Ecuador 2005

South America

Yearbook 2005

Ecuador. On April 20, Congress forced President Lúcio Gutiérrez Borbúa to resign after the presidential palace was besieged and the Congress building was plundered by tens of thousands of angry demonstrating students, Indians and middle-class people. When the military declared itself to have lost confidence in him, Gutiérrez Borboua fled the palace by helicopter and then sought asylum in Brazil. He was succeeded by his Vice President Alfredo Palacio González. The dissatisfaction with Gutiérrez Borbúa had increased since he was elected in November 2002 but has not mainly had financial causes; the political crisis in Ecuador has occurred despite an economic growth of 6%. The trigger was a constitutional conflict with the Supreme Court, whose chairman had decided to allow former President Abdalá Bucaram to return from exile in Panama.

According to countryaah, Quito is the capital and one of the major cities within the country of Ecuador. President Palacio González’s main challenge as interim president was to restore confidence in democracy in the country through elections to a constitutional assembly on January 22, 2006, which is considered absolutely necessary if Ecuador, where three presidents have been forced to resign prematurely since 1997, is able to remedy it. the last decade’s constant political instability. Until July 15, grassroots organizations had to submit proposals for legislative changes. However, disagreement still prevailed in December between President Palacio González and Congress on the composition of the Constitutional Assembly.

In April 2004, the police peacefully occupied the prisons that had been occupied by the prisoners for 10 days. The prison of García Moreno, located in the historic center of Quito, a few hundred meters from the presidential palace, was the scene of hostages, violent settlements and fighting between rival prison groups. The prison rebellion required shortening of the sentences and improved conditions in the prisons. It cost 3 killed and 40 wounded as a result of fighting between rival groups. Police raids took place at the same time in the country’s 32 other prisons, which had been in state of emergency since January and housed 11,000 inmates. Acc. Interior Minister Raúl Baca brought prisons throughout the country under control.

In October, Gutiérrez rejected the opposition’s call to resign after his party suffered a horrific defeat in the local elections that month. The government party Sociedad Patriótica (PSP) won only one of the 22 provincial prefectures that were up for election. Opposition leaders found that the election showed Gutiérrez to be “extremely unpopular” and that he should resign. One of the leaders, León Febre Cordero, called the president “ignorant and ineffective.” The government called for calm and lamented the criticism. Acc. political observers, Gutiérrez would face major reigns for the remaining 2 years of his reign.

Also in October, the president announced a plan, agreed with Colombia’s President Álvaro Uribe, on financial assistance for the Ecuadorian part of the common border area, where thousands of Colombians have sought refuge as a result of the armed conflict in their country. Gutiérrez had insisted that because of the pressure the refugees are putting on the Ecuadorian economy, Colombia must also assume some of the financial responsibility. The two presidents agreed that in the first phase of the plan, initiated in 2005, governments will concentrate efforts on the refugees’ basic necessities, health projects and education.

Acc. official statistics show that the number of refugees has increased from 390 in 2000 to 8,131 in September 2004. Several thousand additional Colombians live in various Ecuadorian cities – many of them illegally. Acc. a UN report released at the beginning of the month, Ecuador is now the country in Latin America that receives the most refugees.

A parliamentary majority loyal to President Gutiérrez carried out a transformation of the Supreme Court in December. A move sharply criticized by the opposition for violating the independence of state institutions.