CSMonitor | Ecuador: easy base for terrorists and criminals? by Geoffrey Ramsey

April 18, 2012 3:49 pm0 commentsViews:

Allegations that Ecuador’s lax immigration policies make it a strategic asset to terrorist organizations likeal Qaeda are overblown, overshadowing the real danger: that the country is emerging as a hotspot for transnational organized crime.

Ecuador’s leftist President Rafael Correa was voted into office in 2006 on promises of wide-ranging reforms, vowing to push forward a constitutional referendum. The move was passed by referendum in 2007, and Ecuador adopted a new constitution in 2008. But while Correa has embraced the progressive charter’s guarantees of social and economic rights like access to clean water, education, and universal health care, not all of the document’s reforms have played out so well.

Perhaps the most contentious was Article 416, which declares that Ecuador “upholds the principle of universal citizenship, free mobility of all inhabitants of the planet and the gradual end to the condition of foreigner as transforming element of unequal relations amongst countries, especially North-South.” Continue reading