Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ecuador: Tension rises in the 'citizens' revolution'

On July 8, the government of Ecuador's left-wing President Rafael Correa took over three television stations and nearly 200 private companies, prompting the resignation of the finance minister.
The companies seized include the TC Television, TC Noticias and Gamavision television stations, as well as another 195 insurance, construction, real estate and other businesses, all owned by the Isaias Group.

The take-overs are linked to embezzlement charges surrounding Filibanko Bank, which collapsed in Ecuador's financial crisis of 1998, and to the Isaias brothers, who are now living as fugitives in the US and are wanted on criminal charges in Ecuador.]


While government representatives have given assurances that the assets would be auctioned off to repay shareholders with outstanding claims from the 1998 financial crisis, finance minister Fausto Ortiz — described as the most "market friendly" member of Correa's government — had already resigned in protest.