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Ecuador: The Passing of Ex-President León Febres Cordero

Ecuador is in mourning after learning about the recent death of former president León Febres Cordero (LFC). He was president of Ecuador from 1984 to 1988 and died at age of 77. Upon hearing the news, people gathered outside Guayaquil Clinic to accompany his remains to Guayaquil's Cathedral, where many others had gathered to pray and will also take part in the burial services at the La Paz Park cemetery.

To honor the ex-President, Fernando Cordero, President of Legislative and Fiscal Commission suspended activities and current President Rafael Correa has declared national mourning for three days. Ecuadorian bloggers remember their ex-President and provide their thoughts about Febres Cordero. We've selected some posts to inform the GVO community:

Cobertura Digital [es] chronicles the developments of the news about Febres Cordero death in the Ecuadorian media, and how Twitter played an important role in the distribution of information. Blogger José Chalco Salgado [es] writes a quick biography of the ex-President where he includes a summary of his studies, political career, and how he accomplished very significant works in all infrastructural areas.

Ecuador sin censura[es] begins his post with a warning, “Do not expect me to eulogize León Febres Cordero”. Instead, he shares an anecdote that occurred in Europe and reflects the kind of man that the former president was.

Siendo él Presidente de la República, una delegación de Gobierno viajó a Europa a negociar unos temas ferroviarios. Un hombre que vivió, en primera mano, esas negociaciones tuvo la gentileza de compartir conmigo la siguiente confidencia: tras una jornada complicada, de interminables reuniones, regateando precios y claúsulas, los anfitriones ofrecieron llevar a los miembros de la delegación Ecuatoriana a un Cabaret. El caballero que encabezaba la delegación, justo se encontraba al teléfono con Febres Cordero reportando los avances de las conversaciones cuando les hacían la invitación.

“Presidente, le informo que parece que nos quieren llevar donde unas “peladas” ¿Qué sugiere que haga?” preguntó, entre inocente y contrariado, al mandatario.

“Deja bien alto el pabellón Ecuatoriano” respondió León, “pero la propuesta no se cambia”.

While he was President, a government delegation travelled to Europe to negotiate items regarding the railroads. A man who witnessed these negotiations firsthand had the kindness to share the following story with me: during a very complicated negotiations with neverending meetings, negotiating prices and clauses, the hosts offered to take the members of the Ecuadorian delegation to a Cabaret. The man who headed up the delegation, found himself on the phone with Febres Cordero reporting on the progress, when they made the invitation.

“Mr. President, I have to inform you that it seems they want to take us to some “girls” What do you suggest I should do?” He asked the President, between being innocent and being upset.

“Leave the Ecuadorian flag high” Leon replied, “but the proposal does not change.”

El Manaba [es] is a blog normally set for an adult audience, but for this occasion has set aside its normal activities to write about the person who is remembered for saying “I have produced more than what I have consumed“. El Manaba also recalls how was it that the deceased president gained visibility in politics after uncovering corruption by Prime Minister at the time, Carlos Feraud Blum, who was later fired. El Manaba writes, “I think this was the first step in his political career, which took him then to be President of Ecuador and Guayaquil Mayor.”

Cambiemos Ecuador[es] recognizes Febres Cordero's official works and even when it says “he was a man of private enterprise, convinced that private enterprise was more efficient than the public businesses” emphasizing:

Sin duda hoy ha muerto un hombre polemico, un hombre que hizo muchos y grandes cambios, como presidente y luego como alcalde. Un hombre que trabajo toda su vida, comprometido con su causa. Quienes lo conocieron lo admiraron o lo odiaron, no habia medias tintas con este hombre. Cometio errores, pero asi son los grandes lideres. Dejo una ciudad nueva, si ha Orellana le reconocemos ser fundador de Santiago de Guayaquil, a Leon Febres Cordero le debemos reconocer fundar una metropolis llamada Guayaquil: moderna, limpia, con orgullo, con cara para enfrentar al nuevo milenio.

Without a doubt, a controversial man died today, a man who made many and great changes, as President and later as Mayor. A man who worked his whole life committed to his cause. Those who knew him either admired him or hated him, there was no in-between with this man. He made mistakes, but great leaders are like that. He has left behind a new city, if we recognize Orellana as to be the founder of Santiago of Guayaquil, León Febres Cordero must be acknowledged for creating a metropolis called Guayaquil: modern, clean, proud, face-to-face with the new millennium.

Imputación Objetiva en Materia Política[es] doesn't agree with other bloggers who are praising the former president and writes, LFC the prominent leader of the Social Christian party leaves behind a negative and damaging outcome to will be kept in the history of Ecuador. The only thing Jose Ma. León will inscribe on his epitaph is: Here lies León, the unpunished. Some have linked his government with an increase in human rights abuses during his Presidency.

Ecuador has lost a ex-President and a leader. Rest in Peace!

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