World Country Ecuador

About the world country Ecuador, its location, size, population, and who is in power.



Location: Equatorial Pacific (northwest) coast of South America, between Peru and Colombia, plus the Galapagos Islands, 600 mi. offshore.

Size: 109,483 sq. mi. (283,561 sq. km.). Population: 8,382,000.

Who Really Rules: Until the early 1970s Ecuador was the archetypical "banana republic." The United Fruit Co. dominated the country until the early 1960s, when it pulled out. For the next decade, an oligarchy of landowners and exporters held power, ruling through both military and civilian regimes.

In 1972 the production of oil for export transformed Ecuador economically and politically. The military government that seized power that year joined the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and, under the tutelage of Venezuela, established national control of the country's oil resources.

Since 1979 Ecuador has been governed by an elected, left-of-center coalition government. This is not the first time that reformist parties have controlled the government structure, but it is the first time that the government has had the economic resources--oil revenues--to establish a power base among the middle and lower classes.

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