Ecuador News Round-Up
This week's news from latitude zero:
Tension between Ecuador and Colombia continues to mount; Ecuador says FARC rebels are setting up camps inside Ecuadorian terroritory. And Colombia claims Ecuadorian military personnel are selling weapons, via the black market, to Colombian rebels.
Reuters reports that "Ecuador's army destroyed a Colombian rebel base in the dense jungle between the two nations that the guerrilla force had used to rest and hide hostages, the army said on Thursday."
Deforestation is a serious problem in Ecuador. The small Andean nation is renowned for it's biodiversity, but the country "lost its forest cover three times faster than the Latin American region as a whole in the 1990s." So says this article, which outlines a new government initiative to implement a "20-year plan to work with the private sector to plant new trees and protect old forest."
New trouble for Ecuadorian president Lucio Gutierrez: Congress has opened an investigation into his campaign finances in response to reports that his party received money from a questionable source.
Says this article: "The scandal broke after El Comercio newspaper reported, citing an unnamed source, that Gutierrez's political party received a $30,000 campaign contribution from Cesar Fernandez, a formerly prominent politician charged with drug trafficking."
Five Ecuadorians were wounded in Israel when "a gunman trying to infiltrate a border crossing from Jordan fired on a crowd of tourists." More from the AP here.
And, finally, turning to the world of futbol, Ecuador wrapped up a disappointing week of World Cup 2006 qualifying matches. The national team lost to Paraguay 2-1 early in the week. And then another bad result: the squad drew 0-0 with regional rivals Peru.
That's it for this week; adios from your correspondent in Cuenca.