August 20, 2005 [LINK]
Oil protest in Ecuador
The Ecuadoran Army is struggling to regain control of petroleum wells and pipeline facilities in the eastern jungles of the country, after demonstrators forced a major shutdown of oil production to back up demands that more oil money be spent on infrastructure and jobs. On Wednesday the government declared a state of emergency, and to the defense minister resigned. See BBC. Ecuador has experienced several political crises in recent years, but those struggles were confined to the capital city Quito, for the most part. Unlike most of its neighbors, Ecuador has only rarely had widespread political violence. In light of recent turmoil in Bolivia, Colombia, and Venezuela, there is a very real possibility that social conflict in South America is becoming a truly transnational phenomenon for the first time.