Ecuador: Governmental Help for Haiti

More than a month has passed by, and the Haiti earthquake tragedy continues to fill the main pages of the international press. In Ecuador, it is no different, but there the local press has focused on the efforts of the Ecuadorian government and its President, Rafael Correa and their role in bringing aid and support to Haiti. President Correa was the second head of state from the region to visit Haiti. During his trip, he met with 66 Ecuadorian soldiers working for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH for its initials in French). Many private organizations have also joined the government with aid, including a contingent of 18 physicians belonging to the National Emergency and Disaster Response Team.

Hercules C-130  from the Ecuadorian Air Force  ready to take off to Haiti - Photo by Miguel Romero and used under Creative Commons license

Hercules C-130 from the Ecuadorian Air Force ready to take off to Haiti – Photo by Miguel Romero and used under Creative Commons license

The images and stories from the local media have been shown on local media outlets. Ecuadorian blogger and writer Rubén Darío Buitrón criticizes these journalists:

No sé por qué los reporteros ecuatorianos abordan el avión del Gobierno y van como manada a Puerto Príncipe, muchos de ellos sin conocer previamente la historia de un pueblo heroico que, junto con Quito, fue la luz para la independencia americana.

No sé para qué van los reporteros de TV, seguramente para enviar o traer imágenes en las cuales habrá drama, dolor, llantos, close up de niños hambrientos, notas sobre rescatistas, informes acerca de lo extraordinariamente solidarios que somos los ecuatorianos, pero, sobre todo, tomas en las principalmente se vea, por favor, no se olviden, el logo del canal para jactarnos de que estuvimos allí.

I don't know why Ecuadorian reporters boarded the government plane and went like a herd to Port-au-Prince, many of whom without even knowing the previous history of the heroic people who, along with Quito, was the light for American independence.

I don't know why television reporters went, surely to send or bring images of drama, pain, cries, close-ups of hungry children, stories about rescues, stories about how extraordinarily in solidarity are the Ecuadorians, but, above all, shots where one can see, please, don't forget, the channel's logo to remind us that we were there.

Later, upon his return, Correa also hosted and chaired the special meeting of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) in which Haiti President René Preval also attended. UNASUR pledged nearly US$300 million in aid for reconstruction projects. Ecuadorian Twitterer Rosa María Torres (@rosamariatorres) followed the meeting's developments with regular updates, along with the media outlets: @Presidencia_Ec, @elcomerciocom, @el_telegrafo, @radio_sucre.

However, another side story took place parallel to the meeting with the participation of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, whose country has had difficult relations with its neighbor over the border dispute in 2008. However, the two presidents said that the meeting went well and it could mark a warming of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

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