Ecuador Internacional

Ecuador’s Shrinking Democracy

Center for Security Policy - Luis Fleischman 24/10/2016

Photo: Center for Security Policy

Photo: Center for Security Policy

Last August, the Secretary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Emilio Alvarez Icaza, criticized the state of democracy in Ecuador. Alvarez pointed out that Ecuador’s democracy enjoys electoral democracy but as a whole, democracy is weakened by repression of freedom of expression and freedom of association. Alvarez condemned in strong terms, the fact that cartoonists and other media outlets are outlawed if they criticize the president.

Of course Alvarez’s declarations were only the tip of the iceberg in a country where formal democracy works as a façade better than in any other country in the region. However, Ecuador has been under the radar, hardly detected by the international community. Furthermore, the regional anti-democratic environment that has prevailed in the last two decades has sustained this abysmal state of democracy in Ecuador.

Last December the officially controlled National Assembly approved fifteen constitutional amendments that established that all public offices could be reelected indefinitely. This applies also to the president but only after May, 2017, which effectively excludes Rafael Correa from running in the next presidential elections. However, Correa could run indefinitely after 2021.

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