United States Donates Vehicles To Support The Counternarcotics Fight In Ecuador
By Dialogo March 10, 2010The United States, which considers Ecuador vulnerable to organized crime, will donate vehicles to the Ecuadorean armed forces for the fight against drugs on the border with Colombia, the U.S. embassy in Quito announced Thursday. The embassy indicated that the diplomatic delegation’s military group would turn over fifteen trucks worth $783 thousand dollars to the Ecuadorean Joint Chiefs of Staff Friday. The trucks “will be used to transport brigades to the units operating along the northern border (with Colombia), replacing the tactical vehicles currently used,” the embassy added. Three weeks ago, the United States donated one million dollars’ worth of equipment to the Ecuadorean military, also to combat drug trafficking along the Colombian border (720 km long). In a recent annual report on the fight against drugs, Washington judged that “Ecuador remains vulnerable to organized crime due to historically weak public institutions and corruption.” Meanwhile, Ecuadorean security minister Miguel Carvajal denied Wednesday that his country is the principal export route for Colombian and Peruvian cocaine being shipped to the United States. In 2009 Ecuador chose not to renew a cooperation agreement that had allowed the United States to use a military base in the fishing port of Manta (in southwestern Ecuador) for aerial anti-drug activities for a decade.