ECUADOR: PRESIDENT LUCIO GUTIERREZ'S AUTHORITARIANISM CREATES PROBLEMS WITH INDIGENOUS MEMBERS OF COALITION.Ecuadoran President Lucio Gutierrez has completed six months in office with declining support and increasing friction with his main ally, the indigenous Movimiento Pachakutik group. Gutierrez exacerbated that friction by firing the minister of education for criticizing him. The president also lost the support of the Movimiento Popular Democratico (MPD MPD maximum permissible dose.
1. maximal permissible dose
2. multiple personality disorder
Multiple personality disorder (MPD) ), which prompted the resignation of another Cabinet minister.
The most recent poll by Datanalisis gave Gutierrez an approval rating of 31%. In the poll, 69% of respondents considered Gutierrez's presidency "bad or very bad," largely because of his failure to fulfill campaign promises, his inability to govern, and his tendency to choose unqualified people for appointed positions.
In another poll by the firm Market, Gutierrez had a credibility rating of 36.2%. He began his term with a 57% credibility rating, which rose to 63% in February before beginning a downward slide.
MPD says president has moved to right
On July 6, the MPD announced it was withdrawing from the governing coalition. The decision was made at a national party convention in Quito with 3,000 delegates. The withdrawal of the MPD, the major leftist left·ism also Left·ism
1. The ideology of the political left.
2. Belief in or support of the tenets of the political left.
left party in the country, reduced Gutierrez's alliance to his Partido Sociedad Patriotica 21 de Enero (PSP (PlayStation Portable) See PlayStation. ) and the Movimiento Pachakutik.
The MPD said it was taking the action because the Gutierrez administration had decided to follow economic policies that responded to the interests of the International Monetary Fund (IMF IMF
See: International Monetary Fund
See International Monetary Fund (IMF). ) and not the interests of the country. It also accused the administration of having formed an alliance with the Partido Social Cristiano (PSC (Public Service Commission) Same as PUC. ), the major rightist right·ism also Right·ism
1. The ideology of the political right.
2. Belief in or support of the tenets of the political right.
right party in Ecuador, and of persecuting union leaders to further its commitment to privatize pri·va·tize
tr.v. pri·va·tized, pri·va·tiz·ing, pri·va·tiz·es
To change (an industry or business, for example) from governmental or public ownership or control to private enterprise: "The strike ... state enterprises.
MPD legislator LEGISLATOR. One who makes laws.
2. In order to make good laws, it is necessary to understand those which are in force; the legislator ought therefore, to be thoroughly imbued with a knowledge of the laws of his country, their advantages and defects; to Luis Villacis said that Gutierrez "failed to promote social investment and respect for national sovereignty, or to fight against corruption.
The MPD, along with many other groups that supported Gutierrez, have long called for the resignation of Minister of Economy and Finance Mauricio Pozo, whom they accuse of implementing orthodox neoliberal ne·o·lib·er·al·ism
A political movement beginning in the 1960s that blends traditional liberal concerns for social justice with an emphasis on economic growth.
ne policies and of being tied to the traditional economic power base of the country.
The MPD's decision brought with it the resignation of all MPD officials in the administration, among them Environment Minister Edgar Isch and presidential advisor Ciro Guzman.
Isch's resignation was the first Cabinet resignation explicitly for differences in economic policy. Isch said the Gutierrez administration now shows a "clear and marked tendency toward the right," both in the economy and in the "decisions and disposition of the president." Isch was replaced by Cesar Narvaez.
Pachakutik also threatens to leave after minister fired
Gutierrez's other political ally, Pachakutik, the political arm of the Confederacion de Nacionalidades Indigenas de Ecuador (CONAIE CONAIE Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas del Ecuador (Spanish: Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador) ), is also on the verge On the Verge (or The Geography of Yearning) is a play written by Eric Overmyer. It makes extensive use of esoteric language and pop culture references from the late nineteenth century to 1955. of breaking with the government.
On July 10, Pachakutik leader Virgilio Hernandez, who had resigned two weeks earlier as vice minister of the interior, complained publicly that Gutierrez's PSP had aligned itself with the PSC and other rightist groups.
Gutierrez responded by warning Pachakutik to stop criticizing the government. "I have been very clear with them," said Gutierrez in an interview on Ecuavisa TV. "They remain in the alliance, and I want that, but under my rules." Gutierrez said he had told the leaders of Pachakutik that no member was to publicly criticize the government and that any complaints were to be made behind closed doors.
On July 21, Gutierrez fired Education and Culture Minister Rosa Maria Torres Maria Torres was a fictional character in the US soap opera Sunset Beach portrayed by American actress Christina Chambers from July 1998 to the end of the show in December 1999. , a Pachakutik member. Presidential press secretary Marcelo Cevallos said she was fired because she ignored the president's ban on public criticism in statements she made to Guayaquil daily El Universo Diario El Universo is one of the largest daily newspapers in Ecuador. It was founded in 1921 and its headquarters are located in Guayaquil. External links
Torres had said in the El Universo interview, "If Pachakutik decides to withdraw" from the coalition government, all its ministers would leave too, "regardless of how enthusiastic" they were about their work.
"The president can't ask us to leave one by one, and he knows it," said Torres. "We constitute a bloc. It was a commitment made when we accepted the posts."
Sources from the Education Ministry told Inter Press Service Inter Press Service (abbreviated: IPS) is a global news agency. Its main focus is the production of independent news and analysis about events and processes affecting economic, social and political development. that an underlying reason for the minister's removal was her refusal to approve more international agreements that would add to the foreign debt without benefitting the educational system. The sources said Torres did not approve several agreements she considered contrary to the Ministry's interests, despite pressure from Gutierrez's advisers to authorize the projects. Torres said she was complying with administration guidelines to curb Ecuador's foreign debt.
The head of the Pachakutik bloc in Congress, Antonio Posso, criticized the "military authoritarianism" with which Gutierrez tries to govern.
The firing of Torres came as the Union Nacional de Educadores (UNE) was threatening to resume protests because the government has failed to pay them the wage increases agreed to in June to end the teachers strike (see NotiSur, 2003-06-20). Both the union and Pachakutik were outraged at the firing of Torres, who was well-respected.
"As a legislative deputy of the Movimiento Pachakutik, I condemn this authoritarian attitude of the president, who defends mediocre ministers from his own party and calls for the resignation of one of the best and most capable ministers, Rosa Maria Torres," said Ricardo Ulcuango.
CONAIE president Leonidas Iza says Torres was restoring good education policies, and acting with transparency, honesty, professionalism, and public participation. He said all sectors of Ecuadoran society recognize her ability.
Iza said that the president's decision attacks the dignity of the indigenous peoples' movement, dangerously polarizes the country's political arena, and shows an authoritarian and arrogant attitude.
On July 22, CONAIE indefinitely suspended its talks with the president, and Pachakutik said it would also break off its talks with the government aimed at resolving differences.
On July 26, the indigenous and campesinos organizations that have supported the president began a national consultation of their bases regarding the future of their relationship with the government.
Congreso de los Pueblos expresses indignation
Indigenous organizations, unions, and teachers opposed to the policies of the Gutierrez administration had held a Congreso de los Pueblos in mid-July to discuss administration policies. Participants included members of the Federacion Nacional de Organizaciones Campesinas, Indigenas y Negras (Fenocin), the Federacion de Indigenas Evangelicos del Ecuador (Feine), the Union Nacional de Educadores (UNE), and unions of oil and electrical workers.
A statement from the Congreso expressed "indignation" that the president "has opted to continue the same neoliberal policies that he condemned" and that he has joined the "rightist oligarchy oligarchy (ŏl`əgärkē) [Gr.,=rule by the few], rule by a few members of a community or group. When referring to governments, the classical definition of oligarchy, as given for example by Aristotle, is of government by a few, usually ." The statement criticized the president's subservient sub·ser·vi·ent
1. Subordinate in capacity or function.
2. Obsequious; servile.
3. Useful as a means or an instrument; serving to promote an end. attitude toward US President George W. Bush and his faithful adherence to IMF policies.
Salesian priest Eduardo Delgado, coordinator of the social movements This is a partial list of social movements.
Gutierrez increased his authoritarian image on July 30, when he sent a memo to all ministries forbidding government officials from criticizing dollarization dol·lar·i·za·tion
The replacement of a country's system of currency with U.S. dollars. , which was adopted in 2000 and which he says will not be reversed. The memo also said that all information published by the ministries must contain Gutierrez's picture and a statement that the information is part of the administration's program.
Meanwhile, Torres said that the way in which she was forced to resign only confirms "the authoritarian tendency, the zero tolerance The policy of applying laws or penalties to even minor infringements of a code in order to reinforce its overall importance and enhance deterrence.
Since the 1980s the phrase zero tolerance has signified a philosophy toward illegal conduct that favors strict imposition of to criticism, the inability to listen to diverse points of view" of Gutierrez. [Sources: El Nuevo Herald El Nuevo Herald is a McClatchy newspaper published daily in Spanish in Miami, Florida, in the United States. The Herald's sister paper is The Miami Herald, also produced by the McClatchy Company. (Miami), 07/07/03; La Opinion (Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. ), 07/07/03, 07/21/03; Inter Press Service, 07/25/03; Notimex, 07/06/03, 07/07/03, 07/11/03, 07/12/03, 07/15/03, 07/20-22/03, 07/26/03, 07/30/03; Spanish news service EFE EfE Environment for Europe (EU)
EFE Einstein Field Equations (general relativity)
EFE Early Fuel Evaporation (Automotive Emission Control)
EFE Endocardial Fibroelastosis , 07/08/03, 07/10/03, 07/15/03, 07/21/03, 07/23/03, 07/30/03] .HEADLINE ECUADOR: FORMER PRESIDENT GUSTAVO NOBOA Gustavo Noboa Bejarano (born in Guayaquil, Ecuador on 21 August, 1937-). Politician and the President of Ecuador (22 January 2000 to 15 January 2003) and was notable for being accused of mishandling the country's foreign debt  by former president, León Febres Cordero. GIVEN POLITICAL ASYLUM political asylum n → asilo político
political asylum n → asile m politique
political asylum political n IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Dominican Republic (dəmĭn`ĭkən), republic (2005 est. pop. 8,950,000), 18,700 sq mi (48,442 sq km), West Indies, on the eastern two thirds of the island of Hispaniola. The capital and largest city is Santo Domingo. .TEXT
Former Ecuadoran President Gustavo Noboa (2000-2003) sought political asylum from the Dominican Republic on July 28 amid an investigation into his government's use of bonds from the foreign-debt renegotiation to aid weak banks. The request was granted July 30.
"Today I have made one of the bitterest decisions in my life and solicited political asylum to avoid persecution," Noboa said in a recorded audio message aired on local television stations. Noboa said he could not trust Ecuadoran investigators because they are under the thumb of his political enemies.
President Lucio Gutierrez denied that Noboa is being politically persecuted. His press secretary Marcelo Cevallos said that "there is no political persecution" against the former president and "no reason he should be granted asylum." But the administration made it clear it would respect the decision of any country to grant an asylum request.
Noboa became president in January 2000 after a coup led by indigenous groups and dissident military--including Gutierrez--ousted President Jamil Mahuad Jorge Jamil Mahuad Witt (born July 29, 1949) was President of Ecuador from August 10, 1998 to January 21, 2000. He was forced to resign after a week of demonstrations by indigenous Ecuadorians and a military revolt led by Lucio Gutiérrez. He is of Lebanese and German descent. (1998-2000). Noboa had been Mahuad's vice president (see NotiSur, 2000-01-28).
Decision follows foiled plan to leave country
Immigration authorities immigration authorities npl → servicio sg de inmigración
immigration authorities npl → service m de l'immigration
had prevented Noboa from leaving the Quito airport on July 27. The authorities said Noboa did not have the proper documentation.
Immigration immigration, entrance of a person (an alien) into a new country for the purpose of establishing permanent residence. Motives for immigration, like those for migration generally, are often economic, although religious or political factors may be very important. spokesperson Manuel Sarmiento said two lawyers of the former president came to the airport to arrange for Noboa's departure for Miami. Noboa was not with them. Sarmiento said that Noboa needed authorization from Congress to leave the country, which he did not have. "The ex- president has the obligation to inform Congress ahead of time of his intention to leave the country, and that information did not exist, so that immigration did not process his departure request," said Sarmiento.
"This obliges me to request diplomatic, political asylum," Noboa said in a letter to the Dominican Republic's Ambassador in Quito Norman Ferreira Ascona, which was distributed to the media. The letter said Noboa was concerned about his personal liberty and physical integrity and said he was a victim of "unrelenting" political persecution from the Partido Social Cristiano (PSC) and its leader former President Leon Febres Cordero (1984-1988).
Febres Cordero initiates legal action against Noboa
In May, Febres Cordero, now a PSC legislator, asked the state prosecutor's office to investigate Noboa's handling of the debt negotiation. Febres Cordero, considered the nation's most powerful political leader, alleged that Noboa's mismanagement mis·man·age
tr.v. mis·man·aged, mis·man·ag·ing, mis·man·ag·es
To manage badly or carelessly.
mis·manage·ment n. of the deal cost Ecuador US$9 billion and said he would pursue Noboa "like a hungry dog."
Noboa has said he did nothing wrong. Speaking from Ferreira Ascona's residence in Quito, Noboa said, "Febres Cordero is the most immoral man there is in Ecuador."
At the PSC's request, state prosecutor Mariana Yepez began a probe into a decision by Noboa's government to use US$126 million in government bonds issued during a 2000 debt restructuring Debt Restructuring
A method used by companies with outstanding debt obligations to alter the terms of the debt agreements in order to achieve some advantage.
Notes: to strengthen two state-held banks.
Noboa's government restructured Ecuador's debt in Brady and Eurobonds in 2000 to reduce this debt by 40.6% after his cash-strapped nation defaulted on its foreign debt during a severe economic crisis in 1999 (see NotiSur, 2000-08-18).
Yepez says the bonds were issued exclusively for the restructuring and that using cash obtained from their sale to aid the banks may have been illegal. She sought an arrest warrant for Noboa, which was denied by the Corte Suprema de Justicia (CSJ).
Noboa's decision came after the CSJ agreed last week to hear an appeal from the prosecutor's office. He had repeatedly vowed to stay in Ecuador and face justice. Noboa said that both Yepez and the head of the CSJ, Judge Armando Bermeo Castillo, are under pressure from Febres Cordero.
Febres Cordero criticized Noboa for requesting political asylum when there was no arrest warrant for him and for contradicting his earlier pledges to stay in the country to defend himself.
But Noboa said that the "judicial system in Ecuador does not offer the minimum guarantees to ensure the application of the Constitution nor the effective recognition of constitutional rights."
Noboa would not be the first Ecuadoran leader to seek refuge abroad. Abdala Bucaram, who governed for six months from 1996 to 1997, lives in self-exile in Panama to avoid corruption charges in Ecuador.
Bucaram said from Panama that Noboa is not a victim of political persecution but rather "a thief who is being pursued by another thief, because this is a problem of poor distribution among the mafias." He added, "The families of Noboa, Febres Cordero, and the PSC mafias have plundered plun·der
v. plun·dered, plun·der·ing, plun·ders
1. To rob of goods by force, especially in time of war; pillage: plunder a village.
2. the country, and now Febres Cordero is using the judicial mafia to put down a political rival."
Politics as usual in Ecuador
The case involving Noboa is only one of many involving charges of corruption and countercharges of political interference.
On July 16, the CSJ justices ordered the detention of Judge Olmedo Bermeo Hidrobo, accused of illicit enrichment. CSJ president Bermeo Castillo issued the order in response to a request by prosecutor Alfredo Alvear who is investigating the judge's actions. In a meeting of all the CSJ judges, 20 of the 31 judges called for Bermeo Hidrobo to resign.
On July 17, legislators negotiated an agreement to stop the PSC from getting rid of Congress president Guillermo Landazuri of the Izquierda Democratica (ID). Parties involved in the negotiations included the ID, the Movimiento Pachakutik, el Movimiento Popular Democratico (MPD), the Partido Socialista (PS), and Democracia Popular (DP).
ID Deputy Carlos Gonzalez said that the Partido Renovador Institucional Accion Nacional (PRIAN Pri´an
n. 1. (Mining) A fine, white, somewhat friable clay; also, the ore contained in a mixture of clay and pebbles. ), of former presidential candidate Alvaro Noboa, and the Partido Roldosista Ecuatoriano (PRE), of ex-President Bucaram, also participated. He said the purpose of agreement was to preserve the principle of judicial autonomy.
Local press reports contend that the PSC is trying to get rid of Landazuri because he is an obstacle to its efforts to restructure the CSJ and control the court. Landazuri has refused the PSC's request to call Bermeo Castillo to testify before Congress about his charges that the CSJ has been under political pressure from a prominent political figure. Bermeo Castillo did not identify the politician, but the press indicated it was Febres Cordero and the pressure was regarding the case of Noboa.
Former vice minister of interior and Pachakutik leader Virgilio Hernandez said if the PSC were able to gain control of the courts it would kill any hope for change in the country.
The Berlin-based watchdog organization Transparency International Transparency International (TI) is a leading international non-governmental organization addressing corruption. This includes, but is not limited to, political corruption. (TI) has ranked Ecuador the second-most-corrupt country in Latin America Latin America, the Spanish-speaking, Portuguese-speaking, and French-speaking countries (except Canada) of North America, South America, Central America, and the West Indies. , after Paraguay (see NotiSur, 2002- 09-06). And a government report from 2000 indicated that corruption costs the country more than US$2 billion a year. [Sources: El Nuevo Herald (Miami), 07/ 28/03; Reuters, 07/28/03, 07/29/03; The Miami Herald, 07/29/03; Notimex, 06/28/03, 07/16/03, 07/17/03, 07/28/03, 07/30/03; Spanish news service EFE, 07/29/03, 07/30/03; El Comercio El Comercio is the name of several newspapers: