Ecuador is a South American country bordered by Colombia and Peru (with which it has fought periodic wars over territorial disputes for much of its history), and straddling the equator from which it takes its name. A democratic republic, it has suffered from economic volatility and extremely high rates of crime, especially since the financial crisis of 1999.

Despite its proximity to the cocaine capitals of Colombia and Peru, Ecuador is not a major producer or trafficker of narcotics. It is more proper to consider it a victim of the drug trade, with Colombian conflicts continually spilling over into the northern border region. However, in the late 1980s and early 1990s in particular, as Colombia and Peru strengthened their efforts against cocaine cartels, traffickers rerouted through ...

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