- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 25, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Responding to your harsh editorial “Inequities in Ecuador” (Opinion, Thursday), I want readers of The Washington Times to know that, like most Americans, Ecuadorians are honest, hard-working, peace-loving people yearning for a better future.

It was their desire for change and greater transparency in government that led our country to adopt, in 2007 and by a large electoral majority, a new constitution that enshrined ethics and accountability as core values.

Since then, the government of President Rafael Correa has taken several important steps, with broad public support, to eliminate, investigate and prevent corruption in both the public and private sectors and to establish a fairer and more equal society.

We are proud of the progress we have made. For these reasons, I think your editorial, which endorses the lobbying campaign by the big oil company Chevron to punish Ecuador’s economy and its people, is completely off the mark.

Chevron is engaged in a private lawsuit brought by a group of indigenous people whose homelands in the Lago Agrio region along the Amazon were damaged by oil contamination.

The case originally was filed in the United States, but it was moved to Ecuador’s courts on a motion from the oil company. We assure your readers that Chevron will get a fair hearing and an honest verdict in the case. We ask you - and Chevron - to let the case play out and stop seeking to disrupt trade that benefits both of our countries in order to influence the outcome of that trial.

LUIS GALLEGOS

Ambassador to the United States

Republic of Ecuador

Washington


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