|46th President of Ecuador|
24 May 2017 – 24 May 2021
|Vice President||Jorge Glas|
María Alejandra Muñoz
|Preceded by||Rafael Correa|
|Succeeded by||Guillermo Lasso|
|47th Vice President of Ecuador|
15 January 2007 – 24 May 2013
|Preceded by||Alejandro Serrano|
|Succeeded by||Jorge Glas|
|President of the PAIS Alliance|
1 May 2017 – 3 March 2021
|Preceded by||Rafael Correa|
|United Nations Special Envoy|
on Disability and Accessibility
19 December 2013 – 30 September 2016
|Secretary General||Ban Ki-moon|
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||María Soledad Cisternas|
Lenín Boltaire Moreno Garcés
19 March 1953
Nuevo Rocafuerte, Ecuador
|Political party||Independent (2021–present)|
|PAIS Alliance (2006–2021)|
|Alma mater||Central University of Ecuador|
Lenín Boltaire Moreno Garcés (Spanish pronunciation: [leˈnin bolˈtajɾe moˈɾeno ɣaɾˈses];[a] born 19 March 1953) is an Ecuadorian politician who served as the 46th president of Ecuador, from 2017 to 2021. Moreno was vice president from 2007 to 2013, serving under President Rafael Correa.
He was nominated as the candidate for Correa's PAIS Alliance, a democratic socialist political party, in the 2017 presidential election and won a narrow victory in Ecuador's second round of voting on 2 April 2017. However, after his election Moreno drastically shifted his political stance, distancing himself from Correa's leftist legacy in both domestic and foreign policy. He was expelled from PAIS Alliance in March 2021 after the party’s crushing defeat in the 2021 elections.
Moreno was shot in a 1998 robbery attempt and thereafter has used a wheelchair. For his advocacy for people with disabilities, he was nominated for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. According to The New York Times, while he was in office from 2017 to 2021, Moreno was the world's only serving head of state to use a wheelchair.
Lenín Moreno was born into a middle-class family in Nuevo Rocafuerte, a small town in the Ecuadorian Amazon, near the Peruvian border. His father, Servio Tulio Moreno, was a teacher who promoted bilingual education and integrated schools for indigenous children and mestizo children and who later became a senator. His parents named him after men they admired; his father liked Vladimir Lenin and his mother Voltaire, although an error in the civil registration turned his middle name into Boltaire (in Spanish the letters v and b correspond to the same phoneme). He moved to Quito with his family when he was three years old.
Moreno studied in Quito at the Instituto Nacional Mejía (Mejia National Institute), the Colegio Nacional Sebastián Benalcázar (Sebastian Benalcazar National School), and the Universidad Central del Ecuador (Central University of Ecuador), where he earned a degree in Public Administration and was honored as the best graduate. He studied psychology.
Moreno began his career in 1976 as the director of the Continental Professional Training Center. He went on to become Director of OMC Publigerencia Andina, sales manager of Satho and marketing manager of Zitro, all located in Ecuador. Then he moved to the public sector, taking an administrative post with the Minister of Government. He worked extensively in the public tourism industry. He founded the Chamber of Tourism of Pichincha, a province in Ecuador, and was Executive Director of the National Federation of Tourism Chambers and Executive Director of the Chamber of Tourism of Pichincha, between 1997 and 1999.
Politics and awards
Moreno has earned numerous awards while serving as vice president of Ecuador: the "Fray Jodoco Ricke" Award; the Order of the Sun of Peru in the rank of Grand Cross; and the Order of Merit to the Democracy, presented by the governments of Peru, Guatemala and Colombia, respectively. He was also recognized unanimously by the Council of the Metropolitan District of Quito with the order of Gran Collar Sebastian Benalcazar. He has received various Honoris Causa awards, from the University of the Americas (Ecuador), Universidad Tecnica del Norte del Ecuador (Technical University of Northern Ecuador) and the Universidad San Martin de Colombia (San Martin University of Colombia). He earned a Honoris Causa Masters, from the Business School (ESAE), Spain, on 25 November 2011.
After being shot, Moreno created the "Eventa" foundation to promote humor and joy as a way of life-based on his personal experiences.
He is the author of numerous books on his theory of humor, including: Filosofía para la Vida y el Trabajo ("Philosophy for life and work"), Teoría y Práctica del Humor ("Theory and Practice of Comedy"), Ser Feliz es Fácil y Divertido ("Being Happy is Easy and Fun"), Los Mejores Chistes del Mundo ("World's Best Jokes"), Humor de los Famosos ("Humor of the Famous"), Trompabulario, Ríase, no sea enfermo ("Laugh, don’t be sick") and Cuentos no Ecológicos ("Non-Ecological Tales").
During his first year in the office of Vice President, Moreno investigated the state of disabled people in Ecuador. At the time the government's entire budget for disabled services was approximately US$100,000. Moreno increased the budget for disabled people more than fifty-fold. The state currently assists over 600,000 disabled Ecuadorians, and provides housing and income for 15,000 people and prostheses for another 4,000.
Through his 'Ecuador without Borders' programme, rights for disabled people were introduced in laws passed in 2007 and 2012, and in the 2008 constitution, that empowered Ecuador's disabled; measures included in 2010 requiring companies with over 25 employees to have at least 4% of their staff people with disabilities.
He also founded the Manuela Espejo Solidarity Mission for the Disabled, which offers rehab, technical help, and psychological support to thousands of disabled Ecuadorians. Between 2009 and 2010 the Solidarity Mission sent Ecuadorean and Cuban doctors to over 1.2 million homes around the country and interviewed nearly 300,000 disabled people to find out what needs were most pressing. Many of those people received free medical checkups. And now the Solidarity Mission is spreading to Paraguay, Peru, Guatemala, Chile, El Salvador and Colombia.
Presidency of Ecuador
In 19 February 2017 election, Moreno won the elections with 39.3% of the vote. However he was short by less than one percentage point of outright victory, as Ecuador requires in its two-round system. In 2 April 2017 runoff, he defeated Guillermo Lasso, with 51.16% of the vote.
Within months of winning the election, Moreno started moving away from his election platform, thus igniting a feud with ex-president Rafael Correa. Later in 2018, through a referendum, Moreno reversed several key pieces of legislation passed by the Correa administration that targeted wealthy individuals and banks. He also reversed a previous referendum allowing indefinite re-election, and established the Consejo de Participación Ciudadana y Control Social Transitorio (CPCCS-T), which has supra-constitutional powers, to "evaluate control authorities and judges", with the aim of removing what remains of Correa's influence.
Moreno's government adopted a conservative policy: reduction of public spending, trade liberalization, and flexibility of the labour code. The Productive Development Act enshrines an austerity policy, and reduces the development and redistribution policies of the previous mandate. In the area of taxes, the authorities aim to "encourage the return of investors" by granting amnesty to fraudsters and proposing measures to reduce tax rates for large companies. In addition, the government waives the right to tax increases in raw material prices and foreign exchange repatriations.
With regard to public expenditure, the State can no longer increase public expenditure by more than 3% per year and restricts budget deficits to the repayment of interest on debt. Investments are thus significantly reduced, while privatizations are facilitated through subsidies guaranteed over several years. The government adopts the international system of dispute arbitration for all foreign investments. The first article of the Organic Law on the Defence of Labour Rights is deleted: it allowed the authorities to prosecute owners of companies that have harmed the interests of their employees by concealing resources or emptying the workshops of their machines.
Moreno announced in February 2019 that he had obtained a loan of more than $10 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, with which the previous government had broken off, "at rates below 5% on average and for terms of up to 30 years".
In June 2019, Moreno's government faced protests from environmentalist, indigenous and self-described patriotic groups after he permitted the US military to use the airbase on Galápagos Islands.
He faced more protests in September 2019, as pro-choice demonstrators protested the fact that Ecuador had failed to pass proposed legislation, which would have relaxed the nation's strict abortion laws to allow for abortion in the case of rape.
On 2 October 2019, Moreno declared the abolishment of fuel subsidies, which in turn triggered the 2019 Ecuadorian protests. The government was forced to move from Quito to Guayaquil after effectively losing control of the capital to demonstrators. Seven people were killed and 2,100 were arrested before Moreno signed directive 883, restoring the subsidies, which ended the protests on 13 October.
Allegations of corruption
US Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team had been investigating a meeting between former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and President Moreno in Quito in 2017. Moreno talked with Manafort about removing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and his extradition to the United States.
Following a June 2018 visit by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who agreed with President Moreno to improve the US-Ecuador relations which were strained under the presidency of Rafael Correa, Ecuador launched a security effort with the United States, including buying weapons, radar sets, six helicopters and other equipment, as well as cooperation with the U.S. that would include training and intelligence sharing. Pence and Moreno also spoke about Julian Assange.
In August 2018, Ecuador withdrew from ALBA, a regional bloc led by Venezuela and Cuba, in a bid to further distance itself from that country's socialist state and to be more “independent” of organizations that are trying to impose “specific views” on Latin America's social and political issues.
After imposing new restrictions on Julian Assange, who had been given political asylum in Ecuador's London embassy since 2012, on 11 April 2019, Ecuador revoked his asylum, with Moreno saying Ecuador had "reached its limit on the behaviour of Mr Assange", allowing the Metropolitan Police to arrest him in the embassy.
By mid-2019, he moved Ecuador's diplomatic position closer to the United States as he allowed the United States to use a military airstrip on the Galápagos Islands to monitor drug trafficking and illegal fishing.
Moreno maintained a majority approval rating throughout his term as vice president. In late March 2012, his management was approved by 91% of Ecuadorians. Moreno enjoyed a popularity rating as high as 77% shortly after his election in 2017. His approval dropped slightly to around 69% by the start of 2018, before dropping to 46% by mid-2018 and further fell to under 27% by mid-2019, in May 2020, it registered 16% approval. After the 2019 Ecuadorian protests and mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic, Moreno reached an all-time low popularity, reaching only 5% of approval by early 2021. Moreno leaves office with a low acceptance rate of only 9%, according to a latest survey by the firm Cedatos. As a result of his sharp shift to the right as President, Moreno has a higher approval rating among those who voted for Guillermo Lasso (20%) than those who voted for Moreno himself (5%), although he is now disapproved of by both groups.
- Ortiz-T., Pablo (2008), "Ecuador", The Indigenous World 2008, International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, p. 147
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- Londoño, Ernesto (7 April 2017). "Ecuador Elects World's Only Head of State in a Wheelchair". New York Times. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
- "Elecciones en Ecuador: quién es Lenín Moreno, el rostro conciliador que sucederá a Rafael Correa". Clarín (in Spanish). 3 April 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
Nació allí porque sus padres -profesores- decidieron trabajar en Nuevo Rocafuerte, que aún hoy no tiene conexión por carretera. Un error en la inscripción en el Registro Civil hizo que su segundo nombre fuera Boltaire, en vez de Voltaire. "Papá era de ideas socialistas y mamá de ideas liberales. A ellos les gustaba mucho leer; a papá, Lenín; y a mamá, Voltaire", explicó.
- Watts, Jonathan (19 February 2013). "Ecuador's Lenín Moreno gives revolutionary turn by quitting while on top". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 20 February 2017.
- "V | Diccionario panhispánico de dudas".
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- [dead link]
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- In the Ecuadorian system, to avoid a runoff a candidate needs either to win 50 percent of the first-round vote or to take 40 percent of the vote and be at least 10 percent ahead of the runner-up. (Guillermo Lasso had obtained 28.09%, so had Moreno gained 40 percent, then he would have won by the 40-10 rule.)
- "El Futuro Es Ahora".
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- "OAS Member States Issue Joint Statement on Venezuela". U.S. Mission to the Organization of American States. 24 January 2019. Retrieved 14 October 2019.
- IMF approves $4.2bn loan for Ecuador. Tuesday 12 March 2019.
- The World Bank Approves a US$350 Million Loan to Strengthen the Social Safety Net in Ecuador. 4 April 2019.
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- "Desgaste institucional en el ocaso de las funciones". www.expreso.ec. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
- "OPINIÓN DE LA POBLACIÓN SOBRE MANDATARIOS SALIENTE Y ENTRANTE; EXPECTATIVAS HACIA EL FUTURO. Estudio cerrado al 21 de mayo de 2021". www.cedatos.com.ec. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
- @AmericaElige (18 September 2020). "Ecuador, Atlas Político poll:..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
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