On July 8, the government of Ecuador's left-wing President Rafael Correa took over three television stations and nearly 200 private companies, prompting the resignation of the finance minister.
The companies seized include the TC Television, TC Noticias and
Gamavision television stations, as well as another 195 insurance,
construction, real estate and other businesses, all owned by the Isaias
The take-overs are linked to embezzlement charges surrounding
Filibanko Bank, which collapsed in Ecuador's financial crisis of 1998,
and to the Isaias brothers, who are now living as fugitives in the US
and are wanted on criminal charges in Ecuador.]
While government representatives have given assurances that the
assets would be auctioned off to repay shareholders with outstanding
claims from the 1998 financial crisis, finance minister Fausto Ortiz —
described as the most "market friendly" member of Correa's government —
had already resigned in protest.