Ecuador

Defense Minister Celso Amorim of Brazil met with his counterparts, Juan Carlos Pinzón of Colombia and María Fernanda Espinosa of Ecuador, in the Brazilian city of Manaus Thursday morning. The meeting was focused on strengthening security cooperation between the three nations that border the Amazon.

The leaders of the Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América (Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas—ALBA) are meeting today in Guayaquil, Ecuador, to discuss ways to further integrate the regional bloc and widen the scope of its work on social and economic issues.

Without dismissing the dangers that the U.S. government’s surveillance program poses to freedom worldwide, the Snowden affair has only cast a light again on Correa’s own failure to promote freedom of expression in Ecuador.

As we wait to hear Ecuador’s decision on whether to grant asylum to Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old contractor who leaked the details of the U.S. National Security Agency surveillance program, two questions loom large: Why would Ecuador do it? And will it?  

Likely top stories this week: Michelle Bachelet wins Chile’s opposition primaries; Cuban state-run produce markets go private; President Rousseff’s popularity dips; U.S. immigration reform moves to the House of Representatives; Edward Snowden stuck in Moscow.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague and his Ecuadorian counterpart, Ricardo Patiño, met in London on Monday to discuss the unresolved asylum case of the Australian journalist and founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange.

Election season got under way today in Ecuador as eight presidential candidates took to the streets and rallied supporters to campaign for the February 17 presidential and congressional elections. 

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa traveled to Argentina on Monday to receive an award from the Universidad de la Plata in La Plata, Argentina, recognizing his contributions to freedom of expression in Ecuador.

Top stories this week are likely to include: the United States heads to the polls; Puerto Rico decides on status; Michel Martelly requests emergency aid; and Rafael Correa gets re-nominated for president.

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