On Sunday, Ecuadoran ex-financier Guillermo Lasso won Ecuador’s presidential election with 52.5% of the vote. Andres Arauz, the contender, received 47.4% of the votes and congratulated Lasso on his win. This was Guillermo Lasso’s third attempt to reach the Presidency of the Ecuadoran Republic.
Lasso campaigned under the party of CREO- PSC alliance to accomplish three party goals: “Establish a full democracy, promote an economy of free and prosperous citizens and empower citizens to freely choose the means to achieve their personal fulfillment.”
Throughout the 87 pages of the Plan de Trabajo 2021-2025, Lasso details 26 different areas that range from sports, art and rurality, to connectivity and digital government. The document describes CREO as a participatory and inclusive democratic political movement whose mission is to establish a full democracy “governed by the rule of law where institutions function and freedom is respected.”
CREO advocates for a free market economy “open to the world, fiscally responsible to achieve sustainable growth, generate employment, create opportunities and empower citizens to freely choose the means to achieve their personal and family fulfillment.”
Guillermo Lasso’s Plan de Trabajo 2021-2025
Excerpts from the plan
Diverse and quality education.
“In Ecuador the educational system is rigid. Despite Ecuador’s cultural diversity, central administration and state control are increasingly aggressive in this area. There is little or no room for innovation and diversity in Education. This situation has caused a deterioration in our educational system that is evident from elementary to higher education. An excessive state intrusion reduces the quality of education our children receive.
An unfortunate failure of the administration was the decision to close rural schools where a quarter of the nation’s students are found. The closure of approximately 5,000 rural schools excluded many children and youth from the educational system. But the administrative problems are not the only ones, poverty and lack of employment also impact access to education. Many young people have to interrupt their studies to start working and financially support their families. This has caused that on average, Ecuadorians barely complete ten years of education in urban areas and 7 years in rural areas. At the national level, the dropout rate for basic education is 2.1% and for high school it is 5.3%.
Only 2 out of 10 advance to university and technical institutes. Although not all young people seek to access the university, the spaces available are insufficient. The lack of incentives and support for technical education has limited the supply of technical institutes in the country. We propose a reform of the Intercultural Education Law so that schools and colleges can be free and competitive at the national and international level. We plan to rebuild rural education in the country, improve the university access process, and strengthen the technical training that allows young Ecuadorians a suitable job.”
“The practice of sports provides important social, cultural and economic benefits. The experience of several countries has successfully demonstrated that the promotion of sport in universities encourages academic training and develops great professional athletes.
Countries like Australia, the United States, Mexico and Spain are known for having good athlete recruitment program. Ecuador wants to turn universities into academic and sports training centers for the future glories of Ecuadorian sports. To achieve these goals we will promote the creation of tournaments and sports leagues.”
Art and Culture as Creative Industries
“A forgotten sector drowned by tariffs, Ecuador faces serious challenges for the development of its orange economy (creative industries). Since 2007, despite its great growth potential to generate employment, this sector has contributed around 2% to Ecuador’s GDP. Furthermore, the limited state aid has not been effective in allocating public resources. The state budget for culture is practically concentrated on a couple of annual festivals.
In 2019, for example, the spending of institutions in the cultural and artistic sector reached only about .2% of total government spending. Private participation in creative industries has also been obstructed. In our country, the importation of audiovisual products has tariffs that reach up to 25%. While neighbors like Colombia, have managed to reduce costs to 0% the tariffs for tools and equipment for the audiovisual industry through their free trade agreements.
Another big problem is the lack of professionalization in this field. Only 5 out of 100 teachers in the arts have a major in the arts and humanities. All this causes that more than half of the workers in the cultural sector do not have an adequate and dignified job. These problems put us at a competitive disadvantage compared to other countries and complicate the growth of creative industries and the orange economy. Our plan is to promote culture and creativity with freedom.”
Housing, A possible dream.
“Currently in Ecuador the housing deficit is more than 2 million homes, of which 1.2 million are needed in urban areas and 850,000 in rural areas. We will work constantly to cover the deficit of 2 million Ecuadorians who currently do not have a home. Financing is an important element to access a home, especially for lower-income families. We will combat land trafficking in a comprehensive manner.
Rurality must be a priority. More than a third of the Ecuadorian population lives in rural areas and about 71% of the workers depend on agriculture, livestock, hunting, forestry and fishing. Throughout history, economic improvement was more successful when it was concentrated in urban spaces.
For this reason, migration from rural to urban areas has been sustained in recent decades, causing disparities in production and growth between urban and rural areas. One of the main effects of this migration is that farmers leave agricultural communities in search of better jobs in the cities.
The risk of child labor can increase significantly and with this move, along with the risks to the health, safety and development of children. in rural areas, where the child labor rate is 22%. Education is one of the most important investments for the progress of any society. However, the rural population in Ecuador achieves an average of 4.06 years less schooling than the urban area. The most worrying thing is the reduction in schooling in rural areas.”
Employment to combat poverty in rural areas.
“42% of people in rural areas live on less than $ 85 per month. In addition, 19% of the rural population is in extreme poverty and lives on less than $ 48 per month. poverty soars to 71% of the rural population while 42% live in extreme poverty.
Agricultural reactivation requires lines of credit for 30 years and 1% interest. These measures will be complemented to strengthen connectivity and trade between rural and urban areas.”
Greater coverage of basic services.
“The coverage of basic services in the countryside and rural areas is low where only 2 out of 10 households have a sewerage service. Only 43% of households obtain their water through a public network and only 27% have access to their homes through paved roads and streets. This causes that its inhabitants live in unsanitary conditions and are more prone to diseases that harm their well-being.
Another essential service is access to the internet. In 2019, only 22% of rural households had access to the internet, while in urban areas 56% of households accessed the service. Greater access to the internet would improve the communication of these households and reduce digital illiteracy. We will make all the necessary efforts and measures in order to achieve full coverage nationwide, including rural areas.”
A country of entrepreneurs.
“Unfortunately we are one of the least easy countries to do business in the world. We are ranked 129th out of 190 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2020 index. The excessive number of procedures and the days necessary to open a business make us less competitive compared to neighboring countries.
While in Chile it takes 6 procedures and 4 days to open a business, in Ecuador it takes 11 procedures and 49 days. Solutions for popular businesses must be implemented as they are the fruit of the free and hard-working spirit of Ecuadorians, and a fundamental pillar of the family and national economy.”
Other components of the Plan de Trabajo Include:
Free and quality health
Choice of Social Security System
Generating more and better jobs
Strengthen supervision and modernize the regulation of the financial system
Renegotiation of oil contracts
- Oil: Increase oil production.
- Mining: Bet on legal and sustainable mining.
- Dismantle illegal practices.
- Restructure pre-sale contracts and oil commitments with China.
Estados Unidos y Ecuador volverán a ser grandes aliados. Trabajaremos en conjunto para lograrlo bajo una visión de progreso y bienestar. https://t.co/ZNGtNAThn1
— Guillermo Lasso (@LassoGuillermo) April 13, 2021
Upon winning the election, Guillermo Lasso confirmed that Andrés Arauz, the former Unes candidate, congratulated him by phone something that took Lasso by surprise and was a show of support for democratic institutions, reports, El Comercio.
Lasso will face daunting challenges including a pandemic a debt-laden economy and a political system that has divided the nation. “He faces a tough job during his four-year term with Arauz’s leftist Union of Hope coalition as the largest party in parliament, while the Packakutik indigenous movement will be his second biggest challenge,” assesses, Cuencahighlife.
In his victory speech, Lasso expressed he will seek to be a conciliatory leader, and a ruler for all:
“I want to extend my hand and say that my arms are open to all civil society, to political leaders without exception. This moment that Ecuador is living requires a government of unity. Not a government where the President does what he sees fit, as if the State were his property.”
To read the complete government plan, visit, Plan de Trabajo 2021-2025.
Soledad Quartucci | Latina Republic
Dr. Soledad Quartucci is the founder and CEO of Latina Republic, a 501(C)3 California-based nonprofit organization. Latina Republic is a reporting, research, advocacy and charitable organization advancing human rights in the Americas. We fill the void in coverage of urgent social, political, human rights, economic and gender inequalities affecting the Americas. Through our allies in Latin America, we highlight contributions, heritage, history, leadership and innovation. Latina Republic reports on stories that integrate local strategies to the betterment of the region. We make space for and empower unheard voices and celebrate the rich histories of Latin America.