Following the very public femicide of a pregnant Ecuadorian woman by her partner, a Venezuelan immigrant, violent protests have erupted among Ecuadorian citizens who are demanding a crackdown on immigration from Venezuela. After the start of the protests, Ecuador’s President Lenín Moreno announced that new measures would be considered to limit immigration and that security forces would be deployed to monitor Venezuelan immigrants. These public reactions to the murder, and Moreno’s response, have been harshly criticized by those who view them as xenophobic against innocent Venezuelans.
At the opening of the new year, Julian Assange tweeted out a photograph of himself in an Ecuadorian soccer jersey. The gesture, while not immediately grabbing anyone’s attention, was seen in hindsight as a subtle clue towards Assange’s newly granted citizenship.
In 2015, Rafael Correa, the former president of Ecuador, officially passed a constitutional amendment which, in addition to a few auxiliary adjustments, formally eliminated presidential term limits. Lawmakers who approved the measure did so under the terms that Correa would step aside for the 2017 election - which he did.
In the latest development in a seemingly endless string of corruption discoveries and charges, Ecuador’s Vice President, Jorge Glas, has been placed by the Supreme Court into pre-trial detention while he is under investigation for his role in the vast Odebrecht scandal.
Lenin Moreno’s inauguration as President of Ecuador took place at the national assembly, through a ceremony through an important extent marked by the salience of exiting president Rafael Correa’s participation. After a pause while Correa abandoned the building in the middle of farewell honors, the new president delivered a speech that repeatedly emphasized the need for respect, tolerance, and dialogue. “I am everybody’s president, I owe everyone, I respect everyone,” he said.
When Ecuador held an election to choose their next president in mid-February, candidate Lenín Moreno had a clear advantage over the seven other contenders, with over 10% more of the vote than the runner-up, Guillermo Lasso. But when Moreno’s final share of the vote, at 39.36%, came up just short of the 40% needed to win, it became clear that a runoff election would be needed. Suddenly a victory by Moreno was not such a sure thing, and polls started to point to a possible triumph by rival Lasso.