Ecuador to buy Israeli warplanes, drones and radar

New equipment to strengthen troubled northern border; country's defense minister calls Colombian rebels "an old problem that previous governments failed to confront."

June 26, 2008 09:15
2 minute read.
Ecuador to buy Israeli warplanes, drones and radar

eduador president. (photo credit: AP)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Colombian rebels in northern Ecuador are an old problem that previous governments failed to confront, Ecuador's defense minister told The Associated Press, announcing additions to a growing arsenal aimed at securing the Andean nation's borders. Defense Minister Javier Ponce said in an interview that the government is buying six Israeli-made unmanned aerial vehicles and new radar so it can get a better handle on its borders, especially the troubled frontier with Colombia. The acquisitions are in addition to 24 Super Tucano warplanes announced in May. He said he does not consider Colombia a national security threat, though the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia that dominates the northern border zone - and the illegal drug trade that fuels its insurgency - are a danger. "We are not able to impede the establishment of guerrilla camps or drug labs, but to the degree that we have been dismantling a series of labs and camps we are establishing a certain capacity to prevent this from getting out of control," Ponce told the AP on Tuesday evening. Ecuador's military radar on the Colombian border was turned off on March 1 when Colombia bombed a rebel camp just inside Ecuador, Ponce said. Ecuador broke diplomatic ties with Colombia over the attack, which killed a top rebel and 24 others. Colombia's armed forces chief, Gen. Freddy Padilla, told the AP in Bogota earlier this month that the Ecuadorean side of the 400-mile (640-kilometer) jungle border is dotted with cocaine laboratories and rebel camps while the Colombian side is a sea of coca cultivation. Ponce did not deny that, calling the presence of the rebels, known as the FARC, in the region "an old problem" that previous Ecuadorean government failed to confront. A poet and close adviser of leftist President Rafael Correa, Ponce was named defense minister in April in a shake-up of Ecuador's armed forces. On Tuesday, he also said that he is investigating Ecuador's military intelligence apparatus over its failure to inform the Correa government of FARC and Colombian armed forces movements - accusing them of sharing such information with the United States instead. Ponce did not specify the value of the new military purchases, though he did say Ecuador was paying US$270 million for the Super Tucanos. He would not say whether any of the unmanned aerial vehicles - "four tactical and two strategic planes" - would carry armament. The turboprop Super Tucano, made by Embraer of Brazil, is the same plane Colombia used in the March 1 raid.

Related Content

US President Donald Trump
July 23, 2018
Analysis: Trump's 'fiery and fury' moment with Iran?