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Ecuador: Coalition to Propose a Ban on the Presence of Foreign Forces in Ecuador

(Feb. 2, 2008) The "No Bases" Coalition of Ecuador ("La Coalición No Bases Ecuador") will propose before the Constituent Assembly that the draft Carta Magna (constitution) forbid the establishment of foreign military bases on Ecuadorian territory. The conference was held by the "No Bases: International Network for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases".

The coalition requests that the draft Constitution include a statement detailing that "Ecuador is a territory of peace and in exercise of its sovereignty it shall not harbor foreign military bases, nor foreign troops." In addition, it will request that the government of Ecuador abstain from entering into any type of agreement that may imply other forms of warlike foreign presences and that it will not get involved in the armed conflicts of other countries.

The coalition reiterates the necessity for United States troops (deployed in 1999 to the Manta Military Base [also known as the Manta Air Base]) to abandon the base by November 2009, when the agreement with the United States has concluded. "The aim of the proposal is to avoid the resurgence of agreements like that of the 1999 agreement, where the military facilities of Manta were handed over to North American forces." The coalition's proposal states that "this objective should be fulfilled to preserve the integrity of the territory and as a precautionary measure for the security of girls and women that saw themselves and may see themselves affected by acts of sexual violence brought by the foreign forces."

The presentation of this proposal fulfills one of the resolutions approved by the World Conference for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases, which took place in 2007 in Ecuador. (Proponen prohibir por ley presencia militar foránea en Ecuador, GRANMA INTERNACIONAL DIGITAL, EDICIÓN EN ESPAÑOL, Jan. 30 2008).