Republik Ecuador        
Islas Galapagos - Galapagos Islands - República del Ecuador


Republic on the western coast of South America. Ecuador was the site of a number of early Indian cultures and was the center of the northern Inca empire at the time of its conquest by Spain (1533). In 1822, Ecuador became independent as part of Bolivar's Great Colombia. In 1830, it withdrew to form a separate nation. Despite substantial petroleum deposits (it is an OPEC member), Ecuador remains an underdeveloped nation. A series of military and civilian regimes have alternated control in recent years. Since 1979, a democratic civilian government has ruled the country. A long-standing border dispute between Ecuador and Peru remains unresolved. Armed hostilities occasionally erupt between the two countries, most recently in January 1995.

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