Ecuador will enable US military aircraft to utilize the Galapagos Island airport. US planes will be operating from San Cristobal airport according to Oswaldo Jarrin, Ecuador's Defence Minister. He said that in regards to an agreement made with the Ecuadorian government, USA would be combating drug trafficking.
The new arrangement has some worried about the possible effect on the environment and the independence of Ecuador. The Galapagos Islands are located roughly 560 miles (900 km) to the west of continental Ecuador. It's a Unesco World Heritage site popular for its distinctive variety of animals and plants. The pristine natural life which dwells there and encouraged Charles Darwin to work on the theory of evolution attracts travelers from all over the world.
Legislators in the parliament of Ecuador requested Oswaldo Jarrin and environment Minister Marcelo Mata to disclose the details of the arrangement. Congressman for the opposition, Carlos Viteri, said the deal was “unacceptable” and should be barred if “it intends to cede an inch of Ecuadorian territory”.
According to Article 5 of the country’s constitution, the Republic of the Equator is a peaceful territory and “establishment of foreign military bases or foreign facilities for military purposes shall not be allowed”. Ex-president Rafael Correa was highly unimpressed, as he tweeted the island is “not an aircraft carrier” for the United States.
Jarrin tried to reassure critics there would not be any permanence of anyone on the Islands. He said the U.S would be paying for any alterations made to the airfield. He also commented that “Galapagos is for Ecuador our aircraft carrier, it is our natural carrier, because it assures us permanence, replenishment, interception facilities, and it is 1,000 km from our coasts”.