Political Forces and Interest Groups
Interest groups able to influence regime changes traditionally have included the church, the military, the agrarian elite, the largely Guayaquil-based commercial community, foreign commercial interests, the urban working class, the politically active peasantry and rural workers, and the middle class (including students). Some of these groups have formed alliances with or have manipulated less influential groups. Motivated primarily by parochial concerns, many of these interest groups, like the political parties themselves, have provided little impetus to national development. Other smaller interest groups have included the myriad of governmental autonomous agencies, which generally controlled their own funds and followed their own policies. Illegal political extremist organizations, such as the AVC and a nascent narcotics-trafficking mafia, may, in a sense, constitute additional, unconventional interest groups.
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