A brief historical overview.

We know that Ecuador has been populated for at least 13,000 years. Based on archaeological findings we know there were about 11 different precolombian (before the arrival of the Europeans) cultures. We do not have any written sources, but there are many archaeological museums with exhibits that testify well-developed cultures and societies.

The expanding Inca empire conquered the southern part of Ecuador and the mountains surrounding around 1470.  Quito became the northern capital and Cusco in Peru the southern. The last emperor Atahualpa was born in Quito.

After the conquistadors arrival in 1530, the area came under Spanish colonial rule. Churches and monasteries were built and infrastructure was laid with the purpose of transporting the values to Europe. Formally, the area was subject to the viceroy of Peru,the Spanish king’s representative. The basis for the development of a local self-government came when Napoleon invaded Spain in 1808 and put the kingdom out of the game. After the independence, Ecuador became part of  “Greater Colombia” together with Venezuela and Panama.

Since 1830, Ecuador had been an independent state. Constitutionally, it was established a republic with free elections. But,  as in many other Latin American countries, the military authorities have been too much involved in the rule. They have not hesitated to dismiss presidents. However, there has never been a typical military dictatorship. Apart from  two territorial wars with Peru, it has been relatively quiet in Ecuador in a Latin American context.