ECUADOR SITUATION UPDATE
We are very pleased to report that the situation in Ecuador is stable now and back to normal, all commercial and banking activities are taking place –only schools are closed for today. Airports are open and flights have resumed. It is a beautiful sunny morning. Guests starting their Galapagos Expeditions have taken the flights to the Galapagos.
Services in the mainland will also be operated today without any problem, since security is guaranteed in all the country.
REPORT ON ECUADOR SITUATION – POLICE PROTESTS
Following to our previous communication, at the moment, the President of Ecuador has declared the State of Exemption. The measure has been taken to reinforce national security and the wellbeing of individuals and it restricts public activities to the minimum required. Ecuador’s military soldiers remain loyal to President Rafael Correa. The police protest by some members of the National Police has been called an insubordination by the authorities.
The Police has issued a communication pointing out their requests and asking that the new law, that would end the practice of giving members of Ecuador’s military and police medals and bonuses with each promotion, not be passed. It is hoped that with a dialogue with the authorities, an agreement can be reached and the police will end their protest soon.
There has been support from other Latin American countries to the democratic government of Ecuador and it does not appear that the police protests threaten to topple the government. There have been no popular uprisings – but instead pacific demonstrations are being organized in support of the President and of democracy.
The mayors of the main cities in Ecuador, since there are no police on the streets, have suggested that banks and commerce be closed as a preventive measure.
Inti Travel and our Ecuadorian associates have taken all the required measures and all our visitors are safe. We are alert to the developments in order to make any necessary rearrangements in the operation of our vessels in Galapagos.
We will issue a new communication when we have more developments.
Protesting Police, Air Force soldiers seize Ecuador airports
Ecuador is experiencing a situation due to protests of the Police and soldiers of the Air Force who are complaining a new law that cut some of their benefits. They have seized the main airports in Ecuador – in the Capital City Quito and also the airports of Guayaquil and Cuenca are shut, as well as highway access to it.
We are confident that the President of Ecuador will take the correct decisions to solve this situation. At the moment, there has been no violence. The situation is uncertain at the moment, but things have not turned violent and all visitors and Ecuadorian citizens are not facing any problems.
Inti Travel and our Ecuadorian associates are taking actions towards the protection and safety of guests in Ecuador, rest assured that all visitors are safe and personally looked after.
Two huge volcanoes in Central and South America are spewing lava, rocks and debris, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes.
A volcano known as Tungurahua — Throat of Fire — came to life Friday morning, 130 kilometres southeast of Ecuador’s capital, Quito, and exploded continuously through the night.
People in several nearby villages were forced to leave their homes, while officials shut down the international airport in the city of Guayaquil. Air travel between Quito and Lima, Peru, was also suspended because of ash from the volcano.
More information coming…
The National Park Service together with other relevant institutions in the Galapagos Islands have announced the following preventive measures at all main entry points to the Galapagos Islands in order to protect the fragile ecosystem from a possible infection with Swine flu.
– All employees at the airports and ports must use disposable gloves and masks
– Foot disinfection at the arrival gate of the airports in Baltra and San Cristobal and at the docks while embarking and disembarking– All arrival halls will be fumigated with a wide spectrum disinfectant prior to the arrival of each aircraft
– Any waste material must remain on board the aircraft and cannot be unloaded in the islands
– All passengers arriving to the islands must disinfect their hands with alcohol prior to leaving the arrival halls
Furthermore, the Ministry of Tourism is working closely with the private sector of tourism in order to centralize all the important and correct information regarding the measures that tour operators should take into consideration for their daily operations. Currently they are in the process of elaborating a leaflet that will be distributed to all service providers and arriving tourists.
International arrivals to Ecuador are currently limited to the main airports in Quito and Guayaquil; secondary airports are temporarily closed as a preventive measure. At this moment Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands have not reported any infected persons.
We will keep you updated about future developments.