A great deal of media coverage has been devoted to the persistent instability in Colombia and ongoing negotiations between the FARC and the Colombian government. However, little attention is paid to the effects that this conflict has had on Colombia’s southern neighbor, Ecuador, and the tenuous relations between the two nations.
The Mushuc Runa Soccer Club has made history not only for the indigenous community that it represents but also for the country of Ecuador as a whole.1 This indigenous team has ascended to the A division, the highest level of Ecuadorian professional soccer.
Since the 1990s the concept of interculturalidad [interculturality] has taken hold in Latin American politics. In Ecuador, it has been a tenant of indigenous movements and NGOs in the struggle to recognize cultural diversity and eliminate socioeconomic inequalities. The current government, under President Rafael Correa, has adopted interculturalidad as a paradigm shift against the state’s neoliberal past.
Ecuador adopted the U.S. Dollar as its official currency in 2000, replacing the rapidly depreciating Sucre. Now, in 2014, the South American country is initiating a movement toward an entirely digital currency, which will be accessed through users’ phones and can be used in all transactions and bank operations.3
As the devastating consequences of the recent earthquake in Ecuador continue to roll in, it is increasingly evident the depth of destruction that Ecuador faces. On April 16th an earthquake of 7.8 magnitude struck the coast of Ecuador near Muisne, in the province of Esmeraldas. The towns of Manta, Pedernales and Portoviejo were also hit heavily. The capital, Quito, felt the tremors but was less affected.