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New investigation opened against Correa, Ecuador does not deny breast-feeding claim, Earthquake rattles southern Ecuador

Ecuador does not deny breast-feeding article claim

Reacting to an article in the New York Times about a United Nations resolution supporting breastfeeding, Ecuador’s Ministry of Health says it fully supports the campaign and is taking steps to implement itsrecommendations. In a Sunday article, the Times claimed that Ecuador gave in to U.S. pressure and withdrew its sponsorship of the resolution at a May United Nations World Health Assembly in Geneva. The newspaper said the U.S. threatened to withdraw military assistance against drug trafficking and to end trade negotiations if Ecuador did not drop its sponsorship. Ecuador did not directly refute the allegation, instead citing constitutional language asserting the country’s sovereignty against foreign interference. The breast-feeding resolution was introduced by Russia and passed the health assembly overwhelmingly.

Former president Rafael Correa is the target of a new investigation.

In its statement, the health ministry said, “Ecuador will not only maintain the policy of promoting and protecting breast-feeding, but will also increase its promotion of programs for this nutritional practice in the future, in line with recommendations from specialists around the world and in application of the right to health established in the Constitution of the Republic … and firmly defends the national government.”

Monday Earthquake is felt in six provinces

An earthquake registering 4.6 on the Richter Scale was felt throughout southern Ecuador early Monday afternoon but officials reported no significant damage. According to Ecuador’s Geophysical Institute (IG), the quake occurred at 1:14 p.m. in Guayas Province, 55 kilometers southeast of Guayaquil. In addition to Guayas, the IG said that residents of Azuay, Cañar, El Oro, Los Rios and Loja Provinces reported feeling the quake.

Another investigation opened against Correa

Former president Rafael Correa is one of several government officials being investigated for the illegal placement of government bonds. The investigation stems from a records review by National Comptroller Pablo Celi who says he has discovered evidence of criminal activity in the handling of public debt during the Correa administration. Among the other officials being investigated are the former ministers of Economy and Finance, the Coordinator of Economic Policy, the National Planning Secretariat and the directors of the Central Bank. Celi says that the bond placements with the Central Bank were illegal under Ecuador law and that they were made in secrecy, also a violation of the law.