Ecuador. At the end of September, a majority of the voting Ecuadorians voted yes to the country’s new constitution. The draft proposal had been drafted by a Constituent Assembly dominated by the ruling party Alianza País (AP) and considered tailor-made for President Rafael Correa to be re-elected at the next presidential election. The opposition to the new constitution, called by Correa a “citizen revolution” to break up old corrupt political structures, was greatest in the provinces of Guayaquil and Napo, where Correa’s most powerful political rivals, Jaime Nebot and former President Lucio Gutiérrez Borbúa, have their bases. Nebot even threatened to ignore the constitution when it came into force on October 13, and President Correa accused him of separatism.
The National Electoral Authority set the date for presidential, congressional and municipal elections until April 26, 2009. President Correa is considered most likely to win the presidential post again, and his AP to gain a majority in the new congress. The biggest threat comes from a defender from AP, Monica Chuji, who along with Martha Roldós formed her own opposition movement shortly after the referendum and who collaborated with Ecuador’s important Indian movement Conaie.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Click to see the meanings of 2-letter acronym and abbreviation of EC in general and in geography as Ecuador in particular.
An attack by the Colombian military a few kilometers into Ecuadorian territory in March, in which one of the Colombian guerrilla movement FARC’s senior leaders was killed, led to a serious diplomatic crisis between the countries. President Correa declared that Ecuador’s territory had been violated and sent troops to the border and expelled Colombia’s ambassador. However, he also explained that the FARC, which has long operated in Ecuadorian territory, was as unwelcome as Colombia’s army.
In January 1999, Mahuad announced new cuts, wage cuts and a postponement of non-priority public works. Inflation reached 60% and Sucre’s national currency was devalued by 200%. By the end of the year, the political opposition and almost all of civil society demanded that the president resign.
On January 5, 2000, the President put the country in an emergency state to counter the mobilization of the National Organization (Frente Unitario de Trabajadores, FUT), which, by demonstrations and blocking roads, demanded his departure. On the same day, Sucre dropped to a new bottom record of 26,000. US $. In a situation of demonstrations throughout the country and an imminent uprising on the part of the Native American organization CONAIE, the President conducted a dollarization of the economy the following Sunday.
However, the decision accelerated CONAIE’s uprising. The organization blocked roads throughout the country, entered the capital of Quito, invaded Parliament and the government building – with the support of the companies of soldiers posted to prevent them from access. The government no longer existed de facto, and without firing a single shot, a provisional government junta consisting of representatives of the military, the judiciary, the indigenous population and the trade union movement was deployed, and this junta gained support in the population.
After pressure from abroad – especially from the United States – the rebel soldiers were arrested and Mahuad formally resigned to be replaced by Vice President Gustavo Noboa. At his deployment on January 22, he declared that he would continue his predecessor’s economic policy. After the provisional junta was dissolved, the Indians withdrew from Quito, however, stating that they would continue to closely monitor the new government’s policies.
CONAIE made demands on the Paris Club that future loans to the country be made dependent on their being used productively, in the health sector or in the education system, and that there was popular and local democratic participation in this process. However, the Paris Club refused to recognize CONAIE as a party to the country’s loan negotiations.
In 2000, the government signed an agreement with UNICEF to reduce the number of teens who were the highest in Latin America. Among teenagers in rural areas, pregnancy was considered a beneficial way to receive US $ 10 monthly, which the government gave to young single mothers. 49% of women who had abortions in 1999 had not undergone medical treatment.
CONAIE’s former chairman, Luis Maldonado, was appointed Minister of Social Welfare in 2001. He was thus the first native to be appointed to a government post that lay below the area, the indigenous peoples.
According to Countryaah reports, the population of Ecuador in 2008 was 15,011,006, ranking number 66 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.660% yearly, and the population density was 60.4410 people per km2.