For Immediate Release
April 7, 2021
Delegates from peace organization CODEPINK begin to arrive in Ecuador today at the invitation of the National Electoral Council (CNE), in advance of the presidential election being held on Sunday, April 11. This electoral observation mission is composed of 6 U.S. citizens and 1 Mexican citizen. This multidisciplinary team will meet with electoral authorities, members of civil society, candidates, and ordinary Ecuadorian citizens, among others.
“Our electoral mission is completely independent and will follow the guidelines established by the CNE, which include impartiality and objectivity. We are concerned by recent events that hint at possible electoral interference by the government of Colombia and the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The people of Ecuador must have the liberty to carry out elections in a free, fair and transparent manner,” said CODEPINK delegation member Leonardo Flores.
These elections are critical given the fact that Ecuador has been devastated by the pandemic (and a broken-down health system), an economic crisis (including the low price of oil), corruption scandals and economic mismanagement. In recent years, the economic crisis has led to social strife, including massive protests in October 2019 that rocked the country. The current president Lenin Moreno has an abysmal approval rating under 10 percent.
The two presidential contenders offer very distinct solutions. Andrés Arauz follows in the tradition of former President Rafael Correa in calling for increased public spending and more equitable redistribution, while Carlos Lasso calls for austerity and more business incentives. The election will not only determine the future of Ecuador, but will have an impact on all of Latin America as countries throughout the region grapple with how to confront economic upheavals that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
Medea Benjamin, [email protected], 415-235-6517
Leonardo Flores, [email protected], 202-840-4292