Posted on 20 December 2009.
Here are some Ecuador fares & two legal tips learned from living and doing business abroad for 41 + years.
First, the facts on fares.
Ecuador air fare fact #1: Ecuador air fares are really low again. Ecuador air fares from Quito to Miami seem to rise and fall from under $400 to over $500. Right now LAN is offering the very low rate of $398. Here is this low cost Miami-Quito air fare that LAN sent to Merri.
Ecuador air fare fact #2. Ecuador is easy to reach. The flight from Miami is about 3 hours and 45 minutes. There are direct flight from Miami on American, LAN and Aerogal… Atlanta (Delta) and… Houston (Continental).
Merri and I fly from Atlanta and it takes less time and costs less than our frequent flight to Portland, Oregon.
Ecuador fact #3. Ecuador is a great place to escape the cold weather at this time of year. See Ecuador weather comparisons here.
You can look up fares at www.kayak.com and www.farecompare.com
See a two part report on getting Tickets to Ecuador here.
a beautiful place from mountains to…
sea with hidden…
charms like this thermal spa near our hotel in Cotacachi.
The people are…
wonderful from many…
Yet Ecuador like all places also has its ways.
I began thinking about this when numerous readers wrote to me asking for an opinion about the arrest in Ecuador and extradition to the US of an American naturopath who has been living in Ecuador. Several newsletters and blogs have featured an article stating that this naturopath was kidnapped by the FDA.
I do not know the naturopath nor have I read anything else about this in the news so I contacted a friend who is an attorney and who has been involved in improving Ecuador’s law enforcement system.
The reply was: Good morning Gary. I could not find any information about this in Ecuadorian newspapers. I will contact the chief of the police in Cuenca to learn firsthand the facts about this. Warm regards.
I’ll report as soon as I hear more.
There are several issues readers asked.
The first issue about this arrest seems to be claims that the FDA committed a number of illegal acts in this process. Readers have expressed shock about this.
They should not be surprised.
There have been crimes committed for years. Our newsletters have focused on this a bit well before we started our website in the 1990s. So this should not come as any great surprise.
Did this corruption begin in the 1980s?
I recall writing in the 1980s or 1990s about a report on IRS abuses. That report outlined how the IRS hired a prostitute to distract a foreign banker in Miami. While the banker was busy with the woman, the IRS ignored normal procedure and helped themselves to a briefcase full of banking records.
We do not have to look far to see illegal actions. A www.cnn.com article entitled “a 1998 Senate Panel Hears Stories Of Alleged IRS Abuses” says: WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, April 28) — The Internal Revenue Service was once again under fire on Capitol Hill Tuesday, as a Senate committee launched another round of hearings, this time focusing on alleged abuses of power inside the tax agency.
In the first of four days of testimony from taxpayers and agents, the Senate Finance Committee heard instances of the IRS stepping over the line, including stories of retaliation against whistle blowers and raids on taxpayers’ homes that may not have been justified.
Some of the harshest criticism was aimed at the agency’s criminal investigation division, as witnesses complained that the investigators used excessive techniques and were out of control.
A New York Times article entitled “DIRECTOR OF I.R.S. ISSUES AN APOLOGY FOR AGENT ABUSES” says: WASHINGTON, Sept. 25— The acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service issued an extraordinary public apology today to four individual taxpayers — and, by extension, to all American taxpayers — for severe mistreatment at the hands of agency officials. The tax official, Michael P. Dolan, also promised immediate changes to eliminate incentives for misconduct and make the I.R.S. more responsive to public complaints.
At the conclusion of three days of hearings on I.R.S. abuses before the Senate Finance Committee, Mr. Dolan said that he was deeply troubled by the charges leveled against the tax agency this week by taxpayers, current and former I.R.S. officials, and outside watchdogs.
Today’s session featured testimony from five current I.R.S. agents and one former agent, their identities concealed by fabric-covered screens and their voices electronically altered. Their testimony included the following accusations:
*Agency workers browse through tax returns to snoop into the finances of celebrities, relatives and prospective dates.
*I.R.S. agents are judged by their total tax collections, no matter how poorly documented.
*Managers cover up abusive behavior by collection agents.
*Revenue officers consider all tax debtors ”crooks or flakes” who deserve no sympathy.
Earlier in the week, in emotional testimony from four taxpayers, the panel heard from a retired priest who was wrongly assessed $18,000 in taxes from his mother’s estate and from a California woman who went through a 17-year nightmare with the agency that arose from a mix-up over her husband’s identity.
The hearings were the first formal oversight of the tax agency conducted by the Finance Committee, which has nominal supervisory authority over the I.R.S.
Mr. Dolan said that the agency had programs to prevent harassment of taxpayers and abusive collection efforts, but acknowledged that in the cases presented to the Senate, and perhaps in many others, internal controls had broken down.
”While each case was different, the end result is indisputable: We were wrong in the way that we handled many aspects of their cases,” Mr. Dolan said beneath bright television lights in the cavernous Finance Committee hearing room. ”I fully appreciate that an apology is little consolation when it comes at the end of the stress and obvious frustration these men and women have experienced. Nevertheless, I do apologize to each of them. They deserved far better treatment from the I.R.S. than they received.”
Did this corruption begin in the 1970s with Watergate perhaps?
Nah. Harry Truman, considered by some to be the best US President was stained by corruption charges that lead to the firing or resignation of 166 lower level Federal employees in 1950.
In fact if we look back, we can see corruption and abuse of power clear back almost to the beginning of the US. In 1831, Robert Potter a Congressman from my other state North Carolina had to resign from office after castrating two men. Ouch.
It seems that there are good and bad people in every organization…. public and private. Governments probably have corruption and abuse of power at about the same level as private companies and other types of organizations do.
We have seen people in the US government start wars based on false information. We have seen them condone torture. We have seen them put people in illegal, hidden prisons… so why would anything be a surprise?
The second issues is that purportedly a corrupt Ecuadorian police we involved as well… and American Airlines as well.
I cannot comment except to say… we are digging for the facts which leads me to two legal tips about living and doing business abroad.
Legal Tip #1: Do not move from one country to another and feel that being beyond the borders of your previous home will provide you with special protection.
All organizations, governmental and not, have some corruption and abuse power. This is human nature. Expect it and be careful of it.
We live in a global economy that is growing more closely linked all the time. The long arm of the law can extend beyond borders.
A Time magazine article entitled “Can Swiss Banks Thrive After the UBS-U.S. Deal?” by Helena Bachmann outlines how much pressure US authorities can place on governments abroad.
An excerpt says: After months of behind-the-scenes wrangling that threatened to strain relations between Switzerland and the U.S., the fate of secret Swiss bank accounts reportedly holding billions of dollars in undeclared assets is finally resolved.Under an agreement announced by Swiss and U.S. authorities on Aug. 19, Switzerland’s second largest bank, UBS, will disclose the names of approximately 4,450 American account holders suspected by the IRS of evading taxes. In return, the U.S. Justice Department will withdraw its lawsuit against the banking giant and stop demanding the names of 52,000 Americans accused of hiding assets in offshore accounts.
US officials are not the only ones who abuse power and break laws. A BBC article “Liechtenstein fury at German tax snoop” by Steven Rosenberg explains how German tax authorities bribed a businessman for bank records.
Here is an excerpt: Germany has launched a tax evasion investigation using the data, which was supplied by an anonymous informant who was reportedly paid 5m euros (£3.75m; $7.3m). It was a former LGT employee who stole data relating to German businessmen in Liechtenstein.
It is thought this could be the same information that was bought up by the German secret service.
Germany went on to sell this data to all tax authorities in Europe and I was delighted when the Danish government turned the data down saying they refused to use information that had been illegally obtained. This is one reason I use Jyske Bank as my main international banker.
Americans can learn more about Jyske’s services from Thomas Fischer at firstname.lastname@example.org
Non Americans should write Rene Mathys at email@example.com
Here is tip legal #2 for living abroad. The reverse is also true. If you move to another country do not expect your citizenship to protect you if you fall afoul local law. Do not ignore local laws.
Some recent events remind us of this. A U.S. student recently convicted of murder in Italy found little help from being an American.
US citizens are not the only who have discovered this sad fact. Schapelle Leigh Corby, a 27 year old Australian woman traveling to Bali. Indonesia was arrested in 2004, at the airport after 4.2 kilograms of marijuana was found in her boogie-board bag. She was convicted of importing a group 1 narcotic and sentenced to serve 20 years in jail. All legal and judicial appeals have been exhausted.
About the same time Singapore executed a 25 year old Australian for drug smuggling despite repeated requests for clemency.
Laws in a new country you visit or move to may seem stupid.. exaggerated… or ignorant… but do not break them. For example Ecuador is very harsh on drugs and child molestation. Ecuador is one of the few countries I know that inspects for drugs when you come in and depart from the country. If you visit Ecuador, do not ignore this fact!
Every country has its customs, rules, regulations and foibles… in life… in law… in business.
One reader recently sent me this note.
Gary, I am interested in exploring the possibilities of Ecuador , but this seems like a lot of money to pay for the privilege of letting people try to sell me something. Seems like they should pay to be in the seminar. At first I thought it must include the room, but that’s not the case either. What am I missing?
Here is my reply: You are missing the fact that we do not sell real estate, do not allow our staff to accept commissions on the sale of real estate and have been buying our own real estate and doing business in Ecuador for 14 years.
We ask those whose property we show on the tour to give discounts to our delegates (as we are known to bring many buyers and do not charge commissions). We make sure that sellers show up. (A bad habit Ecuadorians have is often to not have the property open on time.)
We avoid showing property that in our experience is out of line price wise or quality wise.
We provide efficiency. There are few road signs in Ecuador… no organized brokers… no multiple listings… not many English speaking. We
plan routes so our delegates can see the most in the shortest time and have English speaking staff with the tours.
We provide contacts with brokers, attorneys architects etc who have shown to be trustworthy.
We share 41 years of experience investing globally and 14 years in Ecuador.
Otherwise chances are you’ll drive around… be lost… see little… and have no basis on which to compare and when and if you plan to buy
not know if the people you are dealing with are trustworthy.
We feel that our $499 fee is a bargain. If you hire a car with driver for four days… you’ll have spent almost as much just on transportation. Regards, Gary
Our Ecuador real estate tours help you learn the ropes in Ecuador. We also provide a very personal service that helps you save money and makes your trip to Ecuador more comfortable and secure. One delegate on a recent tour sent this note.
Merri, I don’t know how you and Gary give such great individual attention, but I sure appreciate it. Preparing myself for this trip and the even greater spector of preparing for a life outside the US does not come without a bit of anxiety. I am so thankful for yours and Gary’s kindness, attention to detail, and responsiveness. It makes it all seem a little more manageable! I’ll plan on spending at least the first 2 nights at the Radisson unless we are day two out of Quito. I will verify my flight with Bonnie. Thanks again Merri. Jim
We hope to help you in Ecuador soon.
Join us on Ecuador’s coast this winter. Attend our seminars and tours in Florida and Ecuador. See the best Ecuador property for you. Find the best real estate offers. Know more of Ecuador. To help you experience a bigger adventure in this wonderful nation, to broaden your horizons, to expand your awareness of all Ecuador offers, we are providing deep discounts in 2010 for those who sign up for multiple tours.
We just added four South coast Ecuador tours that can help you gain extra savings with a multi tour pack.
These extra tours create a dilemma for me. See how below.
Two Pack… 2 seminar courses & tours $998 Couple $1,349 Save $149 on couple
Three Pack… 3 seminar courses & tours $1399 Couple $1,899 Save $98 single or $348 on a couple or more
Four Pack… 4 seminar courses & tours $1,699 Couple $2,299 Save $98 single or $697 on a couple or more
Five Pack… 5 seminar courses & tours $1,999 Couple $2,699 Save $496 single or $1,046 on a couple or more
Six Pack… 6 seminars courses & tours $2,199 Couple $3,099 Save $795 single or $1,395 on a couple or more
These four new south coast tours and our six pack tour price create a bit of a crisis here.
As you can see above a six pack costs $3,099. This is already a really low price for a tour that last up to 21 days (under $150 a day).
But as you will see below, our International Club membership which allows you and a guest to attend up to 56 courses and tours in 2010 (fees would be $40,947 for all these courses individually) is only $2,999.
Which would you choose… 6 courses and tours for $3,099 or those same 6 courses and tours plus 50 more for $2,999?
“Duh,” I said when this was pointed out to me.
So our only solution is to raise the International Club membership to $3,500… still a terrific deal… but $501 more than before.
Save $37,457…plus $501. I will not raise the International club fee until January 2010. Enroll in the International Club now at the original fee of $2,999.
International Club 2010
Attend our 56 investment, business, Spanish, real estate and export, courses and tours in 2010 with one small enrollment fee.
International Club 2010 Membership Enroll here
Here are the 56 courses and tours you can attend free. Plus there is even one more savings you will see below.
Jan. 8-11 Ecuador Export Tour
Jan. 13-14 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Jan. 15-18 Coastal Real Estate Tour
Jan. 19-20 Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour
Jan. 21-23 Cuenca Real Estate Tour
Join us in February or March.
Feb. 11-14 Quantum Wealth Florida -International Investing & Internet Business, Mt. Dora, Fl.
Feb. 15-16 Travel to and visit Quito
Feb 17 Travel to Manta
Feb. 18-19 Coastal Real Estate Tour
Feb. 20 Travel to Cotacachi
Feb. 21-22 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Feb. 23-24 Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour
Feb. 26-27 Cuenca Real Estate Tour
Mar. 11-14 Super Thinking + Spanish Course, Mt. Dora, Fl.
Mar. 15-16 Travel to Quito and Andes
Mar. 17-18 Imbabura Real Estate Tour
Mar. 19-20 Cotacachi Shamanic tour
Mar. 22-23 Coastal Real Estate Tour
Mar. 25-26 Cuenca Real Estate Tour
Mar. 28-29 South Coast Real Estate Tour
Apr. 12-15 Ecuador Export Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 17-18 Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 20-21 Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 23-24 Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Apr. 26-27 Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
May 13-14 Ecuador Shamanic Minga ($499 or couple $749)
May 16-17 Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
May 19-20 Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
May 22-23 Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
May 25-26 Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
May 28-29 South Coast real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
June 24 Quantum Wealth North Carolina
June 25-27 International Investing and Business North Carolina ( $749 or couple $999)
June 28-29 Travel to Ecuador and Andes
June 30-Jy 1 Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
July 3-4 Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
July 6-7 Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
July 9-10 Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 3-6 Ecuador Export Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 8-9 Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 11-12 Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 14-15 Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Sept. 17-18 Ecuador Shamanic Minga ($499 or couple $749)
Sept 20-21 South Coast Real Estate tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct. 7 Quantum Wealth North Carolina
Oct. 8-10 International Investing & Business North Carolina ($749 or couple $999)
Oct. 11-12 Travel to Quito and Andes
Oct. 13-14 Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct. 16-17 Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct. 19-20 Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Oct. 22-23 Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 4-7 Super Thinking + Spanish Course Florida ($749 or couple $999)
Nov. 8-9 Travel to Quito and Andes
Nov. 10-11 Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 13-14 Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 16-17 Quito-Mindo Real Estate ($499 or couple $749)
Nov. 19-20 Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Nov 22-23 South Coast Real Estate Tour (($499 or couple $749)
Dec. 3-5 Ecuador Shamanic Mingo ($499 or couple $749)
Dec. 7-8 Imbabura Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Dec. 10-11 Coastal Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Dec. 13-14 Quito-Mindo Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
Dec. 16-17 Cuenca Real Estate Tour ($499 or couple $749)
If you join the International Club, the entrance fee for 2010 is $2,999 (until January 2010). Your attendance fees at all courses will be waived. You and your guest can attend courses worth $40,947.
You can calculate the savings as our schedule of all 2010 courses is shown below.
Arrival dates are always one or two days earlier. Please double check with us before booking flights.
I invite you to be a member of the International Club which allows you and your guest of your choice to attend all of these courses which are valued at $40,947!
International Club 2010 Membership Enroll here
You may well wonder why I would make such an offer and ask why the cost is so low? Let me answer this question frankly and from the heart.
First, it helps us do a better job for you. We feel greatly enriched when we can really help our clients improve their lives. We have learned through years of experience the best way to do this is to meet with you regularly. We can best help you learn how to improve your health and wealth through continual expansion of knowledge.
Second, we gain enormous fulfillment from the many friendships we form through the years. Our friends have enriched our lives tremendously. Let me explain this in more detail.
As a member, you will be part of our international family that meets intensively over the next year to examine ways we can make our lives better. Our goal is beyond just having money. Our goal is to have quantum wealth… good health… wealth and fulfillment through service.
Though I give all course delegates my very best, I cannot help but to do a better job for those who come again and again. As we meet often; your particular wants, needs and desires become clear, and it is easier for me to point you in the right direction.
Another phenomenon is that repeat delegates help each other! They get to know one another, help each other learn, share their insights, make contacts and gain more wealth.
Out associates in Ecuador, are experienced business people who live or work and conduct our real estate and export courses. They can also act as your local backup for the business.
Lifestyle for Two. There is more! I have learned at my courses that many repeat delegates were couples.
We want couples! As a member of the program, you are entitled to bring another person to every single course or tour. The cost for that extra person will be ZERO! You can bring whomever you wish. Bring your spouse, a friend, son or daughter, partner, accountant, adviser. You can bring the same person each time or a different person, whomever you choose to accompany you. (Accommodations and air fares relating to the courses are not included for members, delegates or their guests.)
Won’t you join us in this exciting club and share Merri’s and my lifestyle for the next year? We look forward to seeing you at as many courses as possible and sharing this wonderful world of abundance and well being with you!
International Club 2010 Membership Enroll here
Read the articles:
DIRECTOR OF I.R.S. ISSUES AN APOLOGY FOR AGENT ABUSES
A 1998 Senate Panel Hears Stories Of Alleged IRS Abuses
Can Swiss Banks Thrive After the UBS-U.S. Deal?
Liechtenstein fury at German tax snoop
U.S. Student Knox Convicted Of Murder In Italy