From the still-vex'd Bermoothes.
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ecuador | by Newley Purnell | 16 Jan, 2004 at 09:02 AM | comments (0) | trackback (0)

Here're the three main stories from Ecuador this week, beginning with a volcanic eruption

Volcan Sangay Spews Ash
Reuters reports that on Wednesday, "A huge column of ash shot out of an Ecuadorean Amazon volcano...making it the sixth showing signs of eruption in the South American country, government scientists said.
No one was hurt and no human settlement endangered by the 25-mile (40-km) high plume of ash belched out by the Sangay volcano, whose crater towers 17,200 feet (5,200 metres) above the sweltering jungles of Morona Santiago province, the Ecuadorean Geophysics Institute said."

Pesky Prison Problems Plague Prez
Ecuadorian president Lucio Gutierrez has declared a "state of emergency" for the nation's prisons. Human rights groups say the country's facilities are deplorable, and inmates have been staging demonstrations to decry being held for unreasonable amounts of time while awaiting trial.

Earlier, on January 9th, the AP says, "About 20 women inmates stripped off clothing...and protested from their prison roof, claiming they've been held for more than a year without trial and should be freed."

What's At Stake in the ChevronTexaco Case?
The International Herald Tribune tells us just why the ChevronTexaco case--in which the indigenous populations of Ecuador's Amazon jungle are suing the oil giant for environmental damage--is important:

"Drilling for oil without adequate safeguards is one of the most destructive processes to man and the environment. This fact has been particularly apparent in the Ecuadorean area of the Amazon basin, where Texaco - which later merged with Chevron - drilled for oil from 1964 through 1992. ChevronTexaco is now facing a billion-dollar legal battle for polluting significant portions of the Ecuadorean Amazon. The outcome of this legal battle will set the standards under which powerful multinational companies will be held accountable for harming the health of the population in their working areas, and for polluting the environment in many developing countries."

That's it for this week.

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