Thursday, August 18, 2005

Ecuador - Protesters have cut the flow of oil from Ecudor to the United States to a trickle and have paralyzed two oil producing provinces in the Amazon. President Alfredo Palacio has responded by declaring martial law in the provinces, authorizing security forces to retake the oil fields, and legalizing government censorship of all news media in the regions. Ecuador is normally the second largest U.S. oil supplier on the continent, generating 530,000 barrels per day. Demonstrators, many of whom used dynamite to shut down the pipelines and roads, are demanding that foreign oil companies like U.S. based Occidental Petroleum Corp., Brazilian based Petrobras and Canadian based EnCana Corp. provide financing for infrastructure projects and more jobs.