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News > Ecuador

Ecuador President: Illegal Operation in Galapagos Islands

  • President of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso. Jul. 5, 2023.

    President of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso. Jul. 5, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@cavalfm

Published 5 July 2023

The journalist of the independent YouTube platform program “Hoja De Ruta” activated the debate on the alleged exchange operation between individuals and foreign entity in the Galapagos Islands

The journalist released data that tries to validate the accusation against President Lasso of the alleged illegal exchange of the Galapagos Islands to Credit Suisse. Perhaps the most relevant piece of information offered by Duran is the one that relates a member of the Galapagos Chamber of Tourism to the former adviser to President Lasso.


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The information confirms, according to the journalist, that the "debt-for-nature swap", that the government recognize, is nothing more than a permit to individuals to violate the sovereignty of the islands, as a form of payment of financial debts.

Everybody in Ecuador speak about the same issue, which is being placed in the first pages of all the national media, and this week will be covered by the international ones.  A month ago the government announced that it was carrying out a legitimate exchange that sought to preserve the environment of the Galapagos Islands. The State would stop paying 1,126 million dollars in exchange for allocating more than 450 million, to a trust created for that purpose. The Galapagos Life Fund (GLF) which is in charge of managing these assets, is a corporation that was created in the United States and is considered by many analysts as a tax haven.

Durán's allegations of illegal operation in his program have been joined by other opinions, such as those of the former Minister of the Environment, who, according to the national press, declared that debt barter is a dark barter. The former minister considered that this situation could constitute a negative example for the management of fiscal resources in favor of nature conservation.

Last may the Ecuadorian press reported that Credit Suisse would buy bonds from Ecuador with a nominal value of 1.628 million dollars, in the framework of an operation to fund and promote conservation efforts. It seems that this could be another money laundering operation, that characterizes tax crime and economic and political corruption against state resources.

The president Lasso has come out several times to deny what he has called deliberate rumors from the political opposition. But today the sovereignty of the Galapagos Islands is a matter that cannot be taken for granted. According to Prensa Latina, residents rejected the visit that Lasso made to the islands on June 30. The arrival of the Ecuadorian president was part of a package of actions that the government was trying to activate in the face of the profound shortages that the islands are experiencing, especially in energy resources. Many accusations arose among the protesters about compromising local sovereignty and access to humanitarian donations.

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