Minister of Internal and External Security of Ecuador, Dr. Gustavo Larrea
At this event co-hosted by CSIS and the Inter-American Dialogue, Ecuador's Minister of Internal and External Security, Dr. Gustavo Larrea, discussed a variety of topics related to Ecuadoran security, including border issues, counter-drug efforts, and international humanitarian law. He gave an overview of Ecuador's success in deterring the drug trade in Ecuador, and highlighted the government's new 'Plan Ecuador' initiative that provides incentives to Ecuadoran farmers to shift production to legitimate crops, such as chocolate, instead of coca. On the topic of relations with Colombia, the Minister said that diplomatic relations with the neighboring country are "suspended indefinitely," but emphasized that bilateral trade between the two countries is still strong and a reopening of political relations is possible in the future. Dr. Larrea also spoke about Ecuador's relationship with the U.S., stating that though there exist "discrepancies" in interests between the two countries, there is no conflict, and successes in the areas of counternarcotics and U.S.-Andean trade demonstrate the potential for bilateral cooperation. The audio of the event (in Spanish) is available by clicking the link above.