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April 5, 2011 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Friendly Planet Travel is taking $300 off the price of an eight-day, all-inclusive cultural and sightseeing tour of Ecuador. The lowest-priced trip that includes round-trip airfare from L.A. to Quito costs $1,674 for departures in late fall. To get the discount, you have to book by mid-May. The deal: The Exotic Ecuador tour is a mix of culture and natural wonders that includes airfare; ground transportation and transfers; hotels; guided tours; most meals and more. Participants will tour Quito; Otavalo; villages in the Andes Mountains and Amazon River basin; Cotopaxi, an active volcano more than 19,000 feet high; and other sites.
March 24, 2011 | By Cecilia Sanchez, Los Angeles Times
Mexican authorities said Wednesday that they had captured a close family member of fugitive billionaire drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman while busting a Sinaloa cartel operation that extended all the way to Ecuador. Victor Manuel Felix was one of 18 people arrested in Mexico and Ecuador, the Mexican Public Security Ministry said. Federal police identified Felix as the father-in-law of Guzman's son as well as the godfather of one of the drug lord's children. That makes Felix and Guzman compadres , or co-fathers, which in Latin America is an especially tight relationship.
February 14, 2011 | Reuters
A court in Ecuador's Amazon jungle ordered Chevron Corp. to pay more than $8 billion in damages Monday in a closely watched environmental suit. But the U.S. oil company vowed to appeal, meaning the long-running case dating from drilling in the South American nation during the 1970s and 1980s could last for years more. The case, which activists portray as a fight for justice against rich polluters but Chevron says has more to do with opportunism, has triggered related legal action in U.S. courts and international arbitration.
October 2, 2010 | reuters
? President Rafael Correa's victory over violent police protests in Ecuador is not yet fully assured, though the situation is under control for now, Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said Friday. Correa was physically attacked and trapped in a hospital for several hours Thursday before troops rescued him in a blaze of gunfire. The leftist president said police officers protesting spending cuts were joined by some elements of the military and made an attempt to oust him. "We can't claim total victory.
October 1, 2010 | By Chris Kraul and Paul Rosero, Los Angeles Times
Amid volleys of gunfire and concussion grenade blasts, Ecuadorean armed forces Thursday night rescued President Rafael Correa from a hospital where he had been held for several hours against his will by police mutineers. The rescue ended a 12-hour standoff between the government and dissident police officers who shoved Correa and threw tear gas canisters at him Thursday morning when he arrived at a north Quito police barracks to confront protesters upset over his veto of legislation that would have given police better benefits and salaries.
August 7, 2010
What is a barrel of oil worth? Generally, the answer depends on a number of factors, including the mood of the commodities markets, the grade of the oil and demand at the gas pump. The basic assumption, however, is that the oil has a value because it eventually will be available for use. But in a historic move, Ecuador is asking the world to put a dollar figure on oil that will not be used — oil it intends to protect from excavation. On Tuesday, Ecuador and the United Nations Development Programme began soliciting donations for a trust fund that would remunerate the country if it forgoes drilling in a pristine portion of its Amazon rain forest for 10 years.
July 16, 2010 | By John Horn, Los Angeles Times
A federal appeals panel has ruled quickly that though Joe Berlinger does not have to surrender all 600 hours of outtakes from his film "Crude" to Chevron Corp., the documentary filmmaker must immediately hand over several categories of unused film footage. In an order issued Thursday, a day after the closely watched 1st Amendment case was argued in New York, the three-judge panel said that Berlinger must turn over outtakes related to three issues covered in his 2009 film about environmental litigation in Ecuador.
July 6, 2010 | By Chris Kraul, Los Angeles Times
Police in Ecuador seized a 100-foot submarine being built by suspected drug traffickers capable of carrying a crew of six and 10 tons of cocaine on underwater voyages lasting up to 10 days — a "game changer" for U.S. anti-drug and border security efforts, officials said Monday. A raid Friday by 120 police officers and soldiers netted the fiberglass sub as it was nearing completion in a clandestine "industrial complex" hidden in mangrove swamps near San Lorenzo, a town just south of the Colombian border.
April 16, 2010 | By Chris Kraul, Special to The Los Angeles Times
I've often fantasized about retracing the steps of such naturalists as Charles Darwin, Alexander von Humboldt and William Bartram, who saw exotic places and recorded, in detail, the plants and animals they described so vividly on their expeditions. But the armchair naturalist in me didn't want to work too hard or subject myself to the tribulations they suffered as they circumnavigated the globe, climbed the South American Andes or slogged through the swamps of the Southeastern United States, all places where one might encounter sharks, bugs, snakes, piranhas, jaguars and crocodiles.
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