Like many other Latin American nations, Ecuador has recently decided to transition its criminal justice system from inquisitorial to adversarial. In 2003, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative’s (ABA ROLI’s) Latin America and Caribbean Division approached Ecuadorian government officials about training judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys on the new adversarial justice system. To address transition-related needs, ABA ROLI has since carried out a technical assistance program in the country.
In 2004, as Ecuador’s severe human trafficking problem began to draw more international attention, ABA ROLI, with the support of the U.S. Embassy, held a conference on the issue in Cuenca. ABA ROLI then received a multi-year grant from the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons to operate its anti-human trafficking initiative.