Environmental activists in Ecuador.

The Ecuador-China Free Trade Agreement has often been portrayed as a milestone for China in Latin America, but recent developments have thrown the fate of the deal into doubt. The sudden uncertainty has implications that extend beyond Ecuador’s borders, affecting the broader landscape of China’s relations across Latin America.

Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa.

Ecuador’s grave security crisis could prove pivotal for the future of the country’s democracy. Similar crises across Latin American have created the temptation to toss out democracy as the cost of regaining security, as has been on most prominent display in El Salvador. For Ecuador, the stakes for could not be higher.

A soldier walks past residents in Ecuador.

Last week, Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa formally declared that the country is in a state of “internal armed conflict” against criminal gangs. But Ecuador’s security crisis is not internal at all. Regional and global trends have directly contributed to causing it, and its impact also extends beyond the country’s borders.

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