There Is No Excuse for US Troops in Ecuador

January 14th, 2024 - by World BEYOND War

Air Force delivers US troops to Ecuador, 2008.

There Is No Excuse to Send
US Troops Back to Ecuador
World BEYOND War

(January 13, 2024) — In 2007 the President of Ecuador Rafael Correa said the United States could no longer have a military base in Ecuador unless Ecuador could have one in Miami, Florida. Of course, most people in the United States never heard that or ever knew the US had a base in Ecuador or ever learned that it ceased having a base in Ecuador. But the point was the outrageousness of militarily occupying other people’s countries, as no country does in the United States, but the United States does in much of the world.

The US military would love nothing better than an excuse to send troops back into Ecuador, and then to try to keep them there.

This past week, Ecuador has seen violent actions in its major cities carried out by groups linked to drug trafficking, organized crime, and other gangs that have operated in the country for many years. The Ecuadorean government has declared a state of “internal armed conflict,” in addition to declaring some of these gangs to be terrorist organizations.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly, the unicameral legislature of the country, has declared that members of the Ecuadorean military will have amnesty for any criminal actions they may commit against these gangs. This is a recipe for making matters worse, and for hurting a lot of people in the process.

US military forces in the streets of Ecuador.

Even worse, Ecuador in 2019 allowed the US military into the Galapagos Islands, and, in 2023 signed, an agreement that could allow US troops to now enter Ecuador to “help.” This would be badly regretted. Latin America has become the globe’s leading zone of peace efforts, and has developed deep resistance to the tradition of the Monroe Doctrine.

Ecuador should draw on this resistance and on the wisdom of its indigenous people. It should maintain its independence and pursue demilitarization, directing its resources into human needs, as a more effective solution, upholding the rule of law while enforcing the rule of law.

In the case of Brazil during the dictatorship, militarizatin only allowed the consolidation of the criminal gangs, while facilitating repression of popular and social organizations.

We will be very attentive to developments in Ecuador, where the Ecuadorian people count on and should have the solidarity of our global movement.