Ecuador. In January, President Sixto Durán Ballén
declared the country in a state of mobilization and summoned
troops to secure law and order in the face of the threat of
actions by electricians against the privatization of parts
of the state electricity industry. A transport workers'
strike in the capital Quito in March spread to other sectors
before it was relieved, after the government agreed to
compensate workers for wages lost when buses were taken out
of service for service.
Countryaah.com, Abdalá Bucaram Ortiz of the Ecuadorian Roldosista Party
(Partido Roldosista Ecuatoriano, PRE) was elected president
with 54.5% of the vote in the crucial second round in July.
Bucaram was a former Olympic hurdler. He has distinguished
himself for spectacular and unconventional performances and
proudly bears the nickname "Madman". At the same time,
Ecuador got its first female vice president, Rosalia
Arteaga. In the elections to the country's House of
Representatives, the right-wing Socialist Christian Party
(Partido Social Cristiano, PSC) conquered 27 seats, PRE 19
and the center-left Party Democracy (Democracia Popular, DP)
12. The formerly dominant Socialist Democratic Left
(Izquierda Democrática, ID) received only four mandates.
With the restructuring under the leadership of the
Bourbons in 1717, Ecuador became part of the Viceroy of
Nueva Granada, consisting of the present Ecuador, Colombia,
Panama and Venezuela. In 1809, Quito rebelled against the
Spanish crown. In 1822, the rebels gained support when Simón
Bolívar's and Antonio José de Sucre's armies invaded the
country from Colombia. On May 24 of that year, Sucre
defeated the Spaniards in a battle at Pichincha near Quito,
thus securing Ecuador's final detachment from Spain and
allowing it to be included in Bolívar's project for a
Greater Colombia. However, the community became short-lived.
In 1830, Ecuador withdrew from Greater Colombia and
proclaimed itself the Republic of Ecuador.
A liberal revolution in 1895 led by Eloy Alfaro aroused
hope among the peasants for a solution to the country's land
problems. The church property was taken over by the state,
but the estates were not touched. Alfaro was assassinated in
1912 and the country was subject to British economic
A military coup led by younger officers in 1925 ushered
in a new reform period, but the regime did not survive the
world crisis of 1930. A new unstable period began, with the
president being replaced 23 times in the period 1925-48.
After a short-lived war with Peru in 1941, Ecuador had to
abandon its territorial requirements in an extensive area of
the Amazon. In 1942, the two countries signed a peace
agreement in Rio de Janeiro with Argentina, Brazil, Chile
and the United States as guarantors. The agreement
establishes the border between the two countries, but a
large part of it is unmarked and is in difficult to reach
In 1944, a public revolt brought down President Carlos
Arroyo. He was replaced by a populist government led by José
María Velazco Ibarra made up of conservatives, communists
and socialists. The collaboration was named Alianza
Democrática (Democratic Alliance), but the Cold War
made the alliance impossible and the left began to be
persecuted. Following pressure from the United States, the
government under the leadership of Carlos Arosemena in 1962
broke off relations with Cuba.
In the early 1970's, banana, coffee and cocoa exports
accounted for 80% of the country's foreign exchange income.
In 72, the country began to export oil, and this quickly
became the cornerstone of the Ecuadorian economy. The same
year, the political situation changed again. For the fourth
time, populist leader Velasco Ibarra was removed by a
military coup. The new government led by General Guillermo
Rodríguez Lara reported the land to OPEC, the state took
over 25% of the shares in the Texaco-Gulf oil company and
decided stubbornly to defend its 200-mile fishing zone,
which would otherwise be attacked by North American fishing
boats. This triggered the so-called "tuna war".