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Galapagos - Scandal of Corruption in 2008

By Sue Richards last modified Oct 29, 2008 04:27 PM

Published: 2008-10-29 16:27:14
Countries: Ecuador , Galapagos

Günter Hamacher, who runs the Pacific Island Net for Sailboats, has sent noonsite details of corruption experienced by cruisers in the Galapagos this year.

“The Net has received a lot of complaints this year about the Port Captain, Police-Military and Agencies on some Islands of the Galapagos. In particular:

  • In early 2008, Sailors had to pay up to US$200 for an Agent, just so this Agent could stand next to them during their port declaration whilst doing their own paperwork;
  • In early 2008, Sailors had to pay up to US$200 just to stay for three days in the Island of Isabela of Galapagos, and were forced by some Marines to pay the Port Captain;
  • In early 2008, Sailors were forced by the Port Authority of San Cristobal not to buy fuel from a gas station on the Island (for only US$1.09 per Gallon), but to buy fuel from an Agent for US$2.50 up to US$3.50 a gallon.”

To find out what was going on, Günter sent a letter to several Embassies and Consulates and finally received an answer from The Embassy of Germany in Quito Ecuador, who answered right away after hearing that the Embassy of Ecuador in Germany had not responded.

THE ANSWERS TO GUNTER'S QUESTIONS WERE:

First question: Does the Galapagos Port- Authority have the right to change the law of the Minister of Ecuador?
Answer: A clear NO.

Second question: Sailboats with a crew of less than 10 persons, do they need to use an Agent for their declaration in the Ports of Galapagos?
Answer: A clear NO.

Günter advises that Sailors who intend to visit the Galapagos in 2009, should be very careful.

“The laws of Ecuador for Sailors who are visiting the Galapagos are absolutely clear and no Authority of the Galapagos can change these laws. To view the law from the Minister of Tourism of Ecuador go to www.galapagostour.org, click upper right English and right down to SAILING. Here you will find confirmation of what a Sailor has to pay when visiting the Galapagos with his boat and also the laws of the Galapagos Port Captain, telling you what to do and what not to do”.

Günter also suggests that the Camara de Turismo in San Cristobal should also be contacted if planning to visit this island to avoid a repeat of what happened this year.

Günter S. Hamacher
HP1XX- Pacific Island Net on 14.135.00.
contadora@gmx.de

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