuador troops move as protest hits oil exports By Hal Weitzman in Lima Published: August 19 2005 08:36 | Last updated: August 19 2005 17:12 Ecuador’s defence minister resigned on Friday, shortly after the country sent in the military to occupy its Amazon region and declared a state of emergency due to attacks on installations by community groups. The attacks have cut oil production in the oil-rich region by about 65 per cent....PetroEcuador, the country’s biggest producer, suspended all production after some of its installations were occupied by protesters. EnCana of Canada shut down its output in Orellana on Wednesday. Iván Rodríguez, the energy minister, said protesters had sabotaged the company’s oil pipeline, causing about 1,000 barrels of crude to seep into the river near the town of Tarapoa ..Occidental, the country’s biggest private producer, is mired in a legal dispute with the government, which has accused the California-based company of breaking its contract. EnCana, the second biggest private producer, is desperate to leave Ecuador and is trying to sell its assets to Asian investors...Local groups began protesting last Sunday, calling for higher wages, more jobs for locals, and the construction of schools, roads and health clinics. They have also been demanding the immediate exit from the country of EnCana and Occidental and the expulsion of Petrobras of Brazil from the Yasuni National Park. Argentina. Columbia. Bolivia. Venezuela. Now Ecuador. Have I missed any South American country that our policies are serving to destabilize?
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