Historically, Ecuador’s foreign policy was developed over time through the universally accepted principles. Nevertheless, this policy was properly defined starting from its condition as a small, making it a weak state in the international order, in which the agendas were vulnerable to private domestic influences and specially sensitive to foreign policy from other countries, in particular from the United States which similarly to what has happening in other nations of the region it will interfere directly in matters of the country, all favored by weak institutions and unstable and contradictory government decisions.
The new National Constitution of 2008 – as opposed to the one in 1998, which drew a scarce articulate and essentially normative in issues relating to foreign policy – established that public policies must have an indisputably democratic character, reflecting the interests and aspirations of the largest Ecuadorian populations segment, with the main intention of building a new way of citizen coexistence, in diversity and harmony with nature, to reach the Good Living, the sumak kawsay. A society that respects in every dimension, the dignity of individuals and communities. A democratic country, committed with the Latin American integration, as envisaged by the Constituent Assembly.
This is how the ethical and political principles that cross the planning and implementation of foreign policy, go beyond the articles dedicated to this topic in the constitutional text, merging with the rights arising of the Good Living, the rights of nature, the rupture with colonial patterns, the creation of pos neoliberal court policies, national sovereignty, and the strategic insertion of Ecuador in the international scenario, seeking then the integration with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and its independence with the interests of the Ecuadorian peoples, therefore it was necessary to break with the old model and block agreements that had the style and content of free trade agreements, which would limit the ability to promote an endogenous economic model for the Good Living.
According to the Politic transformation that region currently goes through, the Ecuadorian Constitution innovates and contains the set of demands and interests that emerged from the popular resistance against neoliberalism and other democratic modernization agendas and social transformation of the State, pursuing the rupture in the previous political system and establishing a new pact of coexistence for the long term, which is embodied in the 2008 Constitution. Its livelihood is clearly manifested in the idea that the Citizen Revolution began this journey that is now expressed in various articles of the new Constitution, in clear guidelines for transforming a foreign policy that goes beyond government, in order to achieve the consolidation of a State’s foreign policy.
In this sense, and understanding as general principles of foreign policy those ethical and legal foundations that substantiate and argue the international management of the State, as well as pointing out Ecuador’s identity in the international scenario starting from the foundational paradigms adopted by the peoples in a referendum that was designed as an instrument which enshrines participatory democracy, it is necessary to note that the Magna Carta, in Article 416, refers to general principles governing international relations and therefore Ecuador’s foreign policy, under the premise of responding to the interests of the Ecuadorian peoples.
The National Plan for Good Living emanated of the constitutional paradigms in which the designed strategies seek to continue the changes generated in the previous plan, to radicalize them and respond to the structural problems of the Ecuadorian State, pursuing the construction of a collective identity through a sovereign and equal project. In that sense, the 2009-2013 Plan wants to consolidate as a strategic guideline in matters of foreign policy the objectives of strengthening a multi-polar international order, dismantle old colonialisms and strengthen old priority alliances, insert Ecuador in a strategic and sovereign manner into the world and prioritize Latin American integration, establish as the integration’s premise the exercise of sovereignty in a broad and solidarity manner where every peoples has the ability to self determined, boost the South-South integration, safeguard the intention of the Ecuadorian State to restructure the system of accumulation, distribution and redistribution of wealth, promote a new international financial architecture, establish commercial agreements specially emphasizing on the need to replace imports and proclaim human mobility to all over the world as established by the Constitution.
According to these constitutional principles and to the strategic guidelines of the Good Living Plan, Ecuador has shed its "small country" facet in the international context to take on important battles in favor of its own and the entire region’s sovereignty,
The Ecuadorian Minister Ricardo Patiño assisted to the 68th Session Period of the UN’s General Assembly in the city of New York, where he addressed the topic about the environmental contamination that was left in the Ecuadorian Amazon by the Oil Company Chevron – Texaco. This action is taken on after President Correa requested to the International Court of Justice to take actions against the American Oil Company in order to stop the smear campaign against Ecuador, whose foundation is "ignoring a millionaire court ruling for environmental contamination." For this purpose, according to Correa, Chevron he has already spent more than $ 400 million in a campaign against Ecuador and has hired dozens of lobbyists companies and around 900 lawyers.
On 2012, Chevron was condemned to pay 19 billion dollars for the contamination made by its affiliate Texaco during almost 30 years that it operated in the Ecuadorian Amazon. However, the fault has yet to be ratified by Ecuador’s highest court. Since then, Chevron seeks that Ecuador assumes the million dollar compensation, arguing that Ecuador’s state oil company was responsible for the damage by poor environmental recovery work.
According to what Telesur informs, the Ecuadorian Head of State pointed out that the environmental damaged caused by Chevron is 85 times worse than the British Petroleum spill in the Mexican Gulf on 2010 and 18 times more than the disaster that happened for the disaster occurred for the grounding of the super tanker Exxon Valdez in Alaska in 2010.
In 2001 Texaco merged with Chevron and left open from 1964-1992 about one thousand, toxic pools where it poured about 18 billion gallons of contaminated water with oil that continue to leak into the ground or pour out during the rainy season, in addition to another 17 million gallons that were spilled in accidents. This has resulted in the contamination of about 480 thousand hectares of land and water that is being used by the local population which has caused damages to wildlife and agricultural production as well as many cases of cancer with over a thousand people dead and serious skin effects of the residents of this region.
Although technologies of protection currently existed during that time, Texaco avoided its use in order to lower production costs in the production of crude. As Sally Burch from the agency Amlatina-amai reports, "In the time that Texaco operated, the Ecuadorian standard for the volume of total petroleum hydrocarbons in soil and water, was ten times softer than the norm in US, but still, the contamination found in the 54 places (inspected by the Lago Agrio’s Court of Justice in the Ecuadorian Amazon) was on average 20 times higher than the Ecuadorian norm, reaching, in some places, a level up to 900 times greater"
President Correa has stated that this is "an emblematic case which shows how unjust and immoral international order is, where there is total supremacy of capital, of the multinationals on the peoples, societies, nations". This should force a reform of the international legal system so that they operate under conditions in which the parties are protected in the equality of rights and duties.
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