Population: 15,4 million
Area: 283 561 km2
GDP (PPP): 137,7 billion dollar (2012 estimate)
GDP per capita (PPP): 8 800 $ (2012 estimate)
Rate of growth: 4 % (2012 estimate)
Head of state and head of government: Rafael Correa Delgado
Ecuador emerged as one of three states after the collapse of Gran Colombia in 1830. The other two were Colombia and Venezuela. Between the years of 1904 and 1942, Ecuador was forced to cede territory due to conflicts with its neighbors. Politically, the situation in Ecuador has been turbulent at times. Corruption is a major problem and the situation is aggravated by political instability and a weak legal system. The situation pertaining to human rights is problematic. Freedom of speech and press are generally respected.
In May 2008, the Unión de Naciones Suramericanas (Unasur) was founded. It is a union of the South American nations modelled on the EU. The union already has twelve member states, though its function is, as of yet, mostly symbolic. In Latin America, a number of centre-right parties cooperate together in the Unión de Partidos Latinoamericanos (UPLA), a regional member of the International Democrat Union (IDU).
Since January 2007, the socialist Rafael Correa Delgado is president and was re-elected for a third term in 2013 by a big margin. The parliamentary elections the same year, resulted in a clear majority for the left with Correa’s Alianza PAIS as the largest party.
The Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation cooperates with the opposition party Partido Social Cristiano (PSC).