Comparative law and justice/Ecuador

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Vinthasanh 22:46, 7 February 2011 (UTC)

Basic Information[edit]

Flag of Ecuador.svg

Ecuador is located in South America and there are 22 cities within the state. This country borders between Columbia and Peru. [1] As of July 2010, there was a population of approximatly 14,790,608 people. [2] The capital of Ecuador is Quito. Ecuador sits at the equator of the earth, which is also known as Republic of Ecuador or given its name in translation, Republic of the Equator. The country is 109,415 square mile. The urban population of Ecuador is 63% and is currently rising. [3] The life expectancy rate for a person to live is approximately to the age of 71 years. [4] Ecuador only has an 85% access to safe drinking water for the population.[5] The largest city in Ecuador is Guayaquil with the population of just over 2,000,000 people residing in the country. The evidence concluded that the country of Ecuador has had its civilization since 3500 B.C.[6] The ethnicity in Ecuador ranges from the Mestizos, Indigenous, Whites and the Afro-Ecuadorians. [7] The major religion practiced is Roman Catholic. [8] Ecuador became independence from Spain on May 24th, 1822. [9] Spanish is the official language spoken for the Ecuadorian country. [10] The approximate growth rate for Ecuador is 1.56%. [11] Ecuador also has a high risk of infectious diseases spreading throughout the country. Diseases ranges from bacterial diarrhea, to hepatitis A, malaria, dengue fever, leptospirosis, and typhoid fever. [12] The Ecuadorians also drive on the right side of the road and also in the left side of the car. [13] Some linguistic characteristic is in the 1998 constitution, the state guarantees the system of bilingual, intercultural education where the language and culture are taught and Spanish is the set phrase of intercultural relations. [14] Some languages are spoken only by the most native people, such as Quichua. Some that belong to the northern region of Ecuador commonly speak comprehensible languages of Barbacoan. [15]

Brief History[edit]

Every civilization that was created in Ecuador, had developed their own uniqued type of agriculture and development of work. In the early history of Ecuador, there were a variety of cultures including the Chorrera, Jama Coaque, Bahia, Tolita, Machalilla, and Valdivia and have been established between the time of 12,000 B.C. and 1,500 A.D.[16] These were the oldest known cultures in the Americas. [17] It is assumed that the early settlers in Ecuador were the Asian nomads that traveled in South America and around 12,000 B.C.[18] It is also assumed that the Polynesians later joined the Asian nomads. Approximately 150 years later, the Incas later connected with them. After hundreds of years of land expansions, agreements and warfare, the Incas later took over and conquered the region. [19] Around the 1500’s, the Spanish came and invaded Ecuador. The leader of the Incas, Huayna Capac, combined his invasions of the territory that his people had which included Ecuador. [20] One of the first settlers of the Spaniards landed along northern Ecuador in 1526. [21] In the following years, the new Inca leader, Atahualpa, was ambushed, attacked and executed. The Inca empire was later demolished. [22] When the Inca Empire was defeated, the Spanish migrants later instituted themselves and became the new rulers of Ecuador in 1534. [23] Quito declared themselves as the first self governing junta in the Spanish colonies on August 10, 1809. [24] Guayaqul later declared their independence on October 9, 1820. The first figure known as the President, General Juan Jose Flores. During this time, Quito was chosen to be the country’s capital and Catholicism became the official religion of Ecuador. [25] One of the biggest times in Ecuador were the years between 1851-1852. This is because General Jose Maria Urbina had given freedom to all of the slaves of Ecuador and he established that all Ecuadorians have equal rights. [26] By 1860, Gabriel Garcia Moreno merged the country and proclaimed that for a individual to become to Ecuadorian citizen, he must be at least 21 years of age, married and also had to be literate.

Health, and Education[edit]


Home remedies are one of the many important resources in Ecuador. In the constitutional reform of 1998, traditional and alternative medicines were later identified. [27] The Amazonian Quichua and the coastal Tschachila healers are known as the be the best and most powerful healers. [28] Most health-care deliveries are only present in large cities. Just about any drug or prescription can be purchased over the counter at any store in Ecuador. [29] There are only exceptions where people can go to the hospital where they are in terrible pain or suffering to find a cure for an illness. [30] The people of Ecuador are taken care with their health, maternity, any types of risks, retirement, old age, invalidity, and death. [31] The Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security was established to help people with these types of needs. [32] There are various hospitals, ambulance services clinics and maternity services spread across Ecuador. If an individual is seeking for real help, the possibility of getting treatment in remote areas is crucial. [33] You are most likely to find help and service in large cities, capitals and provinces. [34]


In the culture of Ecuador, it is required that every child attend school until they reach a basic level of education[35] which is only about 9 years of school. By 1996, Ecuador found a study that most students stayed in school until they had reached the fifth grade. Only a small percentage of students further their education through high school and most of the expenses come from the government while the rest is from the parents of the students who pay for other expenses and transportation. Ecuador has 61 universities which includes the education for engineering, mathematics, technician, physicist, chemist, medicine and law. Only 94% of adult males are literate, while 91% are adult females. [36]



In Ecuador, the President is democratically elected to serve a 4-year term. [37] As of today, the president is Rafael Correa. The executive branch consists of 25 ministries. [38] Governors, councilors, mayors, aldermen, and the parish boards are directly elected. [39] Throughout the year, not including the recesses in July and December, the National Congress of Ecuador meets. [40] There are 69 members of the 7 group congressional committees. [41] The Justices of the Supreme Court are appointed by Congress for indistinct terms. [42] The system in Ecuador is a multi-party system. [43] Each party must work with one another so no party will gain more power than the other and they must form coalition governments. [44]

Judicial Review[edit]

The branch of the Ecuadorian Supreme Court are elected by the sitting members of the court. [45] The president and also the vice president are elected at the same time and serves a 4-year term. [46] There are 28 ministries included in the executive branch. [47] In the legislative branch, Ecuador has a unicameral National Congress, also known as Congreso Nacional. There are 100 members in the branch that are elected by the popular votes that are voted by the cities and members serve a 4-year term. [48]

Courts and Criminal Law[edit]

Constitution[edit] [49]


The types of punishments held in Ecuador are Capital Punishments which are sentenced in piracy in on the high seas. [50] There are other criminal punishments that include murder, which will result in long terms of incarceration and large fines. [51] Ecuador is one of the many countries today that still use the death penalty as a form of punishment. [52] Some of the reasons why the death penalty is still used, even for the smallest committed crimes is to deter crime and also to make an example of what would happen if the crime would to be committed again. Other reason for why most agree with the death penalty is espcially punishing the criminal for his or her wrong-doing and also for the victim and possibly for their family obtain retribution. [53] Many arguements hold that the death penalty is morally wrong. Reason are because since the majority of the population in Ecuador are Roman Catholic, it is against their religion. It is also very unfair to the poor victims and families who cannont afford to have a lawyer or any legal counsel to defend them. It is simply portrayed to be used against the unwealthy, the minorities, ethnic and religious groups of people. Some may say that if a criminal is rehabilitated, then that person can make a contribution to society once they are released. [54] Another form of punishment is public humiliation where offenders can be stripped down, beatened, and whipped. These actions are not made by the authorities, but by society. [55]

Legal Personnel[edit]

The legal system in Ecuador is the set of norms that constitute the effective legal order. [56] It demonstrates that laws refers to the rights of the people. The legal dorm is structured on the superior hierarchy. [57] The Ecuadorian constitution was approved and established on January 15, 1978. There is no legal values in the international laws, decrees, regulations, treaties, or agreements in the constitution. [58]

Law Enforcement[edit]

The police enforcement are under the minister of government and justice with supervision. [59] In the constitution of 1830, congress established the separation of the municipal councils to create their own police departments and new regulations for the Ecuadorian police department. [60] After Ecuador was an established state, the police systems were under the power of the army. Soon later, the police become the first national police organization in 1937. [61] The name was finally changed to National Civil Guard in 1951 then changed again to the National Police in 1979. [62] The Ecuadorian military consists of the Army, Air Force and the Navy. [63] Their responsibility is to preserve the integrity and national sovereignty for the national territory. Military begins in Gran Columbia where the army are stationed. The new army officers graduate in Quito. [64] Salina is the place where the Ecuadorian Navy Academy is held while the Air Academy is located in Guayaquil where the graduates are air force officers. [65] Some other training academies for certain military specialties are located across the country. [66] Part of the workshops giving to police officers are to teach responsibilities and learn techniques for handling disturbances. [67] Police corruption become a widespread problem in Ecuador. The police uses their power to exort body, accumulate money and property, facilitate trafficking, and obstruct investigation. [68]

Crime Rates and Public Opinion[edit]

Crime has been a huge issue in Ecuador over the past few years. There has been crime against American citizens and especially towards tourists. Crimes have included things such as home invasion, robbery, sexual assault, and homicide. [69] Crimes have becoming worse also due to the lack of policing and the limited judicial resources. Some of the least violent crimes involve pick-pocketing, purse-snatching and bag slashing, robbery, and hotel room theft. Many of the crimes take place in public areas such as crowded streets and intersections, in cars, attended and not unattended, restaurants, airports, stores and markets. [70] Most of the crimes occuring is done in groups. For example, when someone is pick-pocketed or having their bag slashed, it is done within two people where the victim is distracted by having a drink spilled on them and having the stealer help them clean up and aplogizing, while the other will do the dirty work and pick the steal what they want or grab items from the victims bag. [71] Not only do the crimes happen in the capital city, but also in other smaller cities. Robbers are becoming more creative nowadays. They are traveling on motorcycles and snaching bags from tourists and carrying weapons like guns and knives. Though Ecuador is not the worst place, but yet it is a whole lot safer than other other places in South America. [72] Everyone in Ecuador is basically on their own. There is no one to help you, though there is the lucky few who have had no problem with crime. [73] "The cities of Ecuador are not places to let your guard down. You need to be alert..." [74] Since Ecuador is a heavy population country, not much can be done. Someone commits a crime left and right and there is just too many people to stop. Over the past few years, there has been many warnings to travels who come into Ecuador so they can be aware and what to excecpt. Violent crimes, sexual assaults, and muggings have heavily increase over the past few years and are usually targeted "well-traveled tourist areas." [75]


Family Law[edit]

The Family Code is generally favorable towards women of Ecuador. For marriage, the legal minimum age is 18 and early marriage must be consented with parental permission or authorization from a judge. [76] It was originated that in 2004, approximately 22% of girls between the ages of 15-19 were either married, divorced, or widowed. [77] In the Constitution of Ecuador, it includes equal protection for family responsibilities for both men and women. Parental authority is jointly by both the parents. Usually in any case, the father has the parental responsibility of the children. [78] Any marriage to become legal, it should be done by an Ecuadorian civil authority. [79] For a divorce to occur, it is usually arranged by the lawyer since the process is so difficult. [80] It all depends on the circumstances where documents such as marriage certificates, birth certificates and financial documents must be presented to the local court that is managing the case. [81] The embassy provides names and attorneys for what you need, but they are not held responsible for the profession or integrity of the attorneys. [82] When inheritance is involved, there are limitations to access. The survivor of the family who dies, automatically receives the mains assets. [83] Whoever is under the individual that dies, then they are responsible to take charge. There income or inheritance must be split and divided among the spouse. [84] The head member of the family, usually the elest male, is in charge of the family. It can be the father, husband, or grandfather. Adoption is an open program in Ecuador. Children can be adopted including infants, groups of siblings, older children and special needs children. [85] Children often live in foster care or orphanages. Single parents are allowed to adopt and Ecuadorian child and married couples must be over the age of 30 with no prior divorce records. [86]

Social Inequality[edit]

There is a growing inequality in Ecuador that is on the rise due to the new social movements. [87]

Human Rights[edit]

There are still issues remain about rights that relates to minority issues, race, class, and gender in Ecuador. [88] There is currently no Amnesty International available in Ecuador. [89] There are thousands of people in Ecuador that are in need of fair protection process and documentation. This becomes a problem because many of the people are residing in remote areas and are afraid to register themselves for security. [90] Many single women and girl are the most vulnerable to abuse and exploitations. [91] Without any documentation, it limits the access of refugees and asylum-lookers to any sort of State services. [92] Many needs are crucial because of the high cost and lack of availability and services in certain areas. Ecuador also has ownership rights. The Agrarian Development Act of 1994 has put forward the access to land ownership and created a market for land. [93] During this practice, fewer men and women has access to land. [94]

Works Cited[edit]