The Latin American countries don’t have the best democratic traditions, although they have been republics since independence from Spain in the 1820s. The leaders have often been caudillos. That means strong men who get their will. If he is reformist or conservative, he never survives if he is showing weakness. Unfortunately, the country’s leaders and their management has usually been for sale. Many are the leaders who have withdrawn, voluntarily or involuntarily, with their pockets full of the citizen’s money.
A key element is the country’s relationship with the continent’s dominant superpower, the U.S., and the multinational companies. These contribute to economic expantion, but what become of these values? Are they disappearing out of the country at a ridiculously small compensation, are they filling the pockets of corrupt politicians’or are they contributing to general prosperity among the citizens? Traditionally, lesser the last option.
Ecuador had ten years of political instability from 1996 to 2006. No president set his time out. The banking system collapsed in 1999, inflation was out of control. This led to Ecuador replaced its national currency unit, sucre, with the U.S. dollar. In 2006 the economist Rafael Correa won the presidential election on a campaign based on cleaning up the finances and the administration, social programs and strengthening of indigenous rights. This program was later confirmed in the newly founded party Alianca Pais (AP).
Correa’s government still rules.
But the election for 2013 is already scandalized. It turns out that thousands of the signatures parties had to gather are forged. The cleaning-up process is in progress and we are looking for the scapegoat.
Will Correa and his party be victorious once more? Despite harsh criticism from the press and that he has lost the unconditional support of indigenous organizations, he is so far in the lead in the polls.
Read also: President Rafael Correa reelected