Ecuador facts on every entity in the world

What is now Ecuador formed part of the northern Inca Empire until the Spanish conquest in 1533. Quito became a seat of Spanish colonial government in 1563 and part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717. The territories of the Viceroyalty - New Granada (Colombia), Venezuela, and Quito - gained their independence between 1819 and 1822 and formed a federation known as Gran Colombia. When Quito withdrew in 1830, the traditional name was changed in favor of the "Republic of the Equator." Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors. A border war with Peru that flared in 1995 was resolved in 1999. Although Ecuador marked 30 years of civilian governance in 2004, the period was marred by political instability. Protests in Quito contributed to the mid-term ouster of three of Ecuador's last four democratically elected presidents. In late 2008, voters approved a new constitution, Ecuador's 20th since gaining independence. General elections were held in February 2013, and voters reelected President Rafael CORREA.



Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru

Geographic coordinates

2.00° S, 77.30° W

Area 74/257

total: 283,561 sq km

land: 276,841 sq km

water: 6,720 sq km

note: includes Galapagos Islands

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than Nevada

Land boundaries

total: 2,237 km

border countries (2): Colombia 708 km, Peru 1,529 km


2,237 km

Maritime claims

territorial sea: 200 nm

continental shelf: 100 nm from 2,500-m isobath


tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands


coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and flat to rolling eastern jungle (oriente)


mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m

highest point: Chimborazo 6,267 m

note: because the earth is not a perfect sphere and has an equatorial bulge, the highest point on the planet furthest from its center is Mount Chimborazo not Mount Everest, which is merely the highest peak above sea level

Natural resources

petroleum, fish, timber, hydropower

Land use

agricultural land: 29.7%

arable land 4.7%; permanent crops 5.6%; permanent pasture 19.4%

forest: 38.9%

other: 31.4% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

15,000 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

424.4 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 9.92 cu km/yr (13%/6%/81%)

per capita: 716.1 cu m/yr (2005)

Natural hazards

frequent earthquakes; landslides; volcanic activity; floods; periodic droughts

volcanism: volcanic activity concentrated along the Andes Mountains; Sangay (elev. 5,230 m), which erupted in 2010, is mainland Ecuador's most active volcano; other historically active volcanoes in the Andes include Antisana, Cayambe, Chacana, Cotopaxi, Guagua Pichincha, Reventador, Sumaco, and Tungurahua; Fernandina (elev. 1,476 m), a shield volcano that last erupted in 2009, is the most active of the many Galapagos volcanoes; other historically active Galapagos volcanoes include Wolf, Sierra Negra, Cerro Azul, Pinta, Marchena, and Santiago

Environment - current issues

deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution; pollution from oil production wastes in ecologically sensitive areas of the Amazon Basin and Galapagos Islands

Environment - international agreements

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note

Cotopaxi in Andes is highest active volcano in world

People and Society


noun: Ecuadorian(s)

adjective: Ecuadorian

Ethnic groups

mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 71.9%, Montubio 7.4%, Amerindian 7%, white 6.1%, Afroecuadorian 4.3%, mulato 1.9%, black 1%, other 0.4% (2010 est.)


Spanish (Castilian) 93% (official), Quechua 4.1%, other indigenous 0.7%, foreign 2.2%

note: (Quechua and Shuar are official languages of intercultural relations; other indigenous languages are in official use by indigenous peoples in the areas they inhabit) (2010 est.)


Roman Catholic 74%, Evangelical 10.4%, Jehovah's Witness 1.2%, other 6.4% (includes Mormon Buddhist, Jewish, Spiritualist, Muslim, Hindu, indigenous religions, African American religions, Pentecostal), atheist 7.9%, agnostic 0.1%

note: data represents persons at least 16 years of age from five Ecuadoran cities (2012 est.)

Population 68/238

15,868,396 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 27.99% (male 2,265,935/female 2,175,864)

15-24 years: 18.56% (male 1,494,206/female 1,451,152)

25-54 years: 39.16% (male 3,027,989/female 3,185,924)

55-64 years: 7.23% (male 563,259/female 584,730)

65 years and over: 7.05% (male 533,796/female 585,541) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 55.6%

youth dependency ratio: 45.1%

elderly dependency ratio: 10.4%

potential support ratio: 9.6% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 27 years

male: 26.3 years

female: 27.7 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 88/233

1.35% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 95/224

18.51 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 186/225

5.06 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 100/222

0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)


urban population: 63.7% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 1.9% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

Guayaquil 2.709 million; QUITO (capital) 1.726 million (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.91 male(s)/female

total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 67/184

64 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 99/224

total: 17.38 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 20.51 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 14.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 82/224

total population: 76.56 years

male: 73.6 years

female: 79.67 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 95/224

2.25 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Health expenditures 98/191

7.5% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

1.72 physicians/1,000 population (2011)

Hospital bed density

1.6 beds/1,000 population (2011)

Drinking water source


urban: 93.4% of population

rural: 75.5% of population

total: 86.9% of population


urban: 6.6% of population

rural: 24.5% of population

total: 13.1% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access


urban: 87% of population

rural: 80.7% of population

total: 84.7% of population


urban: 13% of population

rural: 19.3% of population

total: 15.3% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.34% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

32,700 (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

1,200 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 86/191

18% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 82/138

6.4% (2013)

Education expenditures 94/173

4.4% of GDP (2012)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 14 years

male: 14 years

female: 14 years (2012)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 96/134

total: 10.9%

male: 8.4%

female: 15.7% (2013 est.)


Country name

conventional long form: Republic of Ecuador

conventional short form: Ecuador

local long form: Republica del Ecuador

local short form: Ecuador

etymology: the country's position on the globe, straddling the equator, accounts for its Spanish name

Government type



name: Quito

geographic coordinates: 0.13° S, 78.30° W

time difference: UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

24 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Azuay, Bolivar, Canar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Galapagos, Guayas, Imbabura, Loja, Los Rios, Manabi, Morona-Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Pichincha, Santa Elena, Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas, Sucumbios, Tungurahua, Zamora-Chinchipe


24 May 1822 (from Spain)

National holiday

Independence Day (independence of Quito), 10 August (1809)


many previous (20); latest approved 20 October 2008; amended 2011 (2015)

Legal system

civil law based on the Chilean civil code with modifications; traditional law in indigenous communities

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent: yes

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 3 years


18-65 years of age, universal and compulsory; 16-18, over 65, and other eligible voters, voluntary

Executive branch

chief of state: President Rafael CORREA Delgado (since 15 January 2007); Vice President Jorge GLAS Espinel (since 24 May 2013); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government

head of government: President Rafael CORREA Delgado (since 15 January 2007); Vice President Jorge GLAS Espinel (since 24 May 2013)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president

elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 17 February 2013 (next to be held in 2017)

election results: President Rafael CORREA Delgado reelected president; percent of vote - Rafael CORREA Delgado (Alianza PAIS Movement) 57.2%, Guillermo LASSO (CREO) 22.7%, Lucio GUTIERREZ (PSP) 6.8%, Mauricio RODAS (SUMA) 3.9%, other 9.4%

Legislative branch

description: unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (137 seats; 116 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 15 members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote, and 6 directly elected in multi-seat constituencies for Ecuadorians living abroad by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms)

elections: last held on 17 February 2013 (next to be held in 2017)

election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PAIS 100, CREO 11, PSC 6, AVANZA 5, MUPP 5, PSP 5, other 5; note - defections by members of National Assembly are commonplace, resulting in frequent changes in the numbers of seats held by the various parties

Judicial branch

highest court(s): National Court of Justice or Corte Nacional de Justicia (consists of 21 judges including the chief justice and organized into 5 specialized chambers); Constitutional Court or Corte Constitucional (consists of 9 judges)

judge selection and term of office: justices of National Court of Justice elected by the Judiciary Council, a 9-member independent body of law professionals; judges elected for 9-year, non-renewable terms, with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years; Constitutional Court judges appointed by the executive, legislative, and Citizen Participation branches of government; judges appointed for 9-year non-renewable terms with one-third of the membership renewed every 3 years

subordinate courts: Fiscal Tribunal; Election Dispute Settlement Courts, provincial courts (one for each province); cantonal courts

Political parties and leaders

Alianza PAIS movement [Rafael Vicente CORREA Delgado]

Avanza Party or AVANZA [Ramiro GONZALEZ]

Creating Opportunities Movement or CREO [Guillermo LASSO]

Institutional Renewal and National Action Party or PRIAN [Alvaro NOBOA]

Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement or MUPP [Rafael ANTUNI]

Patriotic Society Party or PSP [Lucio GUTIERREZ Borbua]

Popular Democracy Movement or MPD [Luis VILLACIS]

Roldosist Party or PRE

Social Christian Party or PSC [Pascual DEL CIOPPO]

Socialist Party [Fabian SOLANO]

Society United for More Action or SUMA [Mauricio RODAS]

Warrior's Spirit Movement [Jaime NEBOT]

Political pressure groups and leaders

Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador or CONAIE [Humberto CHOLANGO]

Federation of Indigenous Evangelists of Ecuador or FEINE [Manuel CHUGCHILAN, president]

National Federation of Indigenous Afro-Ecuatorianos and Peasants or FENOCIN

National Teacher's Union or UNE [Mariana PALLASCO]

International organization participation


Flag description

three horizontal bands of yellow (top, double width), blue, and red with the coat of arms superimposed at the center of the flag; the flag retains the three main colors of the banner of Gran Colombia, the South American republic that broke up in 1830; the yellow color represents sunshine, grain, and mineral wealth, blue the sky, sea, and rivers, and red the blood of patriots spilled in the struggle for freedom and justice

note: similar to the flag of Colombia, which is shorter and does not bear a coat of arms

National symbol(s)

Andean condor; national colors: yellow, blue, red

National anthem

name: "Salve, Oh Patria!" (We Salute You, Our Homeland)

lyrics/music: Juan Leon MERA/Antonio NEUMANE

note: adopted 1948; Juan Leon MERA wrote the lyrics in 1865; only the chorus and second verse are sung


Economy - overview

Ecuador is substantially dependent on its petroleum resources, which have accounted for more than half of the country's export earnings and approximately 25% of public sector revenues in recent years.

In 1999/2000, Ecuador's economy suffered from a banking crisis, with GDP contracting by 5.3% and poverty increasing significantly. In March 2000, the Congress approved a series of structural reforms that also provided for the adoption of the US dollar as legal tender. Dollarization stabilized the economy, and positive growth returned in the years that followed, helped by high oil prices, remittances, and increased non-traditional exports. From 2002-06 the economy grew an average of 4.3% per year, the highest five-year average in 25 years. After moderate growth in 2007, the economy reached a growth rate of 6.4% in 2008, buoyed by high global petroleum prices and increased public sector investment. President Rafael CORREA Delgado, who took office in January 2007, defaulted in December 2008 on Ecuador's sovereign debt, which, with a total face value of approximately US$3.2 billion, represented about 30% of Ecuador's public external debt. In May 2009, Ecuador bought back 91% of its "defaulted" bonds via an international reverse auction.

Economic policies under the CORREA administration - for example, an announcement in late 2009 of its intention to terminate 13 bilateral investment treaties, including one with the United States - have generated economic uncertainty and discouraged private investment. China has become Ecuador's largest foreign lender since Quito defaulted in 2008, allowing the government to maintain a high rate of social spending; Ecuador contracted with the Chinese government for more than $9.9 billion in forward oil sales, project financing, and budget support loans as of December 2013.

The level of foreign investment in Ecuador continues to be one of the lowest in the region as a result of an unstable regulatory environment, weak rule of law, and the crowding-out effect of public investments. In 2014, oil output increased slightly and production remained steady in 2015, although prices will likely remain lower than in previous years. Faced with a 2013 trade deficit of $1.1 billion, Ecuador erected technical barriers to trade in December 2013, causing tensions with its largest trading partners. Ecuador also decriminalized intellectual property rights violations in February 2014. In March, 2015 Ecuador imposed tariff surcharges from 5%-45% on an estimated 32% of imports for 15 months. In 2015, lower oil prices forced CORREA to cut the budget twice, and the government has previewed further budget and subsidy cuts for 2016.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 66/230

$181.8 billion (2015 est.)

$182.9 billion (2014 est.)

$176.2 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$98.93 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 203/225

-0.6% (2015 est.)

3.8% (2014 est.)

4.6% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 130/230

$11,300 (2015 est.)

$11,400 (2014 est.)

$11,000 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 67/179

22.1% of GDP (2015 est.)

27.5% of GDP (2014 est.)

27.7% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 60.5%

government consumption: 13.9%

investment in fixed capital: 26.7%

investment in inventories: 0.5%

exports of goods and services: 23.9%

imports of goods and services: -25.5%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 6.1%

industry: 34.2%

services: 59.7% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

bananas, coffee, cocoa, rice, potatoes, cassava (manioc, tapioca), plantains, sugarcane; cattle, sheep, pigs, beef, pork, dairy products; fish, shrimp; balsa wood


petroleum, food processing, textiles, wood products, chemicals

Industrial production growth rate 170/202


note: excludes oil refining (2015 est.)

Labor force 64/233

7.336 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 27.8%

industry: 17.8%

services: 54.4% (2012 est.)

Unemployment rate 50/207

4.8% (2015 est.)

4.3% (2014 est.)

Population below poverty line

25.6% (December 2013 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 1.4%

highest 10%: 35.4%

note: data for urban households only (2012 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 24/144

48.5 (December 2013)

50.5 (December 2010)

note: data are for urban households


revenues: $35.1 billion

expenditures: $39.8 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 58/219

35.5% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 169/220

-4.8% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 135/176

32.4% of GDP (2015 est.)

27.7% of GDP (2014 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 156/226

4% (2015 est.)

3.6% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 37/156

8.17% (31 December 2011)

8.68% (31 December 2010)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 98/184

8.8% (31 December 2015 est.)

8.12% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 79/192

$9.748 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$9.531 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 76/193

$34.53 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$28.44 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 72/191

$34.2 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$31.97 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares 85/121

$5.911 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

$5.779 billion (31 December 2011)

$5.263 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance 152/197

-$2.529 billion (2015 est.)

-$601 million (2014 est.)

Exports 73/224

$18.36 billion (2015 est.)

$26.6 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

petroleum, bananas, cut flowers, shrimp, cacao, coffee, wood, fish

Exports - partners

US 43.9%, Chile 8.9%, Peru 6.1%, Panama 5.5% (2014)

Imports 72/223

$20.93 billion (2015 est.)

$26.67 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

industrial materials, fuels and lubricants, nondurable consumer goods

Imports - partners

US 31.9%, China 13%, Colombia 8%, Panama 5.1% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 105/170

$3.128 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$3.949 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 79/206

$25.03 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$20.28 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 87/120

$14.91 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$14.41 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 67/105

$6.33 billion (31 December 2012 est.)

$6.33 billion (31 December 2011 est.)

Exchange rates

the US dollar became Ecuador's currency in 2001


Electricity - production 74/220

22.11 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 71/219

19.02 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 90/218

12 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports 86/219

238 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 75/214

5.384 million kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 140/214

57.3% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 82/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 57/214

41.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 92/212

1.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 27/214

556,400 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 23/214

413,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Crude oil - imports 183/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 19/215

8.832 billion bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 52/214

207,300 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 48/212

254,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 68/214

31,530 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 41/213

135,500 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 69/216

515 million cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 97/215

515 million cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 91/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 190/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 89/212

6.003 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 71/212

37.23 million Mt (2012 est.)


Telephones - fixed lines 55/219

total subscriptions: 2.44 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 16 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 65/217

total: 16.6 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 106 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: elementary fixed-line service but increasingly sophisticated mobile-cellular network

domestic: fixed-line services provided by multiple telecommunications operators; fixed-line teledensity stands at about 15 per 100 persons; mobile-cellular use has surged and subscribership has reached 100 per 100 persons

international: country code - 593; landing points for the PAN-AM and South America-1 submarine cables that provide links to the west coast of South America, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and extending onward to Aruba and the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) (2011)

Broadcast media

multiple TV networks and many local channels, as well as more than 300 radio stations; many TV and radio stations are privately owned; the government owns or controls 5 national TV stations and multiple radio stations; broadcast media required by law to give the government free air time to broadcast programs produced by the state (2007)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 392, FM 35, shortwave 29 (2001)

Television broadcast stations

7 (plus 14 repeaters) (2000)

Internet country code


Internet hosts 76/232

170,538 (2012)

Internet users 59/217

total: 5.9 million

percent of population: 37.6% (2014 est.)


Airports 20/236

432 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 104

over 3,047 m: 4

2,438 to 3,047 m: 5

1,524 to 2,437 m: 18

914 to 1,523 m: 26

under 914 m: 51 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 328

914 to 1,523 m: 37

under 914 m: 291 (2013)


2 (2013)


extra heavy crude 527 km; gas 71 km; oil 2,131 km; refined products 1,526 km (2013)

Railways 90/136

total: 965 km

narrow gauge: 965 km 1.067-m gauge (2014)

Roadways 83/223

total: 43,670 km

paved: 6,472 km

unpaved: 37,198 km (2007)

Waterways 52/107

1,500 km (most inaccessible) (2012)

Merchant marine 72/156

total: 44

by type: cargo 1, chemical tanker 4, liquefied gas 1, passenger 9, petroleum tanker 28, refrigerated cargo 1

registered in other countries: 4 (Panama 3, Peru 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals

major seaport(s): Esmeraldas, Manta, Puerto Bolivar

river port(s): Guayaquil (Guayas)

container port(s) (TEUs): Guayaquil (1,405,762)

Military and Security

Military branches

Ecuadorian Armed Forces: Ecuadorian Land Force (Fuerza Terrestre Ecuatoriana, FTE), Ecuadorian Navy (Fuerza Naval del Ecuador (FNE), includes Naval Infantry, Naval Aviation, Coast Guard), Ecuadorian Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Ecuatoriana, FAE) (2012)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for selective conscript military service; conscription has been suspended; 18 years of age for voluntary military service; Air Force 18-22 years of age, Ecadorian birth requirement; 1-year service obligation (2012)

Military expenditures 24/132

2.83% of GDP (2012)

3.2% of GDP (2011)

2.83% of GDP (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

organized illegal narcotics operations in Colombia penetrate across Ecuador's shared border, which thousands of Colombians also cross to escape the violence in their home country

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 121,317 (Colombia) (2014)

Illicit drugs

significant transit country for cocaine originating in Colombia and Peru, with much of the US-bound cocaine passing through Ecuadorian Pacific waters; importer of precursor chemicals used in production of illicit narcotics; attractive location for cash-placement by drug traffickers laundering money because of dollarization and weak anti-money-laundering regime; increased activity on the northern frontier by trafficking groups and Colombian insurgents (2008)