ECUADOR DIGESTCorrea will not seek reelection, according to his brother

Oct 5, 2012

Presendent Rafael Correa will announce soon that he will not be a candidate in the February 2013 elections, according to his brother Fabricio, who is a candidate for the job.

Officials at Pais, the president’s party, quickly rejected the claim and said that no deicsion had been made and that they expected Correa to decide to announce for another term.

According to Fabricio Correa, the president has promised his Belgian-born wife that he will not run again, saying the he feels great guilt for neglecting the family. In the past, the president has said that once he is out of office, he and his family would divide their time between their homes in Ecuador and Belgium.

Fabricio and Rafael Correa have been estranged since 2010 due to Fabrico’s business dealings with the government and political differences.

INFLATION IS RUNNING AT MORE THAN 5% DURING THE PAST 12 MONTHS

Following a jumb of 1.12% in September, the biggest montly increase since April 2008, Ecuador's annual inflation is running at 5.22% for the past 12 months, according to the the National Statistics and Census Institute.

Rising wages, food costs and public spending, forecast by the government to jump 9 percent in 2012, have boosted demand in South America’s seventh-biggest economy, driving prices higher, said Maria Herrera, an economics professor at the Universidad Catolica in Quito. Above-average rainfall and a volcano eruption this year have also reduced output of food staples such as potatoes and onions, she said.

“It’s demand inflation,” Herrera said yesterday in a telephone interview. “Basically, it’s the government’s increase in public spending that has directly affected wages, which means there’s more demand.”

Prices rose the fastest year-on-year in Manta, jumping 7.01 percent, while inflation was 4.48% in the nation’s largest city, Guayaquil, and 4.8% in Cuenca.

PRIVATE CREDIT BUREAUS OUTLAWED IN ECUADOR

The Ecuador National Assembly has outlawed prviate credit agencies and mandated that the government establish a public registry to provide credit information about citizens who apply for loans.

Legislators argued that the prívate credit services were doing substandard work, with high levels of mistakes, and that they should not have access to prívate banking information.

TOURISTS RESCUED FROM KIDNAPPERS ON THE COLOMBIAN BORDER

Two women tourists rescued from kidnappers in Ecuador near its border with Colombia are receiving medical attention in Quito, the country's interior minister said on Sunday.

The pair, named by Ecuadorean officials as Kathryn Cox, a 23-year-old Briton, and Fiona Wilde, a 32-year-old Australian, are "in good spirits", according to interior minister José Serrano.

Police and armed forces are continuing their search for the kidnappers. Serrano said the women were "in good condition".  The pair were captured in a remote part of Sucumbios province, Ecuador. Ecuador’s Tourism Ministry and a number of foreign embassies warn of the dangers in the area due to the proximity of to the civil war in southern Colombia.

TOURISM MINISTER WORKS FOR TOUGHER POPULATION CONTROLS IN THE GALAPAGOS

Ecuador Minister of Tourism Freddy Ehlers announced that he is working with other federal agencies to limit the number of residents in the Galapagos Islands. He says stricter guidelines are essential to preserving the ecology of the islands, made famous by British scientist Charles Darwin.

Current rules allow those who were born in the islands, or who are married to natives, to live there, as well as those with work permits in tourist businesses.

Ehlers said that the number of residents has increased from about 1,300 in 1950 to more than 25,000 today. He noted that the government already limits the number of tourists allowed to visit the islands, noting that 185,000 visited in 2011.

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