U.S. to end drug assistance to Ecuador

May 8, 2014

Following the expulsion of military personnel attached to the U.S. Embassy in Quito last month, the U.S.  plans to eliminate funding for Ecuador’s fight against illegal drugs.

“I am quite prepared to acknowledge right now the INL section, which has been in Ecuador now for more than 30 years, is also going to close up shop,” Ambassador William Brownfield, Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), told a congressional hearing.

He said the office staff would be out of Ecuador by the end of September. Brownfield did not say how many U.S. staffers would be affected.

Brownfield said the move was a reflection of the lower level of cooperation the United States currently has with Ecuador.

In 2008, President Rafael Correa refused to renew the lease to a military base in Manta that was used primiarily for drug surveillance flights over Colombia and the Pacific.