Thursday, July 26th, 2012
Today, the 6th annual Ecuadorian Film Showcase organized by the Embassy of Ecuador held its first installation of the summer at Rosslyn Spectrum Theater in Arlington, Virginia. The free weekly series is part of the Embassy’s efforts to increase awareness of Ecuadorian culture in the United States by presenting the latest award-winning documentaries and short films from Ecuador.
The Film Showcase premiere featured opening remarks from the Ambassador of Ecuador to the United States, Nathalie Cely, followed by a screening of Con mi Corazón en Yambo, a powerful and critically acclaimed documentary about the contentious kidnapping and killing of two young Ecuadorian boys in 1988. The story of Santiago and Andrés Restrepo became one of the most famous cases in Ecuador’s recent history. Written and Directed by the boys’ sister, María Fernanda Restrepo, Con mi Corazón en Yambo is an intimate look into the Restrepo family’s fervent hope and undying dedication to investigating the truth. The full trailer can be viewed here: http://www.conmicorazonenyambo.com/
Ambassador Cely stated: “It was a pleasure to kick off the Film Showcase with this moving documentary. The story has become infamous in Ecuador and other countries in Latin America, but is not well known here in the U.S. I’m proud that we are sharing the talents of Ecuadorian filmmakers with an American audience this summer, and showing off our country’s contributions to art and film.”
The screening was followed by a live Skype question and answer session with the Director and Writer, Maria Fernanda Restrepo.
Director Maria Fernanda Restrepo commented: “I am proud to share my work with an American audience. Con mi Corazón en Yambo is very important because it is not only a family story; it became a country’s story. Everybody in Ecuador felt that they lost two children or two grandsons when my two brothers were kidnapped and tortured. This film is about the power of love, the power of memory that keep us alive, that’s what matters and the value of your first love which is your family.”
Over the course of four weeks, the Ecuadorian Film Showcase will feature the films: A tus Espaldas, Abuelos, and Canción de Toquilla, among others. All films have English subtitles. Admission is free and no RSVP is required. For more information visit: http://www.ecuador.org/nuevosite/ecuadorfilms2012.php
Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
MIAMI, FLORIDA (July 24, 2012) – Last week, Ambassador of Ecuador to the United States Nathalie Cely inaugurated the new Commercial Office of Ecuador located in the Miami Free Zone. The office was established to strengthen economic ties between Ecuador and the State of Florida, which is home to more than 40,000 Ecuadorians. This is the fourth commercial office of Ecuador in the United States, with others located in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. Each year, Ecuador and the United States conduct $15 billion worth of trade.
With the American economy in recession, the commercial office in Miami aims to create new mutually beneficial economic opportunities, including providing Florida consumers with increased access to inexpensive Ecuadorian products from small exporters and promoting U.S. savings and investments destined for Ecuador.
“We hope that this new commercial office reinforces the existing economic ties between our two countries and establishes new opportunities for prosperity. Miami was a natural choice for a new office because of its location, its cultural and immigrant ties to Ecuador and the rest of Latin America, and its important role as a gateway to other parts of the world,” mentioned Cely. “In addition, the 4th Commercial Office will support government efforts to strengthen and take advantage of opportunities to generate new jobs in the U.S. and Ecuador,” she added.
Ecuador was the 15th most important trading partner of the Miami Customs District in 2011, with a record total trade of $2.2 billion. The main products that the state of Florida currently imports from Ecuador are flowers, shrimp, fish, gold, coffee and fruit.
Ecuador and the United States have been growing their economic relationship in recent years. In 2011, U.S. businesses exported $5.5 billion in goods to Ecuador, an increase of 10 percent from 2010. U.S. goods imports from Ecuador totaled $9.5 billion, a 30 percent increase over 2010, which has helped Ecuadorian companies increase minimum wages from $170/month in 2007 to $292/month in 2012. According to the U.S. Trade Representative, Colombia and Ecuador (the two members of the ATPDEA trade agreement with the U.S.) were home to a combined $7.9 billion in U.S. foreign direct investment in 2010.
During her trip to Miami, Ambassador Cely had the opportunity to meet with investors and advisers during an event hosted by Boyd & Janerette law firm, in which she emphasized business opportunities in Ecuador to promote production and tourism. Furthermore, about 300 people attended a forum organized by the Ecuadorian- American Chamber of Commerce, in which Ambassador Cely had the opportunity to answer questions from experts and various media outlets.
Attendees at the inauguration included Eduardo Rivadeneira, Consul General in Miami; Eduardo Torres, Director of the Center for Export Assistance; Juan Jose Malo, President of the Ecuadorian-American Chamber of Commerce; and local government officials.
Thursday, July 19th, 2012
Click on the poster for films and schedule
Monday, July 16th, 2012
This morning, the President of the Judiciary Council, Mr. Paulo Rodríguez, presented the advances of the Ecuadorian Judicial System in the American Bar Association.
Mr. Rodríguez referred to details and examples to guarantees for the independence of the judiciary, the selection process of the members of the National Court, and to diverse aspects of the management of the justice system. He emphasized that the administration of justice is exclusive of the judges and is substantially different from the role of the Judicial Council.
The President of the Judiciary Council explained the programs that are contained in six axes of work: human talent, management model, civil infrastructure, technology, agency cooperation, and the equitable allocation of resources, so that judicial services are offered with the same excellence in all cities and towns throughout Ecuador.
The director of the Rule of Law Initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean of the American Bar Association, Michael MacCullough, said he felt content with respect to the visit of Mr. Rodriguez to the United States to share his experience and explain in great detail the advances of the judicial system in Ecuador. “We are very pleased with the event; I believe that it was a good opportunity to discuss these issues and the public learned a lot,” said MacCullough.
He also indicated that they were aware that there were criticisms of the event, but they stressed that it was an event open to the public. “We wanted Mr. Rodríguez to come and address these issues, just as we wanted those that have another point of view to express their feelings… The President of the Judiciary responded to the questions that were asked, gave some details, and settled all the concerns.”
The Ambassador of Ecuador to the United States, Nathalie Cely, expressed her satisfaction with the meeting that aimed to “promote dialogue and understanding in Washington of the process that is currently underway in Ecuador, in a framework of openness and mutual respect.”
The audience was made up of member of the American Bar Association, representatives of private companies, academic advisors, and a variety of media groups.
Embassy of Ecuador
July 16, 2012
Wednesday, July 4th, 2012
The Embassy of Ecuador to the United States is pleased that the USTR found that the ATPA/ATPDEA continues to provide important strategic benefits for the wellbeing of the people of Ecuador and the United States. In addition, we are pleased that once again, consistent with identical findings in all prior reports by USTR since the APTA/ATPDEA program began in 1991, Ecuador was found to meet all the statutory eligibility requirements to remain a beneficiary country. Thanks to the ATPDEA and the healthy collaboration between our two countries, the region is becoming a more secure and prosperous place for all our people. As the report shows, economic opportunities for both countries have increased greatly because of the ATPDEA- helping grow jobs in Ecuador and the U.S. There also remains strong bilateral cooperation to reduce the trafficking of illicit drugs.
Due to the ATPDEA and a strong Ecuadorian economy, the report finds that last year U.S. businesses exported $5.5 billion in goods to Ecuador, an increase of 10% from 2010. According to the report, imports of Ecuadorian goods to the U.S. also increased approximately 30%, which has helped Ecuadorian companies increase minimum wages from $170/month in 2007 to $292/month in 2012. The USTR also recognizes that Ecuador has further curtailed the illegal practice of child labor– the number of children working illegally fell from 550,000 in 2001 to 367,000 in 2006.
Furthermore, we are also pleased with the report’s findings that Ecuador is not a drug-producing country, and that we continue to work closely with the U.S. and our neighbors to reduce the trafficking of illicit drugs. Yesterday, President Juan Manuel Santos from Colombia publicly thanked Ecuador’s efforts and cooperation with Colombia in its efforts to secure the north-south border, a key factor in reducing drug trafficking across the Americas.
Finally, the report affirms that Ecuador continues to meet all ATPDEA eligibility criteria, including that the government “continues to participate in pending international arbitration cases.” We are pleased that this finding validates Ecuador’s complete and total commitment to honoring its international obligations, despite attempts by independent interest groups to further their own personal interests by casting doubt on both this commitment and the mutually beneficial effects of the ATPDEA. Through the ATPDEA and other ongoing forms of bilateral and people-to-people cooperation between the U.S. and Ecuador, we look forward to continuing in our common efforts to make the Americas a strong, vibrant, and safe place.