A grassroots campaign and the recapture of the country’s institutional framework are the aims of the ex-president of Ecuador’s followers and of those who consider that the current government is authoritarian and is waging war against its opponents through the courts.
The initiative is called “Ecuador a vencer” (Ecuador to win) and is the slogan that today unites organisations, individual citizens and prominent figures in support of the former president, Rafael Correa, who is disqualified from participating in elections after the ratification of his sentence in the “Sobornos 2012-2016”, a political bribery case in Ecuador.
The ruling on the annulment of The National Court of Justice was the last appeal which the ex-dignitary counted on, having finished his pre-candidacy for vice-president of the Republic, which he accepted with Andrés Arauz, nominated as leader of the Union For Hope as candidate for the general elections taking place on February 17th 2021.
“In record time they put out a ‘final’ decision to disqualify me as a candidate. What they don’t understand is the only thing that they are doing is strengthening popular support”, confirmed Correa after finding out about the judicial ruling and the unexpected reaction.
According to the Eloy Alfaro Institute of Political and Economic Thought, this resolution has deepened the lawfare or judicial war against Correa and other former officials of his government, condemned for alleged payments from businesses to finance proselytism in the social democratic PAIS Alliance during its inception, an allegation which was rejected by everyone.
“We don’t celebrate injustices, not before and not now. If they committed crimes then they must be tried in accordance with due process. Those who celebrate today, be careful because you might be complaining about the same thing tomorrow. Power is ephemeral, underlined the Ecuadorian lawyer Miguel Racines.
The national assemblywoman Esther Cuesta warned, “New injustices perpetrated by an authoritarian government that manipulates the judicial system to persecute political opponents, confirms the absence of the rule of law in Ecuador.”
The words of Correa are echoed by some when he confirmed that there was no bribery but a montage created by the state attorney general, Diana Salazar to persecute him along with his political allies.
In addition, the State Attorney General’s office shared the text of the judicial decision orally, without any previous written notification and this was omitted until a media outlet made the decision public.
This revelation underpinned the idea of the political persecution against the so-called Correístas and its top leader, and this began the call of ‘Ecuador – to win.”
For the assemblywoman Marcela Hoguín, the fear of the will of the people expressed in support of Correa has led the government to ban it, therefore in the face if this injustice, the only alternative is to win.
From abroad, the support is also felt by personalities such as Nobel Peace Prize winner Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, who condemned ‘lawfare’ and attached the news from the Telesur channel about the ratification of the sentence.
“Lawfare in action once again”, said Jean-Luc Melenchon, the former candidate for French presidency.
Carlos Montero, a Uruguayan journalist, Patricia Villegas, president of the multinational channel, Telesur and Jorge Taiana, the Argentinian senator all joined the condemnation and on the same day they also rejected the banning of Evo Morales, the former Bolivian president from the Bolivian elections on October 18th.
Many agree that both cases marked a day of mourning for democracy and a challenge and injury to Latin America.
Faced with this reality, ‘Ecuador to win’ is to regain the leadership of the country with programmes to recover the institutionality and the path to prosperity started by the Citizen’s Revolution during the so-called Gained Decade of the Correa government and is therefore the main objective according to the followers of the ex-dignitary.