Ecuadorians to be evacuated from Israel; U.S. will share its Villavicencio murder findings; Inflation rate remains low; Conaie won’t endorse a candidate

Oct 13, 2023 | 0 comments

A 260-seat passenger jet is on the way to Tel Aviv to bring home Ecuadorians stranded in Israel by the war against Hamas. According to President Guillermo Lasso, 140 Ecuadorians have been able to leave the country on other flights but at least 200 remain. Most scheduled air service to Tel Aviv has been suspended since missiles landed near the airport on Saturday.

“We are in touch with many of our citizens but believe there are others who will choose to return home as well,” Lasso said. “We expect a full flight.”

Lasso said that most of those wishing to leave Israel are tourists, but some are residents of the country. At least 100 Ecuadorian residents of the country say they have no plans to leave.

Conaie President Leonidas Iza

Conaie won’t endorse a candidate
The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) will not endorse Luisa González or Daniel Noboa in the presidential election. Although Conaie president Leonidas Iza said the policies of González are more in line with indigenous interests, he said the legacy of former president Rafael Correa makes it impossible to support her.

He said Conaie members are free to make their own decisions but said that a “nulo vote is preferrable.”

In two interviews, Iza said Conaie’s principle political interest is to fight Ecuador’s current “neoliberal” policies. “We must confront the political right in all its forms and we must confront the drug trafficking and transport industries that are terrorizing and impoverishing our people,” he said. He accused Agriculture Minister Bernardo Manzano with having ties to the traffickers.

Iza added that he personally likes González but objects to the fact that she will be advised by Correa in her decisions. “Rafael Correa was an enemy of the indigenous people and cannot be forgiven for his lies and deceit,” he said. “The indigenous and campesino population has a very long memory.”

U.S. to share findings in Villavicencio murder
The United States will share information from its investigation of the Fernando Villavicencio assassination with Ecuadorian prosecutors. In a statement released Thursday, the U.S. Embassy said it had compiled “very significant” leads in the August 9 murder, much of it through its offer of a $5 million reward leading to the arrest of the “architects of the plot.”

Prosecutors said Monday they are in the final stages of their investigation. On Sunday, they interviewed a witness who allegedly provided information about the person or persons who ordered the assassination and announced they are following up on the new information.

Rains provide local relief
Meteorologists say that the rainfall Quito and Ibarra experienced on Thursday provided “welcome relief” to the drought in the inter-Andean valley but said much more is needed. It said that light showers that fell Tuesday and Wednesday between Cuenca and the Peruvian border to the south and east also alleviated local drought conditions.

In a bulletin, the agency said that little rain has fallen this week in the river recharge areas near the country’s largest hydroelectric plants. “We expect more light rain showers through the weekend and remain hopeful for more,” the bulletin said.

Ecuador maintains low inflation rate
Through September, Ecuador is reporting an inflation rate of 2.23%, the lowest among Latin American countries, according to the Institute of Statistics. By contrast, neighboring Colombia registered price inflation of 11% while Peru reported 5%.

“Inflation is a key indicator of future growth and prosperity, and Ecuador’s rates are reason for optimism,” the institute said in a statement. “High inflation is also a chief cause of poverty.” The statement cited the inflation rates in Venezuela (380%) and Argentina (135%) as examples.

The institute reported that the basic family basket of essential goods and services cost $782.34 in September, a decrease from $785.47 in August.


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