The Ecuador government has ordered the closure of the US embassy’s “Security Cooperation Office,” and the expulsion of about 20 US military officers that work there by month’s end.
The move comes amid Ecuadorean complaints that the US has an inappropriately large military presence there and allegations that the military is “infiltrating” Ecuador’s own security services.
The order was dated April 7, though it was only made public last night. The embassy only confirmed the pending expulsion after the Associated Press was informed of it by Ecuador.
Ecuador’s Correa government has spent years purging the military of pro-US leaders, and has sought to limit the involvement of US military forces on the ground in the country. The closure will have no impact on US military forces at the embassy in Quito, nor is any retaliation expected.