What is happening in Ecuador?

International Friends, if you would like to learn a little about what is happening in Ecuador, I encourage you to keep reading, even if out of curiosity:

This past Sunday, Ecuador had its second round presidential elections between the ruling party candidate Lenin Moreno, that has been governing the country for the past 10 years, and the opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso.

Here is a short rundown of the political climate in Ecuador for the last 10 years, under president Rafael Correa 2007–2016:

In 2008, a constitutional reform was implemented, which states that the president can designate members of the constitutional court — the highest authority on constitutional and judicial matters — as well as designate electoral authorities. In essence, there is no separation of powers in the country.

That same year, there was only one national media outlet, yet today there are more than 20, why? The government has confiscated many private media companies, publishing only what the government wants the public to see, ultimately resulting in censorship. Many private media channels have been sued by the president: opinion has become judicialized. In 2013, the communication act passed more than 500 processes against media, journalists, cartoonists, and civil society organizations.

In 2011, representatives under the command of Correa’s regime replaced most of, if not all, judges in the country, disguising the process with a fictional public ‘contest’ for such positions.

In 2014, the government signed permits for oil drilling in the National Park Yasuni, one of the most biodiverse hotspots in the world (fun fact: in 2 ½ acres you can find more species of trees than in all North America). Of 1 million hectares, 10% of the area will be affected — approximately 370 square miles. Indigenous communities from the Amazon region have been accused of terrorism for protesting and opposing the exploitation of the park, and protecting their forests and waters from fossil fuel mining. Some of the leaders from these communities have been imprisoned.

With some background on the political situation, now a more briefly summary:

This period has been characterized as the greatest economic boom in Ecuador’s history due to the high prices of oil. However, in exchange for financial loans, China has the rights to our oil for the next two decades; the government has resorted to the social security reserves, leaving the entity with no liquidity to cover citizen’s pensions. The external debt is kept in secret by the government, although estimates place it at triple the previous government’s debt, but where is the money?

Ever heard about panama papers, or the Brazilian Odebrecht bribery? With government officials appointing contracts, overpriced projects, there are instances of rampant cases of corruption at every level. Remember how the government controls the judicial system? It guarantees impunity to such cases, no matter how much proof is presented, and it allows the persecution of dissidents.

Students have been attacked, imprisoned, and murdered for protesting; more than 30 women involved in politics or journalism have been unfairly sentenced, threatened, and attacked. Among the persecuted by criminalization are: social leaders, opposition politicians, youth, women, journalists and media, ecologists, NPO’s and civil citizens. Let’s not talk about the unresolved homicides. Consequently, for 10 years the democratically elected president has been accountable only to himself. Where is the democracy in Ecuador?

As stated by the public procurement regulatory systems study developed by the World Bank Group, in the ethical and corruption index Ecuador is number 103/140, and 133/140 in judicial independence.

After Correa attempted to change once again the constitution for re election (Castro and Chavez did it, what stops him right?), and failing to do so, he appointed the presidency candidate for his political party. And so we come back to where we started, this past weekend was the second round elections between the new candidate from the governing party and the opposition.

According to the electoral authorities, Lenin Moreno has won presidential runoff. Three exit polls showed opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso winning by an approximate 5% margin. Citizens have discovered inconsistencies around the country, where the physical voting reports/ballots differed from the electronic, reinforcing the belief in a case of electoral fraud strategically planned.

Sadly, Ecuador is following the steps of Venezuela. If you are not aware of what is happening in that country, I encourage you to do some research: talk to your Venezuelan friends, ask them how their families are? Venezuela is starving, there is shortage of food and medicine, an extreme high rate of criminality, becoming one of the most dangerous countries in the world. “The crisis in Venezuela is not economical, nor political, today the crisis in Venezuela is humanitarian”. Other countries on the same path are: El Salvador, Bolivia, Paraguay.

Today, the people in Ecuador are demanding that the National Electoral Council recounts the ballots, manually one-by-one.

Understand that the situation in Ecuador is NOT a debate between left and right wings, it is about maintaining the democracy of a country ruled by an authoritarian government for the past 10 years, it’s about protecting the citizen’s rights, about returning to freedom and progress, in all its forms and expressions.

Ecuadorians are exhausted of demagogue, populism, lies, waste, and corruption. They are protesting in the streets, standing for the country, fighting for its rights and liberty, for its democracy and unity, for its future!

There are other debated issues happening in the world indeed, this doesn’t mean the violation of Ecuadorians’ rights is not important. We want to Raise Awareness, share this post or any other information you find!

¡My heart and energy are with the people in Ecuador!

You can find live videos and images on twitter searching the following hashtags: #NoalFraude #LeninNoEsMiPresidente #FuerzaEcuador #Elecciones2017 #Democracia #Libertad #VamosPorElCambio #SOSEcuador

Other videos: Quito, Guayaquil, Riobamba