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Ecuador: Citizens Attempt to Remove President Rafael Correa from Office

Through the web, as an exclusive for Ecuador en Vivo [es] and among reactions from the blogosphere, the process to remove Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa from office has begun.

Photo of Ecuadorian Presidente Rafael Correa by Flickr user Presidencia de la República del Ecuador used under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license

In the country, 3 presidents were removed from office in less than 8 years [es] under a context of political instability and social movements led by indigenous and left-leaning groups.

The call to remove the president this time comes from a different sector, led by controversial journalist Carlos Vera who announced the gathering of signatures to remove Rafael Correa in front of the National Electoral Council, now that the first constitutional requirement has been satisfied, which is the completion of the first year in office.


Video [es] of Carlos Vera explaining the plan to remove the president from office

In his blog Vencer el Miedo (Overcome Fear), Carlos Vera announces that the response to his initiative:

Rebasa lo esperado el entusiasmo y valentía de los ecuatorianos ante esta propuesta pacífica y democrática de revocar la cabeza de un modelo nefasto; eso nos compromete más a pulir toda la organización prevista hasta hoy así como a minimizar los riesgos advertidos por algunos sectores y analistas sobre la distorsión que harán el gobierno y sus partidarios de la propuesta

Exceeds expectations [,] the enthusiasm and courage of Ecuadorians in front of this peaceful and democratic proposal to revoke the head of a disastrous model; this commits us to polish all previous plans and to minimize risks for some sectors and analysts about the distortion that the government and its supporters will make of the proposal.

According to article 105 of the Ecuadorian Constitution [es], any citizen can remove authorities elected through popular elections, once the first year has passed and before the last year of the term. Luna de Papel [es] also informs that:

la solicitud de revocatoria deberá respaldarse además por un número no inferior al 10% de personas inscritas en el registro electoral correspondiente.

the application for removal should also be supported by a number no less than 10% of people enrolled in the corresponding electoral registry.

The announcement has generated a series of advertisements and condemnations followed with moderate enthusiasm. Pablo d'Ibarra in the blog Reflexiones desde la mitad del universo [es] (Reflections From the Center of the Universe) is ironic about the subject in a post where he calls Vera and President Correa, “twins in lies, authoritarianism, deceit, and lust.”

However, the initiative is not new. The blog Buscando Libertad (Searching for Freedom) published a post on October 23, 2009 about the plan:

Cuando se pregunta en la calle a las personas su opinión sobre la gestión del Presidente Correa la mitad dice pésima y el resto aún son fanáticos.

When you ask people on the street about their opinion on the management of President Correa half of them say it is awful and the rest are still fans.

Dimitri Cevallos shares the same opinion in El eco de los pasos [es] (The Echo of Steps) :

Actualmente la opinión de los ecuatorianos está dividida en torno al tema de la revocatoria del mandato. Algunos sectores están totalmente de acuerdo con ella, otros aunque están de acuerdo con la salida de Correa no confían en las “buenas intenciones” de los impulsores de esta revocatoria y por supuesto también existen sectores fieles al gobierno y su gestión.

Currently the opinion of Ecuadorians is divided around the issue of the removal of the president. Some sectors entirely agree with it, others while agreeing with the removal of Correa do not trust the “good intentions” of the initiators of this removal and of course there are also sectors that are faithful to the government and its management.

Michel from Ecuador para el Mundo [es] writes:

Está de moda lo de la revocatoria del mandato, otra de las grandes novelerías que nuestro gobierno quiso experimentar y el cual le ha reventado en la cara. En teoría suena bonito, el derecho de los ciudadanos a dar por terminado un período por el cual han sido elegidos sus dignidades ya que no cumplieron con las expectativas del pueblo, pero de ahí a la vida práctica hay un mundo.

The removal of the president is now in fashion, another major novelty that our government wanted to experiment with and which has exploded in their face. In theory it sounds nice, the right of citizens to terminate a term for which their dignitaries have been elected for since they did not fulfill the people's expectations, but that is a world away from practical life.

Voices on Twitter also concur. Sofia (@Kathacm) declares:

Si llega a salir correa por la muerte cruzada ( revocatoria de mandato ) y se convoca a elecciones…… Quien podra defendernos???

If Correa comes out dead (removed from office) and elections are called… who will defend us???

Patrizia Parodi (@PatriziaParodiR) points instead to political stability:

Odio a correa, pero no creo en los golpes de estado ni revocatorias de mandato, soy democrática y creo en la seguridad jurídica del estado

I hate Correa but I do not believe in coups or removals from office, I am democratic and I believe in legal security of the state

Removal attempts will also be presented for Mayors. Guayaquil is added to the list.

The initiative to remove the president from office is now accompanied by an initiative to remove local authorities in the country. Héctor Ygonet Céspedes from Neoliberalismo [es] informs about the local proposals:

Otros escenarios revocatorios contra autoridades locales también están en marcha, como los de los alcaldes de Duran, Yaguachi, Santa Elena y Babahoyo. Estos procedimientos estarían siendo impulsados por sus últimos adversarios políticos, de candidatos de Alianza País, el conglomerado político que apoya al Gobierno.

Other removal scenarios against local authorities are also under way, like the removal of mayors from Duran, Yaguachi, Santa Elena and Babahoyo. These proposal are allegedly being pushed by their latest political adversaries, candidates of Alianza País, the coalition that supports the government.

Ecuador en Vivo [es] reports that an informal salesman has presented a removal for Jaime Nebot, mayor of Guayaquil, the second most important city of Ecuador.

5 comments

  • Justin

    I don’t understand why any citizen of Ecuador would want to remove President Correa from office. He has been the ONLY president in a very long time to defy the corruption that has plagued the country of Ecuador. Unfortunately, yes, he’s had to make some very harsh decisions and changes in order to accomplish this, but because of the level of corruption within the government, it was the only way to clean house. I don’t agree that he shut down radio and tv stations, but I understand why he did it. You can’t fight greed and corruption, when they pay journalists off, and provide false and misleading information to journalist & news programs who DO NOT FACT CHECK, misleading information on Correa and his cabinet. That in itself would constitute support for the president on his decision to change things. Take the U.S. for example. Our media is controlled by 5 major companies. And for some reason or another, all seem to report the same thing. Yet there are countless stories and information that is NEVER reported. There is a law in the U.S. that does not allow the caskets of dead soldiers coming back from Iraq or Afgan to be shown on TV or in Print. And we are the home of the free? Ecuadorians, don’t let these propaganda machines take control. Otherwise, you will wind up like the U.S.A…. under the control of the corporations, who do not care about the citizens of the country.

  • Mick

    Regretfully, your impression is clouded by what you read in the mainstream media. As an Ecuadorian and naturalized American, Correa represents the heights of demagoguery that puts the Obama administration to shame. Here are some incontestable facts (that pale in comparison the great American oligarchy), Correa is known to have affiliations and have received funding from the narco-mafias; Correa is known to have affiliations with the FARC; Correa is known to buy votes with food and money (I mean you get sandwiches, soda, a free bus trip to the city, and cash); Correa is known to break-up demonstrations by initiating military action (like Iran); Correa has allowed the Ecuadorian banks (that use the USD as their currency) to launder money for not just drug cartels, but also other illegal activities like human trafficking; Correa is known to control the media flow; Correa is known to imprison journalists (not just sue them for slander). I think I could just keep going.

  • […] are asking people to sign blank sheets of paper to collect the 700 thousand signatures they need to remove Correa from office. But Correa is optimistic that technology will solve these kind of situations in the near future: […]

  • Daniel

    MICK, WHERE ARE YOU GETTING THAT INFO FROM. IF YOU ARE ECUADORIAN YOU KNOW BETTER, NOTHING THAT YOU SAY HERE IS TRUE. SIX ELECTIONS WON BY A BIG MAYORITY OF VOTES, NOT A SINGLE JOURNALIST IN JAIL, DESPITE ALL THE RETORIC THAT MOST OF THEM, WORKING FOR THE BIG TELEVISION STATIONS O NEWSPAPERS, KEEP LYING OVER AND OVER. THE PEOPLE SUPPORT CORREA, YOU NEED TO GO BACK TO ECUADOR AND SEE HOW THE POOR PEOPLE ARE HAVING A VOICE KNOW. THE ONES THAT ARE HURT FOR THIS GOVERMENT AND ITS ACTIONS ARE THE ONES THAT WERE USED TO HAVE CONTROL OF EVERYTHING. SINCE THE MEDIA AND THE BANKS TO THE CONTROL OF POLICE AND THE ARMY. AFTER SEPTEMBER 30, IF THER WAS ANY DOUBT, THE CORREA’S GOVERMENT IS TEN TIMES STRONGER AND HAS MORE SUPPORT FROM EVERY CORNER OF THE COUNTRY.

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