Southern Exposure

Desde as Entranhas dos Labirintos Latinos.

Saturday, December 06, 2003

Presidente Lucio: Storm Clouds on the Horizon

Ecuador News Round-Up

The news from la mitad del mundo this week:

Things are still looking bleak for Ecuadorian president Lucio Gutierrez.

The nation's indigenous movement is stepping up pressure on Lucio; they say they helped get him elected and now he's turned his back on their cause. Reuters says Pachakutik, the political arm of the movement, is demanding his resignation.

In addition, Gutierrez, whose approval rating is about 15 percent, continues to be mired in a campaign contribution scandal. He's accused of accepting $30,000 from a suspected drug trafficker. Congress is investigating; if the charges turn out to be true, the Ecuadorian constitution requires that the president step down.

This excellent report from the Council on Hemispheric Affairs provides an in-depth look at Gutierrez's problems--and issues this ominous warning:

Gutiщrrez would be wise to draw a lesson from the recent events in Bolivia, where former President Sсnchez de Lozada was forced to resign in the face of mounting social and political unrest, as well as from the current plight of Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo, who could face the same sequence of events as his La Paz counterpart.

Finally, for more details on Lucio's woes, see this World Socialist article. But take it with a grain of salt, natch.



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