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El Guacho’s gang is not the only criminal organization in southern Ecuador, expert says

The Oliver Sinisterra Front, commanded by former FARC rebel leader El Guacho, is not the only armed drug organization operating in southern Colombia. According to Colombia’s Peace and Reconciliation Foundation, a non-profit organization that monitors progress in the disarming of former rebels, at least 12 drug trafficking groups are working in the region north of […]

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Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro wins in an election that opponents claim was a ‘fraud foretold’

Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro has shrugged off international condemnation and allegations of vote buying and electoral fraud to claim a second six-year term at the helm of his crisis-stricken nation. Addressing crowds of supporters outside the presidential palace in Caracas on Sunday night, Maduro hailed the “impeccable electoral process” that had returned him to power […]

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Corpus Christi celebration plans, Bars closed, Street art festival, Communication law goes to assembly

Cuenca prepares for Corpus Christi Celebration Beginning May 30, the sidewalks around Parque Calderón Park will be filled with as many as 100 vendors selling pastries, cookies and candies. At night, until June 10, thousands will gather to watch fireworks displays. Cuenca Deputy Mayor Ruth Caldas says the city will release details regarding fireworks sponsors, […]

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Vaccines: The myths, facts, and foolishness, continued…

In February of 2016 I posted a column about the facts and foolishness about vaccines. A favorite expat online forum carried a post with a simple query: “Do we need proof of current yellow fever and typhoid vaccinations to enter Ecuador from Colombia?” (No). This simple question escalated into an epidemic of opinions, some backed by […]

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Venezuela heads to polls in what observers consider a ‘rigged election’ for Nicolas Maduro

Venezuelans have begun heading to the polls in an election boycotted by the opposition but expected to hand deeply unpopular President Nicolas Maduro a new mandate. Maduro, the political heir to the late leftist firebrand Hugo Chavez, has presided over an implosion of once wealthy oil producer Venezuela’s economy since taking office in 2013. Hyperinflation, […]

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As press freedom declines worldwide, Ecuador and Canada offer signs of hope

By Naomi Harris As press freedom declines and the World Press Freedom Index map, created by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), grows darker, there are concerns that the overall environment for journalists will become more dangerous.  So what can be done to reverse the negative impacts of decreasing press freedom? Two case studies highlight trends in […]

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A U.S. expat living in France asks: Why does our government treat us so badly?

By Harriet Welty Rochefort Unlike most countries, the U.S. does not treat its expatriates well. Far from being considered an element of “soft power,” as expats from other countries are seen by their governments, millions of American living abroad are instead treated like people who, somehow, have betrayed their country and, therefore, do not deserve […]

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The little zoo that serves as a wildlife refuge

Story and Photos by Bartley D’Alfonso It’s been said that looks can be deceiving. This is certainly true when you arrive at the Yurak Allpa Zoológico Refugio in Tarqui. It’s easy for first time visitors to drive by and miss this small zoo. But inside it is large enough to spend a wonderful hour or […]

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Elderly man, dozens of pigeons, found dead in Calle Larga apt.; Tram on schedule; Bus fare remains cashless; Ecuador’s risk rating improves

Elderly man dies along with dozens of pigeons The body of an 81-year-old man was discovered Friday in his Calle Larga apartment, near the Todo Santos church. He was found tucked into his bed and was believed to have been dead for several days. According to police, several dozen dead pigeons were found in the […]

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