Francisco Carrión Mena, who had left his country’s Foreign Service in 2011, was appointed in December 2017 to be Ecuador’s ambassador to the United States. Carrión was born April 8, 1953, in Quito, Ecuador. He earned a bachelor’s degree in public and social sciences from Central University of Ecuador in 1974 and a Ph.D. in international sciences in 1978 from the same institution.
In April, during the Summit of the Americas in Peru, US Vice President Mike Pence made a show of the United States’ commitment to open trade with Latin America. In meetings with four leaders in the region — Mauricio Macri from Argentina, Sebastián Piñera from Chile, Juan Manuel Santos from Colombia and Martín Vizcarra from Peru — Pence possibly tried to walk back some of the bellicose trade rhetoric from President Donald Trump
Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa was elected on Tuesday to be the next president of the United Nations General Assembly, thus becoming the first Latin American female to occupy the post. Espinosa, who will be the fourth woman to head the Assembly in the 73 years since it was founded, clearly bested the other candidate, Honduran Ambassador to the UN Mary Elizabeth Flores.
Ecuador’s Defense Minister Patricio Zambrano and Interior Minister Cesar Navas presented their resignations to President Lenin Moreno due to the crumbling of security on the Colombian border, the government said on Friday. The announcement was made by Communications Secretary Andres Michelena, who has lately been the most visible spokesperson of the Ecuadorean government. Read more>>
Detractors fear these actions will generate more violence, affecting people living in the northern provinces of Ecuador. Ecuador signed Wednesday a cooperation agreement with the United States to fight transnational organized crime and drug trafficking. The agreement, signed by Ecuadorean Interior Minister Cesar Navas and U.S. ambassador Todd Chapman, will support the creation of an Office for Investigating Transnational Criminals. On the same day Chapman told El Telegrafo the U.S. is waiting for an “official request” by the Ecuadorean government for the return of a U.S. military team in charge of cooperation in security that was expelled from the country in 2014. Read more>>
Ecuador’s Interior minister Cesar Navas said Monday that the government makes efforts for the release of a couple kidnapped more than a week ago in the northern border of the country. During an interview with Teleamazonas network, the official said the government is working with the Anti-Kidnap and Extortion Unit (UNASE), Colombian security officials and experts from Ecuador’s National Police making “all efforts to contact and have information to find both kidnapped citizens.” However, he said that in spite of the efforts to contact the captors “they are not willing to negotiate.” Read more>>
The cartel is led by ‘El Guacho,’ real name Walter Patricio Artizala Vernaza, and is believed to be responsible for the kidnapping of three journalists. An additional suspect in Ecuador’s recent bombings and kidnappings on the Colombian border has been taken into custody, police officials confirmed Friday, bringing the total number of arrests to 23. “We have hit the organization hard,” Police Commander Ramiro Mantilla told Radio Sonorama, referring to the Oliver Sinisterra Front cartel, which is described by Colombian authorities as a splinter group from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Read more>>
The Ecuadorean reporters said in the video that their kidnappers demand a prisoners exchange and the suspension of anti-terror border activities. The three Ecuadorean journalist kidnapped on the Colombian border asked President Lenin Moreno to comply with the abductors’ demands so they can safely return to their country, in a recently published video by the Colombian RCN news channel, which prompted the Ecuadorean government to later issue a statement rejecting such attempts of pressure by the armed group and stressing that Moreno’s admisntration was doing everything possible to liberate them. Read more>>
The Foreign Ministry described allegations that Ecuador is denying Assange his rights by blocking his internet and phone access as “unacceptable” and “false.” Ecuador has refuted claims it’s impinging on the rights of WikiLeaks founder and social activist Julian Assange, insisting that the government is acting in the strictest adherence to international law. In a statement released Saturday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs described allegations that Ecuador is denying Assange his rights by blocking his internet and phone access and denying him visitors as “unacceptable” and “false.” Read more>>
Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno expressed Monday his “deep concern” about attacks occurred in the border with Colombia since last January and the kidnapping of a team from Ecuador’s El Comercio newspaper in Mataje. “I presided over the Security Council today and I’ve ratified the Police’s and Armed Forces’ total support. We will not stop until our colleagues are freed and until this problem is completely solved,” he wrote on Twitter at the end of the meeting. Read more>>
Ecuador says it will meet with attorneys for the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange next week after the South American nation shut down his internet access at its London embassy for breaching the terms of his asylum. Foreign Minister Maria Fernanda Espinosa made the announcement on Wednesday, saying that Assange, who has been holed up in the building since 2012, had agreed not to meddle “in internal matters of other states.” In recent days, Assange had taken to social media to criticize former Catalan President Carles Puigdemont’s arrest as well as the expulsions of Russian envoys over the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain. Read more>>
Ecuadorean Interior Minister Cesar Navas confirmed on Tuesday the abduction of three employees of Quito’s daily El Comercio in the province of Esmeraldas on the Colombian border. They are thought to have been taken into that country by force but unharmed. At a press conference in Government Palace, Navas said the newspaper’s three employees, apparently two journalists and their driver, “were kidnapped yesterday.” Read more>>