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Drilling moratorium endangered in Ecuador

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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By The Associated Press
Friday, Aug. 16, 2013, 10:00 p.m.
 

QUITO, Ecuador — President Rafael Correa said on Thursday that he has abandoned a unique and ambitious plan to persuade rich countries to pay Ecuador not to drill for oil in a pristine Amazon rain forest preserve.

Environmentalists had hailed the initiative when Correa first proposed it in 2007, saying he was setting a precedent in the fight against global warming by lowering the high cost to poor countries of preserving the environment.

“The world has failed us,” Correa said in a nationally televised speech.

He said the global recession was in part responsible, but he chiefly blamed “the great hypocrisy” of nations that emit most of the world's greenhouse gases.

“It was not charity that we sought from the international community, but co-responsibility in the face of climate change.”

Correa had sought $3.6 billion in contributions to maintain a moratorium on drilling in the remote Yasuni National Park, which was declared a biosphere reserve by the United Nations in 1989.

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