Ecuador will now enable U.S military aircraft to utilize a Galapagos Island airport. U.S planes will be operating out of the San Cristobal airport according to the Defence Minister of Ecuador, Oswaldo Jarrin. He said that in regards to an agreement made with Ecuador’s government, the U.S would be combating drug trafficking.
Compromising natural beauty
The arrangement has some worried about the possible affect on the environment as well as Ecuador’s independence. The Galapagos Islands are situated roughly 560 miles to the west of continental Ecuador. It is a Unesco World Heritage site well known for its distinctive variety of plants and animals. The pristine natural life that dwells there – which encouraged Charles Darwin’s work on the theory of evolution – attracts tourists from all over the world.
The island shouldn’t be militarized
Legislators in Ecuador’s parliament have requested Oswaldo Jarrin and environment Minister Marcelo Mata to disclose the details of the arrangement with the U.S. Congressman for the opposition, Carlos Viteri, says the deal is “unacceptable” and it should be barred if “it intends to cede an inch of Ecuadorian territory”. According to Article 5 of Ecuador’s constitution, the Republic of the Equator is a peaceful territory and “establishment of foreign military bases or foreign facilities for military purposes shall not be allowed”. The ex-president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa was also highly unimpressed, as he tweeted that the island is “not an aircraft carrier” for the U.S.
Jarrin attempted to reassure critics that there would not be any permanence of anyone on the Galapagos Islands. He said that U.S would be paying for any alterations made to the airfield. He commented, “Galapagos is for Ecuador our aircraft carrier, it is our natural carrier, because it assures us permanence, replenishment, interception facilities, and it is 1,000 kilometers from our coasts”.