The people of Ecuador are rising up to refound their country as a pluri-national homeland for all. This inspiring movement, with Ecuador's indigenous peoples at its heart, is part of the revolution spreading across the Americas, laying the groundwork for a new, fairer, world. Ecuador Rising aims to bring news and analysis of events unfolding in Ecuador to english speakers.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Ecuador plan for new province fuels tensions

The Peninsular On-line, 3/3/2007

QUITO, Ecuador • Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa on Thursday signed a bill to allow a tourist-oriented coastal region to become a new province, fuelling tensions with rivals in nearby business hub Guayaquil.

Correa, a leftist former economy minister, agreed to send Congress the bill to fulfill a campaign promise to three districts that asked to become a new province and split from the rich Guayas province and its capital Guayaquil.

Business leaders and politicians in the country’s largest city accuse Correa of backing the plan just to win votes for his proposed constitutional reforms. They fear a new province would strip Guayas of important tax and tourism revenues.

Television images showed a crowd in La Libertad city cheering a smiling Correa who said, “the time has come for your dreams to come true.” Correa was elected last year by a wide margin with pledges to curtail the powers of traditional political parties, whom many Ecuadoreans blame for instability. Guayaquil has been a stronghold for the Social Christian party.

“He is using all the tools he has to woo voters for his assembly proposal,” said Alexandra Vela, an analyst with Quito-based think tank Cordes. “This could create a serious political divide in the country.” The three districts — Salinas, La Libertad and Santa Elena — cover the Santa Elena peninsula, a coveted vacation spot for Ecuadoreans lined with ritzy hotels and key fisheries.

Status as a province would give the Santa Elena peninsula representation in the national Congress, more government funds and greater autonomy to administrate those funds.

But the plan could be stopped in the Congress, where Correa’s political movement has no representatives. Opposition lawmakers, mostly from Guayaquil, have criticised Correa’s move and say they plan to vote against the proposal.

2 comments:

  1. The move for creating the new province of Sta. Elena has been largely viewed by local businessmen and industry as en effort by corrupt local politicians to get greater access to money. To date the city of Salinas in the Sta. Elena peninsula, is the most popular and developed beach resort in the country, but lacks public toilets for the crowded beaches, does a poor job of providing sanitation and public services due largely to poor administration of exisiting revenues. Due to such poor administration few educated middle-class citizens trust the local politicians with greater access to public money. Until now local mayors have coordinated lower class, poorly educated people to close highways, burn tires etc. hurting local business and industry, in misguided efforts to pressure the natl government for provincialization. With Correa the local politicians now have an ally.

    ReplyDelete
  2. elisa9:38 am

    Hmmmm... I guess they promptly forgot who makes their business run. Yeah, US the snotty and snobby Guayaquileans are the ones who go to their beaches every single holiday and buy their ceviche and stay in their hotels and pay for their services and buy their souvenirs. They want us out? OK then they are not getting any of my money or my family's. That's going to come back and bite them in the butt when the touristic flow decreases thanks to that. And burning our Banner is just the icing on the cake of their stupidity. Don't come crying when there's lack of visitors and/or business.

    ReplyDelete