Ecuador: pipeline protests in Guayaquil

Residents and officials in Ecuador’s port city of Guayaquil are protesting a planned gas pipeline that would run from Monteverde, in Santa Elena province on the coast to the west, to El Chorrillo, a town just north of the city—through densely populated areas. Hundreds have marched in protest of the line, and won the support of Guayaquil’s municipal government. The city’s development director José Nuñez asserts that the government’s impact study for the project fails to provide adequate guarantees for the safety of some 300,000 residents in Guayaquil’s outlying working-class districts. The city also charges that protests remain ongoing over non-payment of compensation to residents who were relocated by the Libertad-Pascuales pipeline, built some 10 years ago along a similar route, and fear it will be the same with the new line. But Petroecuador’s pointman for the new pipeline, Rommel Tapia, insists the project is safe and necessary for Ecuador’s energy security. (El Universo, Guayaquil, Dec. 18; El Universo via Ecuador Times, Dec. 17; La Linea de Fuego, Ecuador, Dec. 16; Andes, El Universo, Dec. 14; Andes, Dec. 13)