Retiring in Ecuador offered stability. Now Americans weigh new unrest

Retiring in Ecuador offered stability. Now Americans weigh new unrest

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At her house in Ecuador’s third largest city, its colonial buildings framed by the Andes mountains, LaRahna Hughes’ phone buzzed repeatedly with messages from relatives and friends back in the United States. 

Are you OK? Are you getting out of the country? 

It was early January, and Ecuador’s president declared that the nation had entered an “internal armed conflict,” mobilizing the military to fight drug gangs. The growing violence had reached a boiling point. There had been bombings. Prison guards were taken hostage. Masked gunmen took over a live TV broadcast. 

In Ecuador – long regarded one of Latin America’s safest nations for U.S. residents seeking to retire abroad – many people fielded similar calls of concern. 



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