September 16, 2004: Headlines: COS - Ecuador: RPCV Groups: BBC Monitoring Americas: Ecuador's Ambassador to US says "Mae Montano managed to establish throughout the United States an organization called "Friends of Ecuador" which includes 6,000 Peace Corps workers who have visited the country over 40 years and maintain their relationship with and desire to help Ecuador"

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ecuador: Peace Corps Ecuador : The Peace Corps in Ecuador: September 16, 2004: Headlines: COS - Ecuador: RPCV Groups: BBC Monitoring Americas: Ecuador's Ambassador to US says "Mae Montano managed to establish throughout the United States an organization called "Friends of Ecuador" which includes 6,000 Peace Corps workers who have visited the country over 40 years and maintain their relationship with and desire to help Ecuador"

By Admin1 (admin) (151.196.185.151) on Saturday, October 02, 2004 - 3:07 pm: Edit Post

Ecuador's Ambassador to US says "Mae Montano managed to establish throughout the United States an organization called "Friends of Ecuador" which includes 6,000 Peace Corps workers who have visited the country over 40 years and maintain their relationship with and desire to help Ecuador"

Ecuador's Ambassador to US says Mae Montano managed to establish throughout the United States an organization called Friends of Ecuador which includes 6,000 Peace Corps workers who have visited the country over 40 years and maintain their relationship with and desire to help Ecuador

Ecuador's Ambassador to US says "Mae Montano managed to establish throughout the United States an organization called "Friends of Ecuador" which includes 6,000 Peace Corps workers who have visited the country over 40 years and maintain their relationship with and desire to help Ecuador"

Ecuador: Ambassador to USA questions ministry's decision to dismiss two aides
Sep 16, 2004

BBC Monitoring Americas

Text of interview with the Ecuadoran ambassador to the USA, Raul Gangotena, by an unidentified journalist; place, date of interview not given; first paragraph is the paper's introduction; published by Ecuadoran newspaper El Comercio web site on 13 September

A sudden controversy has arisen between Foreign Minister Patricio Zuquilanda and Arturo Gangotena, Ecuador's ambassador to the United States. Gangotena has protested against the Foreign Ministry's decision to dismiss two of his aides, the African-Ecuadoran Mae Montano and the Indian Silvia Gonzalez, taken on the grounds of the need to reduce the political quota and cut costs. Zuquilanda said yesterday that Gangotena has been misinterpreted.

[El Comercio] What has happened?

[Gangotena] The foreign minister dismissed Mae Montano and indicated to me that it was to reduce the political quota according to the attorney-general's criteria. That applies to Mae Montano because Silvia Gonzalez is resident in the USA and under contract for specific tasks. I have not been able to understand why the latter has been dismissed.

[El Comercio] What is the significance of these events?

[Gangotena] This is the first embassy of the Andean Group to have a person of African heritage and a member of the indigenous community working in it. I confess that the removal of these two people eviscerates the rapprochement strategy which this diplomatic mission had for achieving a favourable disposition in the US Congress regarding the FTA [Free Trade Agreement]. The social inclusion that we had achieved was being admired when this decision arrived.

[El Comercio] What did Mae Montano and Silvia Gonzalez do?

[Gangotena] We have worked a lot with [the US] Congress but we have also reached out to civil society. Mae Montano managed to establish throughout the United States an organization called "Friends of Ecuador" which includes 6,000 Peace Corps workers who have visited the country over 40 years and maintain their relationship with and desire to help Ecuador. They have an Internet page which anyone who wants to can enter to see what they do. This group serves to put pressure on legislators when something has to be voted for in Ecuador's favour. The sympathy of the black legislative group, which is numerous, powerful and significant was also won for Ecuador.

[El Comercio] What have the results of this been?

[Gangotena] Silvia Gonzalez, an Indian from Saraguro and a brilliant professional, was able to put together an extremely well- constructed database of about 1,300 names, allowing us to contact well-known people close to the country. As soon as they found out about Mae Montano's dismissal, the same people who had been encouraged by her to be part of the support for Ecuador were very hurt at having contact with her removed, and this is starting to produce very adverse reactions.

[El Comercio] Why has the foreign minister taken this attitude?

[Gangotena] It is difficult to understand and I would not like to believe that there is an ethnic element, but that is the way it is being perceived in the United States; and there is no more adverse reaction against a country than when there is any residue of the discriminatory defect.

[El Comercio] What will you say to President Lucio Gutierrez?

[Gangotena] I have yet to talk to him. I shall ask him to review this decision, which affects seriously the embassy's ability to act.





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Story Source: BBC Monitoring Americas

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Ecuador; RPCV Groups

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