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Ecuador holds its first set of Presidential debates for February 7 election, 2 candidates are no-shows

Published on January 13, 2021

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Last weekend, the National Electoral Council (CNE) held a mandatory presidential debate over two days, for the participation of 16 registered candidates for the February 7th elections.

The debates took place on Saturday and Sunday evenings at the National Theater of the House of Ecuadorian Culture. The event was organized by the newspaper El Comercio, Televicentro and the Quito and Platinum radio stations.

Four themes were addressed: economy and employment, the pandemic, security and corruption.

The order of participation was given by lottery on December 18 and it was established that Guillermo Lasso, Ximena Peña, Andrés Arauz, Paúl Carrasco, Giovanny Andrade, Carlos Sagnay, Gustavo Larrea and Isidro Romero would debate on Saturday.

On Sunday, Lucio Gutiérrez, Gerson Almeida, César Montúfar, Xavier Hervas, Guillermo Celi, Pedro José Freile, Yaku Pérez and Juan Fernando Velasco were on the slate to appear.

For reasons not declared, nether Andrés Arauz or Yaku Pérez appeared for their slotted debate times (Pérez however claimed on Twitter that it had something to do with a conspiracy in giving him the Sunday debate time).

A second presidential debate will take place on the 16th and 17th of this month, at 8:00 p.m. It is being organized by the Guayaquil Chamber of Commerce and the Espiritu Santo University of Specialties (UEES).

Juan Carlos Díaz Granados, executive director of the Chamber, said that the participation of the candidates will be divided by lot into two groups. At the moment the participation of Arauz, Pérez and Velasco in that debate remains to be confirmed.

For the second debate, the applicants will address five topics: job creation, tax policy, corruption, pandemic and health systems, competitiveness and the external sector.

We’ve taken the transcripts of the first two debate sessions and summarized what we believe where the main points of each candidate’s responses, to the five topics that were chosen by voter polling.

Some of the candidate’s responses were amusing, some almost non-sensical, and some quite accusatory.

We apologize in advance for the length of this story, but we felt it was important to give a clear image of what was said, by whom, in response to each section.

The candidates and their responses were split in two, as per the debate schedule, and then placed alphabetically in the story in order to show no preference to any one candidate.

 Giovanny Andrade is a 49-year-old advisor on investment issues in mining who has held various positions in the private mining sector. He is running for President representing the Ecuadorian Union.


Why do you want to be President?

“As Ecuadorians, we are tired of presidential candidates who are in political organizations—and almost criminal, rather than political organizations—are [we are also] tired of presidential candidates coming from banking. We are tired of candidates who want to manage the country as if it were a soccer team. We are tired of clowns, that’s why we come here. We come to look out for the Ecuadorian families, because we see the lack of bread on each table.

I want to be president to be able to change this situation and to give all Ecuadorian families a new dawn. That is why I am from the people and for the people and with this we are going to move Ecuador forward. Thank you very much. ”

On the economy and employment:

 Must open the country to the external economy so that foreign capital can come to invest in Ecuador

  • Must make tax free zones
  • Have to create a look towards agriculture, open ourselves towards agrarian system
  • Have to look favorably on the country’s mining, mining brings us many benefits
  • We must also open the country to outside investment, reduce taxes, reduce VAT by up to 2% so that investors come

“We must make work plans here for foreign investment, with industries and consider something new for Ecuador.

 We are going to encourage the economy of the country, to reduce the tax burden that it has to pay, we will reduce 2% of VAT to encourage national consumption; and the companies that give more jobs will also have their compensation with less taxes that we put on them.

We are going to “decommodify” the country, we are going to sell raw materials that are worked, we are going to give them added value.

We are going to open the Latin American gold refinery that will have us in Ecuador’s federal reserve.”

On the pandemic:

  • Vaccination of 100% of Ecuadorians to counteract COVID-19
  • Construction of “megahospitales”
  • Enhance public health and existing hospitals in the state network
  • Create jobs for the country’s doctors
  • Need to provide health to all sectors of the country, not just the cities

“This pandemic has brought us very bad things; we have lost family and friends in this pandemic. Two of my best friends were taken to heaven. We are going to vaccinate 100% of Ecuadorians, who want to be vaccinated, so that they can get out of this pandemic and we will enhance health in the country.”

On security:

  • Start by reviewing the laws and the main one is the COIP
  • Criticized fact that the police capture criminals and some judges just release them
  • Police must be given assurances that the criminals do not leave the prisons
  • Does NOT agree to allowing citizens to carry arms and described it as a mistake
  • Necessary to arm the Police and give them faster vehicles
  • Wants military to take to the streets to patrol them and become a support for the National Police

“Ecuadorians, we must first review all the laws; principally the COIP, because now we see that a criminal is caught by the National Police and the next day, he is released on the streets again. We must reform this to give the police the necessary security that the thief will not leave.

Putting a weapon in the hands of citizens is another mistake, really cadastral, very big. For what reason? Because we are saying that our police, our police servants, are of no use.

And I repeat, the Armed Forces must be patrolling the streets, as they did before.”

On corruption:

  • Would create a new state entity, the General State Accounting Office
  • This entity would be in charge of controlling all outflows of money by the State (had before, no longer exits)

“We need to be open, we need to have transparency, so that all Ecuadorians can relate to the State’s expenses and know where their money goes from their pocket from their taxes. You need to see every corrupt person and sanction him completely, even if he is a minister or if he is the President of the Republic; then he has to be charged before all the Ecuadorian people so that he does not do it anymore and he has to be separated from the Government.”

“Corruption must be detected before it occurs, that is why the state accounting office will see this kind of corruption that exists. But we will also have the Comptroller General of the State, which will be the one who will carry out the audit processes after the contracts; to look at what has come out, what has been sold, what drugs have left each hospital.”

Final Statement

“My fellow citizens, I am Giovanny Andrade Salvador, I ask for your vote because I want to change this country, [we need] new people who really see a new dawn. Let’s not trust the same old people who want to take the bread from your table. And these moments have been very difficult, and we have seen that this table has been washed away, with nothing to eat. So, now demand the vote to be able to change this reality, someone new, with firm proposals, let me be a servant of the people and for the people. Geovanny Andrade Salvador, for a new dawn, List 19.”

Paúl Carrasco is a former priest who was the prefect of Azuay from 2004 to 2018. He is running for President representing the Juntos Podemos (Together We Can) movement.

 Why do you want to be President?

“I always thought, and I am convinced, that the solution to Ecuador’s problems does not have to be given by a person, this is not who I want to be. The point is that the solutions have to be given by people, citizens and therefore we need a government that listens to you citizens, men and women of Ecuador. Because you know the reality, you feel it. A president is necessary who meets with the people, who listens to the citizens, who walks in the street, and from neighborhood to neighborhood assemblies are organized, and we define what you do and what your government does.”

On the economy and employment:

  • People are in debt, to private and public banks and cannot pay for housing and debts for credit cards
  • Solutions to specific issues: bank amnesty for citizens, restructuring of debts with an interest of 1% for 10 years
  • It is necessary to generate new jobs and to recover the jobs that were lost during the pandemic; need to generate work subsidies for private companies and businesses, for young people between 20 and 30 years old.
  • Says economic recovery plan has 750,000 jobs for the country

 “Bank amnesty for citizens, subsidized work for young people between 20 and 30 years old. Of course, we must [also] support agriculture: zero tariff for imported inputs for agriculture; 5% credit, but credit that adjusts to the productive cycle of agriculture. We should create agricultural insurance for producers, and also build collection centers for distribution and fair payment for farmers. That is, a complete proposal of an agricultural engineer for farmers.

And finally, Ecuador needs dollars citizens, therefore we will propose converting certain areas for the free movement of capital, we are nationalists, let the dollars come anyway, but that they generate production.”

 On the pandemic:

  • Proposed the universalization of health with access in real time, through digital platforms
  • Spoke of an initiative that they have implemented, privately, with telemedicine care
  • Believes that agreements should be signed with the private sector to import vaccines and start mass immunization in the country

“Ecuadorians 11 months ago, a month before the pandemic began, we decided to create a hospital called “Juntos hospital in real time,” on Facebook. It’s how modern health should be developed….we giveattention immediately. We have treated 345 thousand people; we have saved 1,670 people withCOVID-19.

We are convinced that health should go to people, not people to health, and we have done that. It is essential to design a new modern proposal for healthcare. If we have done it, imagine when we are the government; health will be at home, primary care, promotion and prevention. In addition, we are convinced that we must reach an agreement with the private sector so that they also bring vaccines for their workers and employees, as well as the Ministry of Health.”

On Security:

  • Proposed that a network of social actors be developed to combat crime
  • Wants to create cantonal safety councils
  • Wants productive sectors such as taxis, to be the eyes of the police in the streets
  • Will give cell phones to police officers so that communication and coordination of security actions are more effective
  • National Police officers will be further trained

“In the country there are approximately 50,000 police officers, a little more. There are 80,000 private security guards who are in precarious working conditions and their working conditions must be improved. There are 10,000 metropolitan or municipal police, but there are also civil society, organizations neighborhoods and taxi drivers.

What do we propose: create cantonal security councils, in those cantonal councils, being an effort of all, which we propose that the routes through the security circuits are managed by the police, but if there are private security guards we must give them the possibility to help with the private sector, with the companies, so that they also take care of those circuits in the streets and help the police. But there is also the municipal guard that helps us with those circuits and that the citizens organized take care of the UPC’s and that there are neighborhood rounds organized every day taking care of the neighborhood and citizens and taxis work as the eyes of the city to report the problems that exist in the city.

Citizen security is in your neighborhood, on the bus, it’s on the corner, so what we have to do is strengthen the anti-crime network, that is, a network between the police, private sectors and organized citizens taking care of their neighborhood, taking care of the block, it is time to corner the criminals, but for that we need to expand the caretakers of the neighborhood, the caregivers of human beings and we have to be all of us.”

On Corruption:

  • Proposed the implementation of “faceless judges” to guarantee their safety
  • Says faceless judges won’t be bribed, pressured, or threatened by the corrupt
  • Judges must be made independent from the political sector
  • Said that the universities will be the ones that choose the judges, through competitions

“We propose a popular consultation in which it can be approved: first, faceless judges so that they are neither coerced nor pressured or threatened by the corrupt; second, the judges must be made independent from the political sector.

Let’s make justice public, make transparent by choosing judges well and then, of course, life imprisonment for politicians of popular election who have been shown to be corrupt…and also the public officials who have been bribed and to the private ones who make the bribes…. civil death. We eliminate their citizen rights forever, it is a strong hand, but it is necessary to propose independence from justice and finally, you also have to work in society, through the family.”

Final Statement

“Everyone asks for the vote. I believe that you have the responsibility to choose the best proposal. You have to build with proposals.

When I tour the country with surprise, I find that everyone asks me, citizens ask:” Well, what does it offer, what promises.”

And I see that things are given away, that things are offered. And I respond with a phrase from a Quito author,“ When I come, I just come. You will know why I come. To leave you my heart, which is the only thing I have.”

We have a heart for you, Ecuadorians, and your heart for Ecuador. Together we can do different things.”

Gustavo Larrea, a longtime politician linked to activism and the defense of human rights was a Pichincha deputy for the APRE between 1994 and 1996, undersecretary of Government in the presidency of Abdalá Bucaram and Minister of Government and coordinating minister of Internal Security and External with Rafael Correa. He is running for President representing the Democracia Sí movement.

 Why do you want to be President?

 “Because I believe that the country requires profound changes. There is a historical sense of our nation and that historical sense has implied agricultural production, marine, tourism, industry, crafts that have been oriented to strengthen that historical sense of economic development with social justice.

I believe that this pending task remains for the nation, it is time to take that historic step in a situation, perhaps the most serious in our history, and we will not only need to advance development, but we will also need to reactivate the economy. And that requires solving a public health problem. The best political, economic and social [move] in the coming months will be mass vaccination to eradicate the pandemic.”

On the economy and employment:

  • During pandemic country managed to increase agricultural, marine and oil exports
  • Says the future can be built as an agricultural power, to make the leap to be an agro-industrial power
  • Added tourism, aquaculture, marine production, industry and crafts and all related activities to future growth
  • Would create an economic reactivation fund with lines of credit and with interest rates of no more 5%, 10-year term, and a year of grace to reactivate micro, small and medium production, both urban and peasant, and agrarian

“The country is experiencing a tragedy. The world is experiencing a tragedy. International organizations agree that urgent measures are necessary to solve the serious economic and social problems. Jobs have been lost; we agree with many on that. We must urgently promote an employment program in the country. We must promote a credit program aimed at micro, small, and medium enterprises to reactivate the economy and employment. A Zero Hunger program is necessary in the country. It is true, more than eight million Ecuadorians have problems. We, from our government, will promote the Zero Hunger program that allows food baskets to reach families who already need food.”

On the pandemic:

  • Pointed out an urgency to get vaccines against COVID-19 for the entire population
  • Said the pandemic revealed the deficiencies of the Ecuadorian health system and questioned why government had not acted with a sense of urgency
  • Argued that a profound reform is needed in the health system, strengthening the primary care network and the hospital network
  • Said it is important to make the leap to telemedicine and a system of sub-centers close to the people

“The pandemic revealed the problems of the Ecuadorian public health system. The entire preventive health system practically collapsed. The vast majority of health centers and sub-centers, closed.

We are going to have to carry out a profound reform of the Public Health System. Strengthen the primary care network, strengthen the hospitals of course, providing medicines and equipment that the vast majority of the hospital network does not have, unfortunately.

There was no work with a sense of urgency to combat the pandemic. There was talk of the need to use cell phones to know and establish traceability contagion. It never happened. It did not go beyond being propaganda. It is now necessary that the national government act urgently to give vaccinations as necessary for all Ecuadorian citizens. That is the current cure and the best economic policy, too.

Health is not a commodity; it is a right. Today it is clearly demonstrated that it is a right of citizens.”

On Security:

  • Proposed permanent police operations with the support of the Armed Forces as a mechanism to combat insecurity
  • Does NOT agree to allowing citizens to carry arms
  • Said best solution to combat crime is to provide the Police with better equipment
  • Believes there should be a local police force that generates immediate help
  • To combat organized crime, proposes to strengthen police intelligence

“There have been some proposals in a debate to arm the citizens. I challenge this proposal to arm the citizens. What you have to do is arm the Police and disarm the criminals.

[We need] not only temporary, but permanent operations of the National Police, with the support of the Armed Forces, to disarm crime. And strengthen the community police; that in many neighborhoods is working well and that must be extended to all sectors, both urban as rural.

There is another important aspect of security, which is daily violence, which is not only crime, but violence against women, violence due to discrimination against women, against people because of the color of their skin, because of their culture. It is part of the systemic violence of our country and of our State, and that must be profoundly changed. A society that is capable of recognizing itself as diverse, of building its unity from diversity, with full respect for the rights of women, children, Afro-Americans, and indigenous peoples.”

On Corruption:

  • Proposes the elimination of the current public procurement system
  • Said the Comptroller’s Office should intervene from the beginning of public contracting and that all contracts be public
  • Will seek support from international organizations to follow the route of the stolen money

“The problems that our country is going through with corruption are evident when we have more than 10 former ministers of State and managers of public companies with enforceable sentences; when we have more than 10 fugitives, some also already with enforceable sentences, former president, former vice president of the Republic. Why does this happen?

Because there is a legal system that allows it. The Public Procurement Law is the COVID-19 of corruption, of the corruption pandemic. This law must be changed at its roots, not just the reform that the Assembly approved a few weeks ago, it must be changed at the root. The State Comptroller General does not intervene because the Constitution prohibits it, except when the contracts have concluded, and the public work has been delivered. The State Comptroller General must intervene from the start of public procurement. All contracts must be public. The current public procurement system must be eliminated because it is a system that allows the corruption. It is not just about having an honest government. It is about having a law that prevents the pandemic of corruption from continuing to corrode the entire Republic.”

Final Statement

 “There are two issues that I think are very important to touch on. The environmental issue: protecting our water sources, our moors; reforesting hydrographic basins, protecting Galapagos, the Amazon.

And another issue that seems to me of crucial importance: the violation of girls. We will promote and encourage that…. the rape of girls….is a crime against humanity and therefore prosecutable in all countries of the world.  And it is necessary that girls are not doubly victims: victims of rape and victims in having to give birth to a child of the rapist. Therefore, [we propose] the right to abortion due to rape.”

Guillermo Lasso is running for President for the third time. After a lucrative career in banking, he held short stints in government in the late 1990s and early 2000s, first as governor of Guayas province, then economy minister and itinerant ambassador. Lasso founded the Creando Oportunidades (Creating Opportunities — CREO) party to launch his 2013 presidential bid.

 Why do you want to be President?

 “Dear Ecuadorians, the year that has just concluded has been one of the worst years that we have had to live. The economic crisis, the health crisis due to COVID-19, crime and corruption have severely hit the Ecuadorian family, all of you.

I know that you feel uncertainty, that you have lost confidence, that you cannot believe and that in any case you draw strength from the most adverse and hardest situations, because you always face the future with optimism, looking ahead and dreaming beyond.

We have presented a plan called Capacity to Change, a plan that aims to solve the problems of Ecuadorians. Enough improvisation, dangerous proposals, such as de-dollarizing Ecuador and worse a ridiculous one to extract gold from cell phones. We have the capacity to change and we will carry it out.”

On the economy and employment:

  • Economic situation in the country is the result of an obsolete model called 21st century socialism, applied for the last 14 years
  • Propose investments to generate employment in infrastructure and to unleash an entire investment process in large, medium, small and micro-enterprises
  • Will capitalize the National Development Bank with $1 billion to give credit to the agricultural sector, at 1% interest with a 30-year term

“We are going to support entrepreneurship, especially dedicated for Ecuadorian women, for the mother of the family, single mothers, mothers abandoned by husbands, who want to start from home in order to promote the growth and prosperity of her family.

We are going to…. reduce taxes, eliminate procedures to promote entrepreneurship and generate employment, income for families, which is what concerns us, that the family is above the government, not the government over family.

Our Ecuadorian objective in the medium term, in the coming years, is to create two million jobs, the million jobs that were lost due to the bad government of Correa and Moreno, and the one million jobs that have been lost this year due to the economic crisis and due to the pandemic. But we have to urgently attend to a priority. There is a sector of nearly 300,000 families that today feel hungry, and the responsibility of my government will be to give priority to the hunger of those Ecuadorian families that today feel an acute impact due to the economic crisis.”

On the pandemic:

  • Urged President Moreno to “find an immediate solution” to bring vaccines for the prevention of coronavirus
  • Plans to carry out health reform that involves public hospitals, both IESS and private
  • Chose a doctor as his running mate because of national health emergency
  • Says he will fight against corruption so that hospitals are no longer “political currency”
  • Objective will be free, quality healthcare

“I would like you to appreciate the contrast between a private initiative that we carried out with Alfredo Borrero in April of this year. With a contribution of $10 million from the private sector, we brought medicines, supplies and medical equipment to more than 340 health centers in 221 cantons of Ecuador; the health budget of the government and the IESS together reaches close to $5 billion. Unfortunately, corruption, inefficiency make those $5 billion not enough for a service of free quality healthcare. We will carry out this reform so that this budget brings health services to all.”

On Security:

  • Clarified that his objective is not to give arms to farmers for their safety, but to implement a security system to protect families and their belongings
  • Plans to increase budget for justice and Attorney General’s Office
  • Says criminals must serve their full sentences
  • Proposes that Armed Forces help control the borders and stop drug trafficking

“We have to strengthen justice. We have to strengthen the Prosecutor’s Office. We have to modernize them, we have to support them with budgets and support citizen security by strengthening the Police, the Armed Forces, the Justice and the Prosecutor’s Office.”

On Corruption:

  • Proposes to set up a commission to fight corruption with international actors and with the advice of the United Nations (UN) and the Organization of American States (OAS)
  • Objective is to help the State detect the route of money, to recover what was stolen and to put the corrupt in jail
  • Will make reforms to public contracting; must first have the Comptroller’s Office review before contracting as it was in the past
  • Must strengthen justice and the Attorney General’s Office to be able to punish the corrupt, those who steal in public contracts and those who do not pay taxes
  • Says the goal in the fight against corruption is “to follow the money route”

“We must fight corruption by following the money route. We have known about the Isspol scam for about $500 million, but they have not answered us as to who authorized the transfer, which bank received that money, to whom that money was delivered locally or internationally.

We have to recover that stolen money, because it is money sacred to the Ecuadorian people.

[Furthermore], we as candidates must tell what we live on, how much we pay in taxes, what is our wealth.”

Final Statement

“Next February 7 is not just any election, it is a transcendental day for Ecuador. I invite you to vote responsibly, as a tribute to those who died in the pandemic, as a tribute to those who are looking for a job and not finding one, as a tribute to those Ecuadorian women who want to raise their children and their families.

I invite you to vote for a project that will strengthen dollarization and that will not go with the novelty, of reverse mining, withdrawing the gold from the cell phones.

I invite you to vote for a project that has the capacity and experience, together with you, to bring about the change that Ecuador requires. ”

Ximena Peña, Cuenca Native, returned to Ecuador at the end of March 2013, shortly before taking office as an assembly member, after having lived in the United States for almost half of her life. A passionate member of the Citizen’s Revolution, she insists she is not a correista. She is running as President representing the Alianza PAIS movement.

Why do you want to be President?

“Dear compatriots inside and outside the country, I am Ximena Peña, migrant and candidate of the 35. I will come to the presidency with concrete solutions to face the pandemic, to protect the lives of your children and your family, to provide free vaccination for all. For those who lost their jobs, [my plan will bring] an exceptional salary to activate their economy, for producers and entrepreneurs [my plan will help them] alleviate their debts and support for the payment of their salaries.

For those who stopped studying because they did not have access to internet technology, [we will provide] a tablet so that they do not leave school. For women who live in fear of dying, security for their lives.

There is only one woman in this electoral contest and that shows that politics must change. I am Ximena Peña, I am not the correista or official candidate, let it be clear, I am a progressive woman.”

On the economy and employment:

 Said seven out of 10 Ecuadorians do not know if they will eat next week, 3 million children in poverty and 1 million Ecuadorians have lost their jobs

  • Proposes an exceptional income for those who lost their jobs during pandemic
  • Also wants to work to strengthen tax collection; $4.5 billion in income that tax is evaded

 “I listen to the candidates’ proposals and it seems to me that it is not understood what Ecuadorians are experiencing in the midst of a pandemic that is hitting the poor the hardest. I said it in my speech, 7 out of 10 Ecuadorians do not know if they are going to eat next week, of course we are going to invest in agriculture, we have to promote agriculture, of course we do. But right now, our citizens are demanding relief. That is why we are proposing our emergency basic income initiative to give dignity to those hardest hit by the pandemic.

It is also important to talk about banking, about the commitment as a country we must have to face the pandemic. $205 million profit; it is unethical that banks earn so much, when the vast majority of Ecuadorians are in poverty. Please, we require a national commitment to face the economy all united for one country.”

On the pandemic:

  • Will hire trained health personnel to vaccinate 10 million Ecuadorians by the end of the year (60,000 Ecuadorians per day)
  • Will accelerate the purchase of vaccines so that it reaches the entire population; will prioritize health over debt repayment
  • Promised job stability for medical personnel who have been in the fight against COVID-19
  • Emphasized a program to prevent teenage pregnancy; will allocate $50 million dollars
  • Said health will never again be a privilege; health is a right and must be guaranteed

“In my government we will prioritize life. This is why we will allocate the necessary resources to face the pandemic efficiently. The economy will not recover if we do not guarantee vaccines for everyone as soon as possible. We are going to accelerate the vaccine purchase process. We are also going to invest in the first level of health and also in epidemiological surveillance, as they are the services closest to our people.

During the last three years, the Government has reduced the healthcare budget by $720 million. It is essential to recover the budget so that health is a right.

I want to send a clear message to our health professionals, to men and women who were on the front line, responding and saving lives during the pandemic. I give you my commitment to job stability….you have been called heroes and heroines, and then mistreated simply for claiming your right to wages and to work with dignity. 65% of health personnel are women. The contribution of women workers in the health sector was there, in such difficult moments, facing the worst moments of the pandemic. For you, my hug and my recognition.”

On Security:

  • Does NOT support the arming of citizens as an alternative to defend themselves from insecurity
  • Said it necessary to give legal certainty to the work that police officers do to combat crime
  • Added that the community role of the police must be recovered
  • Will strengthen the protection system for women and children

“Insecurity is the third [highest] concern of Ecuadorians. We closed 2020 as the most violent year of the last seven. More femicides, more homicides, a 20% increase in crimes. 60% of the victims were mothers and left 1,000 children as orphans.

What do we propose? First, the weapons in the hands of the police and not in the hands of the citizens. I want to emphasize my rejection of the proposal of generalized carrying of weapons. We already have legislation that allows our farmers, our fishermen to have weapons, for example, if necessary.

But wanting citizens to be armed is to promote violence with more violence. It is proven that in homes where a woman is a victim of domestic violence, she is 7 times more likely to die from a gunshot when there is a weapon in that home.

Second, legal security and resources for the 53,000 police officers who must have the conditions to carry out their work of facing crime, without fear.

We are also going to declare an emergency for the protection of the rights of our girls and our women, that you have a justice system and specialized police to combat impunity. Last year, 1,780 cases of domestic violence occurred, of these only 100 have been investigated and only five have a sentence. That is why it is important to fight against impunity.”

On Corruption:

  • Argued that the corruption of any government must be sanctioned from the courts with autonomy from political and economic power
  • Said that her government will professionalize the public sector so that the positions are filled by honest people
  • Pointed out that she was the only candidate that had made its assets transparent and that this is what the commitment to transparency is about
  • Says there are laws against corruption, but there have not been resources to fight the problem
  • Only one prosecutor for every 100,000 inhabitants

“Let’s talk about private corruption, too. Corrupt is he who evades taxes, corrupt is he who does not pay the social security of his workers. Not only is the one who receives the bribe corrupt, the one who gives it, the one who offers it, is also corrupt. That is why it is also essential to work on co-responsibility.”

Final Statement

“Compatriots, inside and outside the country. These are difficult moments, we have buried our loved ones, without the hugs that the last goodbyes deserve. We have faked a smile so as not to worry our family, while we juggle to put some bread on the table, for not having a job.

But somewhere in our being we hope to keep fighting. He who falls does not lose, he who does not fight loses. Today we have the possibility of forging a different future, led by a woman, by a migrant who has experienced deficiencies, sacrifices, like the vast majority of the Ecuadorian people. Allow me to use my skills and talents in the service of my people. I speak to them with my heart, but also with the reason given to me by thousands of Ecuadorians with whom I share concerns and hopes. Therefore, vote for women, vote for Ximena Peña, vote all 35. ”

Isidro Romerois a well-known businessman and former leader of the Barcelona club for 3 decades. Perhaps one of the wealthiest candidates, he has paid almost no income tax for the last three years. He is running for President representing the Avanza party.

 Why do you want to be President?

“First of all, I want to greatly thank the newspaper EL COMERCIO for the invitation you have made me. And, secondly, an anecdote because I am a frank man in my life. I was surprised when I entered the debate, I saw my friends and other acquaintances to greet them. The only one who did not want to say hello is little boy Lasso, who did not have the kindness or the certainty to greet a friend. But that does not matter. Next time, I will punish you like a spoiled boy. Nobody stops saying hello to me, I’m sorry I told you.

And now I get to my thing. It is not ambition. The feeling I have for a country and for a people has always been great for Ecuador. In 1998 I was proposed to be a candidate for the Presidency of Ecuador. I didn’t want to do it. I was not happy. I didn’t feel ready to be president. ”

On the economy and employment:

 Ecuador is one of the richest countries in America and perhaps the world because of its capacity for agriculture

  • Agriculture in Ecuador has been paralyzed for 40 years; his government will provide 3 million jobs through agriculture
  • Will provide credit lines that do not exceed 3% or 4%.
  • The second economic engine is fishing; will apply the new technologies such as marine aquaculture (planting in the sea)
  • Will promote industry, construction, oil, mining and tourism
  • Will bring foreign investment but must have an image of a large, serious, correct country, full of dignity with principles and values

 “We will never allow any Ecuadorian to not eat three times a day. That will be our obligation as a State.

Second, the banking of this country will have to change. The commission banking will end, which has destroyed the pockets of Ecuadorians and we will turn into banking development. And seven, eight or ten foreign banks will come to invest in the country.

But the most important thing I want to talk about is the largest financial center in the South Pacific, which we will set up in a part of Ecuador, with a single tax of 5% and we will change the labor, fiscal and tax law and give the legal security that this country needs. There we are going to see in Ecuador the largest foreign investment that this country has ever dreamed of, because the region has a tax of between 30 and 40%.”

On the pandemic:

  • Questioned the vaccination capacity that the Government has announced to combat COVID-19 infections, as he considers that it is not enough; the goal of reaching the entire population will not be achieved this year
  • Added that it is key to strengthen the public health system and the implementation of measures that are applied in other countries
  • Said that the country needs to promote a preventive medicine program with family doctors, laboratories and pharmacies together in each neighborhood; will allow Ecuadorians to get treated without going to a hospital
  • Added that the absolute priority in his government will be health for all Ecuadorians

“The truth, Ecuadorians, we have spent a very serious, very hard, very difficult year 2020, and I think we should forget it now. But we must be aware that today there is vaccination. There is a vaccine in four or five countries, which will be for me the great solution of being able to solve the very serious situation that the Ecuadorian people have with this pandemic. But we must do it with the greatest speed that we must carry it out. If we vaccinate in the small amount that we are doing, we will never possibly achieve in this year to have been able to vaccinate the entire population.”

On Security:

  • Beyond increasing the number of police officers, work should be done on improving the legislation to fight crime and proposed the death penalty
  • The candidate lashed out at judges who do not follow due process
  • Prisoners will have to work to earn their livelihood and thus not have the freedom to commit crimes from inside the penitentiaries
  • Proposed the death penalty for murderers and rapists.
  • More police will not reduce crime unless penalties are made more severe

“I would like to discuss two topics. One, in relation to the corrupt….life imprisonment and seizure of their property.

[Second], I want to talk about jails and prisoners. There will be many prisoners and many jails here, but all the prisoners in this country will work. In prison farms, on highways, in mining.

There will never be a crime in a prison again. They will get up at 5 in the morning, work at 7, come back at 6 in the afternoon and they will not have a minute in their life to be thinking about killing the one in the front cell, or taking drugs as it has existed at the moment.

We will change the prison system, because all the people who go to jail have the right to restart later in their social life. And work dignifies a man.”

 On Corruption:

  • All the corrupt in the country, should receive life imprisonment
  • All assets that have been acquired illegally must be seized
  • No one will rob in the government knowing that they will be in jail forever and their families bankrupt
  • Said the current Public Procurement Law should be eliminated

” If we do not toughen penalties and do not give an example and do not give courage, that in this country no one steals, because what they have stolen from us has destroyed the economy, food, education, and health of this people. There is no right. So many rats there have been in this country. And she must be punished as it should be, with courage and manliness. There is going to be a brave president here.

The reality, as Gustavo has said, the public procurement law must not only be eliminated, but it must also be burned. But there is a truth. This government, the government of Lenín Moreno, has created a series of activities that have allowed the greatest brazenness of theft, assault on the national treasury and all the Ecuadorian people. The [red] tape in this country lasts three, four, six months or two years. In my government there will be a one – stop shop and the procedure will be only 10 days.

Hopefully what we want from this country becomes what we want throughout our future for our children. And hopefully there will not be the continuity of many.”

Final Statement

 “My dear Ecuadorians, what I really want and desire, like all of you, is to see a new Ecuador. A real, true new Ecuador, full of principles and values. Believe me that I have a great desire to serve my country for four years. They will never be one of sacrifice, but of pride, in order to serve Ecuadorians.

And I will work, I want to tell you the truth, I will work for the poor people of our country. I am not interested in working for the rich, or the large financially powerful companies, nor the bankers of this country. I want to work for Ecuador, for its people, for poor people, people with low resources.

And hopefully, in the four years that it is [my] government, the standard of living of Ecuadorians has greatly exceeded.”

Carlos Sagnay is in his third presidential election, this time running on a ticket which also lists former President Abdala Bucaram, who is running for an Assembly position. A business leader in the hydrocarbon sector, he has split his time in recent years between Guayaquil and Glasgow (Scotland). He is running for President representing the Fuerza Ecuador (FE)party.

 Why do you want to be President?

 “Because I want to give Ecuador what it needs. It needs a momentous change, a fundamental change, a change in the structure, a change in the system. A change in the corrupt system that we have had for decades in Ecuador, they have got used to having corrupt rulers, who have set a bad example to the youth.

I want to govern by example, I am going to give a budget of transparency and with zero deficit, to have a developed Ecuador, an Ecuador with health and education as primary issues, in which we are going to designate the largest funds, the largest budgets ever seen, because I want Ecuador to be developed and there is no developed country that does not have a good education for its children and good health for its elderly. I want to be the best president in the history of Ecuador.”

On the economy and employment:

  • Will lower interest rates allowing international competition from banks; will have rates of 2% and 3%
  • Will change the way of budgeting in Ecuador with zero base
  • During first year, will solve the $9 billion deficit and reduce the debt burden; in the second year eliminate certain taxes
  • Will lower VAT, and income and corporate taxes

“I am going to stimulate the construction industry because many professions converge there, civil engineers, architects, plumbers, inspectors, practically everything, with this we are going to stimulate the entire national economy, we are going to give mortgages, low, at 2% in the long term, 25, 30, 35 years, in such a way that the vast majority of Ecuadorians have access to cheap and affordable housing.”

On the pandemic:

  • Proposes to give the largest budgets for health and education
  • Believes the vast majority of Ecuadorians will be vaccinated to prevent COVID-19; will allocate $200 million to buy vaccines so that 60% of Ecuadorians are vaccinated
  • Will promote the “modernization” of hospitals
  • Will put an end to borrowing from IESS; will not increase IESS contributions or the number of years required to receive retirement benefits
  • Will request reports from IESS officials to find out how much the State’s debt with Social Security amounts to and will review how investments are made

“It is a real shame that this government has reduced the health and education budgets. We are going to give the largest budgets ever seen in the history of Ecuador for health and education, because we want a developed country and there is no developed country that does not dedicate large amounts of money to these areas. We have to follow the leadership of great powers and vaccinating the vast majority of the population is essential, we are talking here of about $200 million that we have to allocate for vaccines so that at least 60% of the Ecuadorian population will be vaccinated in the two phases, taking into account that as there are more vaccines on the market, the price will have to go down little by little, we are talking about the second half of 2021, and next year.

We are going to modernize our hospitals, give them the necessary equipment. We will never see again that the doctors do not have the necessary equipment to defend themselves against a virus and that they are falling dead on the ground, as happened with this government…never again that experience.”

On Security:

  • Must strengthen, train and support the police
  • The Armed Forces have to protect borders; criminals can’t be allowed to cross the borders
  • Pledged to be “tough against crime and its causes;” will harden penalties, make criminals work and pay for food and shelter
  • White collar criminals could face life imprisonment

“My government program dates back to 2006 when I started in Ecuadorian politics and since then I have talked about strengthening state institutions, they all need to be strengthened, CNE, TCE, Assembly, Prosecutor’s Office, absolutely all of them. But in matters related to insecurity we must strengthen the police and the Armed Forces.

We are going to raise the self-esteem of our policemen, they will no longer be the badges to those who give them $10 and are happy with that bribe, we are going to prepare them well, properly, we are going to do the necessary training to raise self-esteem and we are going to equip them so that they are not victims of criminals who carry weapons, and they cannot use them.

We are going to introduce life imprisonment, not only for ordinary criminals, but especially for white-collar criminals, who are not only thieves, but are traitors to the country, and we will make them work so that they earn their daily livelihood. That is to say, that budget that is currently going to feed the criminals, we are going to transfer to feed the children and young people, in this way we are going to attack the causes of crime, the causes of crime are lack of education, lack of employment, lack of opportunities… ”

On Corruption:

  • Life imprisonment for state officials involved in corruption cases
  • Proposes to govern with transparency; zero corruption
  • Corrupt officials will be fired and put on trial, punished with life imprisonment
  • Promised to choose judges and prosecutors with the most experience, who are transparent and cannot be bought

“My proposal is to govern with the example of transparency, honesty, efficiency and effectiveness.

I am going to be in charge of building state companies that this government and others have been in charge of squandering and leaving them on the ground and trying to sell them. I am going to raise them, I am a business administrator, that’s what a business administrator does, raise state companies. We will have a budget with zero deficit because we are going to make all public purchases transparent.

“Justice in Ecuador is not reliable, we are going to introduce a ranking system to elect the best cadres in Ecuador to be judges and prosecutors. They will no longer be bottle judges, like the ones we have today, but those who have the most experience possible, also the greater knowledge acquired formally, through universities, undergraduate, graduate, master’s degrees, doctorates, but above all that they are transparent, that their life is crystalline.”

Final Statement

“Dear fellow Ecuadorians, for decades, you were given a choice between the least bad, between cancer and AIDS, that’s over. Now you have the opportunity to choose the best to solve economic, political, social, ethical, healthcare and moral problems that past governments have left us. Review the trajectory of all, review not only my political trajectory but my entire life, which has been exemplary.

I have prepared all my life to handle a country in crisis, equally in bonanza, but above everything in crisis. Ecuadorian women will have a special space in the government, discrimination against women, violence against women will end and I am going to investigate which are those that have interrupted democratic processes in Ecuador because they believe that in Ecuador, they do whatever they want.”

Gerson Almeida is an evangelical pastor and lawyer by profession, who says he has entered politics out of social responsibility. He is running for President representing the Promoters of Change (Pro) movement.

 Why do you want to be President?

 “Good evening, Ecuadorian friends and brothers, on this day we are taking the first step to change 200 years of republican life without our own politics, 200 years of political pendulum that has brought Ecuador down. I want to be president to serve, that is my vocation. I am a pastor and that is what I have done in 22 years: serve others. Serve, channel needs, raise, establish an economic activation system, work, generate wealth, no longer discussion, no longer juxtaposition, no longer confrontation.

Ecuador today needs to build, we have arrived to disrupt the stagnant, useless system of a right that leads nowhere, of a left that leads nowhere. We need practicality, we need the basis that is love for that helpless woman, for the children who want to grow up and don’t leave them, for life, for the family, for the respect of others, for the institutions, that is why I want to be president of the Republic.”

On the economy and employment:

 Proposed to generate development, economic activation and eliminate the credit bureaus

  • Insisted that it is necessary to “build” to disrupt the stagnant system
  • Economy of countries becomes rich when it produces; proposing to activate the economy, not reactivate
  • Only binomial proposing the generation of wealth, working on the rational exploitation of resources, development, entrepreneurship
  • The most ambitious plan for expansion and for the productive growth of the country

“We have to generate development in our country, economic activation, not reactivation. What we have to do is eliminate credit bureaus, to let people who have the facility to undertake, provide them with the means to receive. First rescue to workers and laborers, no longer to bankers.

It is worth clarifying that it is necessary to understand that the economy of all countries becomes rich when it produces, not when it brings capital as loans, when capital enters, and only financial movements are made. What we are proposing for the first time in Ecuador is to activate, the term reactivate is not the correct one. If we are going to talk about reactivation, what is the previous activation point to which we are going to refer? Ecuador needs capital for work, to generate wealth and this comes absolutely from work, increasing the productivity, connecting production with productivity we generate agribusiness, agrotourism.

We have to understand that the development plan goes with construction. Work and employment cannot be offered unless infrastructure is established. You have to build to get out, you have to build to invest, you have to develop with a capital that comes from Ecuadorians. For this reason, Ecuador is rising at this time on real and practical bases.”

 On the pandemic:

  • Said that they must “start to solve the problem” of COVID-19 because there is no State policy in that sense
  • Added that by integrating a pro-life binomial, he understands that public health must be life, something that, he said, is not being fulfilled
  • Said that in his travels he has identified a lack of hospitals; for this reason, he foresees the construction of a hospital in each province (in addition to guaranteeing the salary of doctors and nurses)
  • Today is the time to build, to be effective, to be practical
  • The only pro-life binomial out of conviction, and public health has to do with life, with respect, with the conception of life
  • Public health policy has to be practical and it has to be effective and it has to be timely.

We have traveled the country and we have seen how there is a lack of hospitals in most of the provinces. It is a priority of the State, knowing that more plagues will come, because the detriment worldwide anticipates it. There must be a hospital, which is what we will build, a better equipped public hospital in each of the provinces. The salaries of doctors and nurses who are the heroes of this tragedy must be secured. It has to be secured with documents and also with quality things. What Ecuadorians have to understand today is that we have to transform our way of thinking to change our way of life.”

On Security:

  • Did not specify proposals on citizen security; focused on criticizing the ideology of the left and right and how this influenced politics
  • Said that the basis of his security proposal is “ethics.”
  • Life and the family must be protected and empowered, facilitate access to justice for citizens in an agile way
  • Would carry out a structural reform in terms of the handling of cases, ensure that judges have ethics
  • Ecuador needs practical and pragmatic solutions, and not to generate militias

“History tells us that in Latin American nations, arming is dangerous, we have to exhaust the debate to arm society. First, we have to understand that this phenomenon is due to the lack of practicality, both on the right and on the left. It seems that crime rates in Latin America are very high and what we do not understand is that we are not correcting the structure, we are not going to correct the accessory.

I have seen it, I have lived it, effective solutions have to be made, equipping the public force so that it can respond and not generate militias that will later have us with a guerrilla, an armed and empowered guerrilla. It also has to be established in a practical way, those are the policy plans that Ecuador lacks in terms of national security. ”

“One of the maxims of every state and of every government is social security, internal security and social peace. Social peace is the objective that one tries to obtain after a neat performance of public affairs, the exercise of public matter. We have to understand that a structural issue obeys a structural conception, and we are the only ones who today propose ethics as the basis of social development, as the basis of economic development.”

On Corruption:

  • The augmentation of penalties is necessary, we have to pursue the leaders
  • Necessary to start with educational reform, ethics, values, strong families; uproot the roots of corruption and plant the seeds of honesty and ethics
  • Need ethical pragmatism; basis of ethics is what will allow the development of the nation
  • Corruption is not only at the governmental level, it seems that it has become endemic in the country

“I clearly understand that corruption is a fruit and as it is a fruit, it has two ways of being controlled: structural and temporary.

Corruption has to be dealt with in a whole context and this implies that we will have to carry out a temporary reform, which is the aggravation of penalties, investigation of capital that has left, going after those people, who abusing the trust that we Ecuadorians gave, took public funds. But, the structural one is a reform at the educational level, putting ethics from the beginning; principles, values, transform our nation from the worldview of understanding, of respect for others. God gives us the great opportunity, let’s fulfill it.”

Final Statement

“It is time to activate the nation, it is time to build the nation. No more of the same, no more left and right. What solutions have they given us? I have heard all night the same and the same and the same that we have. I’ve been listening for decades.

This is the time to take a nation, which is torn between life and death. This is not a choice based on trends, this is a debate for life or death, defending those children who they want to be born and are not left, defending families that are going bankrupt, defending values, defending ethics. By God, who has given us the charge of this beautiful country, for the homeland that wait for the manifestation of Ecuadorians, for freedom of thought and mind, I call you to do something different.

We are the only binomial that poses things differently: ethical pragmatism, for life, for the family, we go through life, long live Ecuador.”

Guillermo Celi, whose father was Minister of Social Welfare in 1998 and 1999, has been active in political movement for most of his adult life. He has helped found the Ecuador Pragmatic movement, the CREE movement and most recently, the Sociedad Unidad Más Acción (SUMA) who he is representing in this election.

 Why do you want to be President?

“Good evening, my hug to all Ecuadorians, thanks to EL COMERCIO and Citizen Participation for their invitation. I want to be President to transform Ecuador by telling the truth. I want to be President for you Michel Pinargoti, young Manabi Ecuadorian, in the third year of high school, who like thousands of young Ecuadorians, has problems with connecting to the internet and to have his classes, or because of you Fernanda Palacios, an enterprising woman, who sells ice cream there in the Plaza de San Francisco, the only thing that you want is to work and have money to raise your children, or for you Janet Milan, there in Pifo, or for you José Guerrero, in Mapsingue, Guayaquil, you have been trying for three months to get the paperwork done to start your business, and you need to get ahead. I want to be President of employment, of entrepreneurship and the internet as a basic service.”

On the economy and employment:

  • Will lower the VAT from 12% to 8%, to allow the prices of products to fall and generate sales and reactivate the economy
  • Said that he will set the interest rate of the Banco del Fomento and the development bank at 4%, and will buy production from small agricultural producers
  • Tourism will be a strategic and productive sector to generate employment; will lower VAT for the sector from 12% to 5 %.

“We are going to work for the Ecuadorians who have fallen into a risk center due to the pandemic, we are going to reactivate them with a seed capital so that they can move forward, that risk center is a financial life sentence, count on me, with the President of employment.

The tourism sector is bankrupt, and you know that, by lowering the VAT of that sector we are going to reactivate domestic tourism. That generates employment in the hostel, but also in the hotel, restaurant, the transport sector, the merchant, the artisan.”

On the pandemic:

  • Lamented the blow that COVID-19 generated in the Ecuadorian population in 2020
  • Said that he will be an agile and timely president to get the vaccine for all Ecuadorians in the 24 provinces of the country, with the support of the private sector, in phases
  • Indicated that doctors, nurses, the elderly, chronically ill and people with disabilities, and people who provide public service will be immunized in the first phase
  • Will work on prevention, care and monitoring, strengthening the health system
  • Added that his government will monitor primary health, in medical centers and sub-centers, with priority on child nutrition

“Strengthening the health system will be a priority of my government, so prevention, care and monitoring, to strengthen primary health care will be essential, supported especially in child nutrition. Today three out of 10 children under five years of age have a profound malnutrition. We are going to resolve this problem; it will be a public policy to get our children out of that hard time they are living now. That is why this process of prevention and quality carewill be fundamental.”

On Security:

  • Said that citizen security will be fundamental in his government and to combat it he proposed two axes: the preventive axis and the combative axis.
  • The preventive is based on education, ensuring to give opportunities to youth; will eliminate the Ser Bachelor exam
  • Will create a pre-university with accompaniment and support to young people so that they can access technical careers
  • The combative axis involves dismantling and disarming criminals and creating more training and education schools for the police
  • Alsoaims to eliminate drug use
  • Will comprehensively review the country’s prison system

“We are going to strengthen support for the National Police, with more education and training schools in the Costa, Sierra and Amazonia, and support for the National Police.

We are going to support the young people and the Ecuadorian family.

Ecuadorians, without a doubt, women will be the center of my government, that is why resources are needed to fight violence against women, women need economic and financial autonomy and there are resources that are required to move forward.”

 On Corruption:

  • Proposed an honest and transparent government, and a President with no conflict of interest
  • Indicated that the Domain Extinction Law must be approved, and that if the National Assembly does not do so, and is not up to the task, in the first 90 days of his government he will call a popular consultation to approve it
  • Added that he will reform the educational system to include subjects such as civics, birthplace, logic and ethics
  • Will support the justice system with more resources for the investigative stage
  • Through international organizations and friendly countries, will repatriate stolen funds

“Ecuadorians, this is the moment of a great generational change, of new people. As Gandhi said, ‘the worst of the bad things of bad people, is the indifference of good people,’* good people must lose their indifference and get into public service, through decent and transparent politics.

We propose to Ecuador an honest and transparent government, a President of the Republic that does not have conflict of interest and works for the common good of you. That is why it will be essential to approve the Domain Extinction Law. If the National Assembly does not meet the demands of Ecuadorians, in the first days of my government, among other issues, I will call a popular consultation to recover what was stolen, so that all Ecuadorians pass that law to recover what was stolen and that money goes to health, education and entrepreneurship.

Final Statement

“Ecuadorians, this February 7 is not just any day, it is the most important day in the last 20 years,

Ecuadorians have the great opportunity to transform Ecuador by telling the truth with that greatest tool and democratic weapon to do so, your vote.

I am Guillermo Celi, I want to transform the country with employment, with entrepreneurship, with education and health, and I am going to unite the country on five fundamental issues: education, health, entrepreneurship, the fight against corruption and support to generate employment, which is what you need.

We go with faith, hope and courage to positively transform Ecuador, yes we can, we are Ecuadorians.”

*[Note: This is not a quote from Gandhi; it is closer to a quote by Martin Luther King Jr., who said, “It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation. Not merely for the vitriolic words and the violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence and indifference of the good people who sit around and say, “Wait on time.”

 It is also close to another King quote, “The ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people.”

 Finally, it lesser resembles this Gandhi quote, “Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.”] 

Pedro Jose Freile is a rather “new” politician, who having helped form the El Quinto Poder collective in 2015, supported Guillermo Lasso in 2017. One of the authors of the “Fifth Power” plan, the lawyer took control of the Amigo party last year and is running as their candidate for President.

 Why do you want to be President?

“Good evening Ecuadorians, good evening to Diario EL COMERCIO and Participación Ciudadana, I want to thank the initiative you have today to be able to raise the speech, to be able to participate in Democracy in an appropriate way. I want to thank the candidates present here, those who have faced the public, as some have not, who should be present yesterday and today.

For five years, as part of a collective, a political process called the Fifth power, we have participated in the elaboration of a detailed government plan that anticipates the failure of the system with which Ecuador was intended to function. That plan has led us to be present today in this contest and put it for the consideration of the public. We are prepared, we have a plan. I want to be President, because I know I can help that plan have the greatest success in the very short term. ”

 On the economy and employment:

  • Defends dollarization; Ecuadorians need and want it
  • Proposes that the hospitality sectors in tourist areas not pay taxes until they can “stand up”
  • Will “massively” exploit oil
  • Will open the economic borders of Ecuador
  • Will generate work for hours
  • Will not lie and say there will be banks loans available

 “I think nobody is understanding here that it is necessary to have our own money to be able to make promises to people. Offering loans, offering funds without explaining where the money comes from is blatantly lying to Ecuadorians. Our economic plan is focused on being able to answer this question.

We are going to double the sale of hydrocarbons from Ecuador in a 10-month process that is studied well by well, field by field, infrastructure by infrastructure. We are going to open the economic frontiers of the country to financial institutions from other jurisdictions and we will generate hourly work, not only flexibility but hourly work as well.

Ecuador is bankrupt and demands a State that seriously and reliably tells us what money we are going to work with. That money comes from oil and is projected towards agroindustry in the long term, with a transparent and professional job, taking the checkbook out of the hands of politicians.

 First, the gradualist measures have shown, in cases such as Argentina, that they do not help a country that has been imbued within the model of XXI Century Socialism, in a fast and effective way from that misfortune. Therefore, it is something that we will implement all at once.

Thanks to hourly work, we are going to allow new investments in the agricultural sector to be maximized. But we are going to help farmers in the field, through figures of the popular and solidarity economy to create markets directly. Our proposal is cooperativism together with corporatism to be able to raise the economy of the agro in a dynamic and fast way.”

 On the pandemic:

  • Proposed bringing vaccine factories for COVID-19 to Ecuador, and criticized the current government for taking “incomprehensible, disorderly actions that do not give certainty that we are safe”
  • Listed other proposals: the creation of a “national agreement for health”and that the health service has guarantees for the care of citizens
  • Asked for election to be postponed because of pandemic concerns

“I really think it is irresponsible that we have not taken more time to talk about this matter. Of the pandemic bringing factories to Ecuadorian territory. Factories that can produce vaccines may be interested in Ecuador and at the same time generate an opportunity for our country in this tragedy.

How do we do it? We don’t collect taxes, but we immunize our entire population.

And the pharmaceutical companies run a business between Vancouver and Patagonia and throughout the Pacific basin for their own benefit. We have to learn once and for all to take the lessons from what we face and find the opportunities in difficulty. Ecuador can stand up, but health is not a game. And until now the authorities treated it as if it had no relevance. ”

On Security:

  • Offered to reform the public apparatus, give protection to the police, and also include the neighborhoods in this task
  • Questioned the other presidential candidates for not saying where the money will come from to promote their proposals
  • Suggests funding security through oil production
  • Security requires summoning society to participate in prevention (organized neighborhoods, organized peasants, organized farms); require the rational use of force in their favor that allows the State to guarantee public safety

“Coming to the debate today I had the opportunity to see a homeless man on the street. A person who looked like he had probably fallen victim to the economic disgrace of recent times. I wanted to start elsewhere, but I have to tell you. This is because he is a person such as any of us who has fallen into begging, who is willing to reach out and not ask for a job but a crust of bread to survive. That person is on the verge of falling into crime, to become the instrument of a society that tomorrow will find simpler ways to survive than work.

Strengthening the public security defense apparatus is imminent. The obvious actions to protect the police, give them legal protection to use their weapons, empower each of our neighborhoods and communities to understand who the security officials are behind our security.

We have to act as an organized society to give ourselves security so that the efforts and resources that the Government can give to combat organized crime in all its dimensions are useful.”

On Corruption:

  • Said that corruption is a damage that society has and is reproduced from the democratic system itself
  • Criticized candidates for the Presidency of the Republic who do not comply with their tax obligations
  • Believes that corruption can be reversed “by carrying out the political exercise of taking the weapon of the system to use it against (corruption) and strengthen values, but above all by example with own actions in order to overcome this scourge”
  • Criticism among several of the candidates because they did not renounce the Electoral Promotion Fund (FPE) as part of transparency and the fight against corruption

“In the era of opacity, which is what we live in today, it is necessary to speak with transparency, definitely as an exercise to walk in the administration of mistrust towards ethics, a moment in which we are all going to do things well.

This forces me to clarify that our job offer in the oil sector implies the exploitation of new areas in which we know oil reserves and where there has been no intervention, and in areas already operated where wells can be recovered. Intangible areas, such as natural parks, will be strictly protected.

Today, corruption is one of the largest and most continuous structural damage that our society has. And yet it is reproduced from the base, in the same democratic system.

This is where corruption begins, where we allow people who should not be participating in this contest to do so.

Today, corruption is something that can be reversed, but it has to be reversed by carrying out the exercise of citizenship that we are doing, carrying out the political process of taking the weapon of the system to use it against it. And to strengthen values ​​through education, but above all by example, with one’s own actions to be able to overcome this scourge.

In fact, this process is a huge opportunity to realize that the majority of politicians are here for that money, or because they hope to achieve if they come to power. In fact,none is telling us how money is obtained for Ecuadorian families.”  

Final Statement

“Ecuadorians, Byron Bolívar Solís and I, like each one of you, are citizens, of those who are on the sidelines of those statistics that politicians sell, where the majority are who are fed up with them, who are fed up that for 40 years they have (points his index finger up to his temple) put wrong ideas in our head. That they have lied to us and they have used us, of our good faith.

That is why five years ago we took to the streets, because we knew that the system was failing and that is why we made a plan. That is why we prepare to be here today and show that we are better than any of them.

From the shadow where they want to hide us, the citizens are here to offer an option to the history of the country. For this reason, friend, I ask you for your vote in this election and that you do not vote for those who do not explain. Vote list 16, Ecuador needs you. ”

Lucio Gutiérrez is a former President of Ecuador, who was forced to step down before his term was up—accused of nepotism and embezzlement—because he lacked political or military support. He is a Colonel in the military reserves and likes to wear his military garb at public events. He is representing the Patriotic Society party in this election.

Why do you want to be President?

 “Because I am the only one who has experience to govern and successful experience. I received a country in crisis, with two unpaid months in the public sector and I delivered a buoyant country, with the highest economic growth in the history of all of Ecuador. The second highest growth in the world, the economy grew 8.82% in 2004, the largest foreign investment in history, more than economies much larger than the Ecuadorian economy. The largest annual reduction in poverty in all history of Ecuador, the largest job creation, more than 250 thousand jobs per year. The government that reduced the total public debt here, is Ecuadorians, the only government that saved money. Today more than ever Ecuador needs a president who does not steal, nor let steal. A patriot who loves his people and an experienced president, think about it, the decision is in your hands.”

On the economy and employment:

  • Will promote immediate employment, which consists of not collecting taxes from employers who give the first job to young people who leave the universities
  • Will lower the VAT from 12% to 10%, and will promote ecological industries in the country such as hemp and other products
  • Proposes to turn Ecuador into a technology center to attract international banking and international technology companies such as Google
  • Will support agriculture with cheap credits, preventing smuggling and lowering the costs of agricultural machinery

“As I did in my first government, when Ecuador is in crisis, it is the government who must tighten their belts. The people must be given oxygen, interest rates must be lowered, taxes must be lowered, people must be employed.

To do this, through a mega popular consultation we will reduce the powers of the State to three: Executive, Legislative and Judicial. We will reduce the number of assembly members to 57.

We are going to eliminate the life pensions of former presidents. We will eliminate state funding for political parties. We will bring in foreign banks to lower interest rates to 3% per year, to create employment in the productive sector.

For small producers, we will lower public bank loans to 3% interest. The credit registry will be eliminated, and we will give them up to two years of grace, they will pay from the third year to generate employment.

For the little ones, for street vendors, for young people there will be zero percent credits.”

On the pandemic:

  • Said that he will guarantee vaccination against the new coronavirus to 100% of Ecuadorians, to reactivate the economy
  • Said a new social security law will be approved so that it stops being political booty and petty cash of the governments of the day
  • Indicated that he will strengthen the public health system, equip hospitals and pay fair salaries to medical personnel
  • Proposed that he will build geriatric hospitals in all the provincial capitals of the country
  • Added that he will create the Ministry of Technology
  • Will hold a popular consultation to approve a new social security law and that these bodies will be led by experts in the administration of such powers

“We need to return to normality in the shortest time possible to reactivate the economy, otherwise the economy breaks down.

The President of the Republic will no longer have his delegate to the IESS, who is going to steal, and which is going to fill with bureaucracy. The IESS, the Issfa and the Isspol will be directed by technicians, experts in the administration of social security institutions, experts in banking investments, in investments in the stock market, experts in actuarial studies, experts in audits to provide an efficient service, effective and timely to all members of the IESS, Isffa and Isspol.”

Everything I say I already did in my government. That is the difference with the other candidates. In my government, Ecuador became the third or fourth country in Latin America that received the most foreign investment. More investment than Peru, more than Chile, more than Argentina, more than Bolivia.

Again, we will attract investment for all the projects I have mentioned. ”

On Security:

  • Combat and reduce crime by creating employment
  • Will strengthen the public force in the logistics and legal part, and will protect the borders by demanding the judicial past of all foreigners who want to enter the national territory
  • Said that he will rethink the law on carrying weapons, but with a psychological test and other requirements so that those who qualify can use them
  • Will create the Secretary of Private Security to regulate the private security of Ecuador, so that the guards are not exploited
  • Will strengthen the Navy to provide security for artisanal fishermen

“The best way to lower crime and give the country security is by creating jobs. We will bring in foreign banks so that, in competition with Ecuadorian private banks, they lower the interest rate.

We will return to the law to bear arms, so that we can protect ourselves from the hitmen, who today act with total advantage and murder us.

And we will change all legislation that was approved by the previous government to favor criminals, with laws that protect citizens and allow the police to act decisively against criminals.

In my first government, all the people who had authorization to use weapons never misused them and now with the same requirements, psychological examination, permanent control of the Armed Forces and Police and for defensive security, those who qualify will use weapons.”

On Corruption:

  • Will propose a popular consultation to approve a new Comprehensive Penal Code (COIP) to includelife imprisonment for corrupt politicians
  • Will pass a property justification law to investigate the fortunes of corrupt politicians and said that those that are not justified will be seized
  • Said that in his prior government, he recovered more than $1 billion that was stolen by “corrupt bankers with the holiday and the bank bailout”
  • Offered to remove the words ‘reserved’ and ‘confidential’ from public procurement processes

“Through the mega popular consultation, we will approve a new Comprehensive Organic Penal Code where we will punish with life imprisonment all thief politicians and public officials who steal money from the people. We will give them a period of three months to return the stolen money; if they do not return that money in three months, their family property will be seized.

We will approve the Law of Justification and Confiscation of property to investigate the fortunes of openly corrupt politicians from at least 2000 to date.”

Final Statement

“Ecuadorians, today more than ever, Ecuador needs an honest government that does not steal or allow stealing.

When the budget is not stolen, it is enough for everything as in my government, where money was enough to build works and even to save.

Today, more than ever, a patriotic President is needed, who loves Ecuador and who demonstrates with results, as I did in my first government.

Today more than ever, an experienced President is needed to get us out of the social, economic and corruption crisis.

Make no mistake Ecuadorians, the risk is that Ecuador is becoming another Venezuela and many of you are wandering the country, begging or eating out of dumpsters. Think Ecuador, the decision is in your hands.”

Xavier Hervas is running for president as a candidate for the Democratic Left party. An agro-industrial production engineer, he believes that its time for the career politicians to get out of the government and promises to fight corruption and promote transparency.

Why do you want to be President?

“Very good night ladies and Ecuadorian brothers. I regret that yesterday and today, there are two candidates who do not come to the debate, they turn their backs and are missing respect for all Ecuadorians.

I’m Xavier Hervas, entrepreneur, exporter, job creator. I want to be President to avoid a social fire in our country, to which traditional politicians are leading us through corruption and mediocrity. I am convinced that we have a blessed country, full of opportunities, that with honest leadership and new people we can make our Ecuador a productive power. We are proud that we are doing a different campaign. So, we can also be a different government for the citizens. Let us dare to build a better future.”

On the economy and employment:

  • Will recover the national economy with policies that support the private sector
  • Will give access to credit, inject liquidity into the productive apparatus, make the Banco del Pacífico become a development bank and encourage the entry of international banks
  • Stressed that he will replicate what he has done in his private life, creating jobs
  • Said he will seek to strengthen the export apparatus
  • Said that a gradual reduction of taxes will be made possible.

“I would like to ask Ecuadorians what is the main problem that we have in society. Surely, we will agree that it is the lack of opportunities, the lack of work that makes many families, many young Ecuadorians, thousands, think of emigrating, because neither the private sector nor the public sector can offer them the jobs they need.

I invite you to think of a country of opportunities, which is Ecuador, a blessed country that has allowed me to become an industrialist and exporter to a farmer. I do not come from a family of entrepreneurs, I have not inherited nor bought any economic activity, for which I directly employ more than 300 Ecuadorians.

We are the only country in the world that can sow and harvest every week of the year. In our economic proposal we talk about access to credit, there we propose a fund for the Ecuadorian productive apparatus.

We are talking about access to infrastructure, we must build irrigation channels for agriculture; of course, popular housing and roads and also access to markets. My commitment as president is to generate opportunities for all Ecuadorians.”

On the pandemic:

  • Proposed an efficient vaccination campaign, not only in the hands of the public sector
  • Said the State does not have sufficient capacity to handle the vaccination program
  • Explained that for every100 vaccines imported by the private company,10 are administered by the State
  • Proposed the creation of one thousand health sub-centers, for a total of 3,000, according to the estimates he presented
  • Promised the implementation of a digital health platform, which contains the information of citizens who access public and private services, with the aim of guaranteeing rapid attention
  • Promised a depoliticization of the Ecuadorian Social Security Institute (IESS), so that the economic resources are technically destined to the acquisition of equipment and supplies in the health centers

“Our vision of health is a comprehensive vision, which emphasizes prevention and not as it is at the moment, only in care.

I have not heard either today or yesterday of a comprehensive management of health, precisely what I said earlier, that it is not only care, but that emphasis is placed on prevention.

Imagine, we are a productive country, rich in agriculture, I come from agriculture and I know the opportunities. So, it is not acceptable that a country as productive as ours has chronic childhood malnutrition.

My commitment as President, is that the health and life of Ecuadorians will always be a priority.”

On Security:

  • Said that his government will combat traditional criminals, but also those officials who “release criminals that the police capture”
  • Will promote laws that protect the police, strengthen the police with tools, training
  • Plans to combat micro-trafficking with police intelligence, pointed out that another of the security objectives will be the fight against gender violence
  • Regarding the policy of social rehabilitation, said that the country must have a true prison process

“When I speak of corruption, I am not only speaking of traditional politicians, but of judges, those who release the criminals that the police capture, and those criminals continue to steal from us.

We do not have the freedom to walk freely on the streets, they have taken away the possibility of freely walking the streets, they have taken away the possibility of going out with our families and feeling safe.

In terms of citizen security, we have to talk about the economic reactivation, returning work to Ecuadorians. I can properly speak of that, because work is not generated by decree. In our proposal for citizen security, first of all, we promote laws that protect the national police and thus the police can protect the citizens. The police are precisely the armed people.

Second, we strengthen the police efforts with tools, with technology, equipment and training, so that it can precisely attack criminal gangs and fundamentally, and through intelligence, also micro-trafficking gangs.

And thirdly, we talk about the prevention and eradication of gender violence; we have to protect our Ecuadorian women. My commitment as president is to restore tranquility to all Ecuadorians.”

On Corruption:

  • Said that in his mandate he will promote a comprehensive open government policy, so that information is transparent
  • Will make the public contracting process transparent as well as the processes of use and disbursement of public funds
  • Proposed that by law the name of an authority is not allowed to appear in the public works

“There is a phrase that says that worse than a corrupt politician is a citizen who defends him, unfortunately that is happening here in Ecuador due to the mediocrity of the current government.

But there are new people, who are not going to do the same and it is time that we have a leader who does not need to steal, who does not want to steal and who has the values, precisely, not to steal.

While citizens get up early, make an effort and sacrifice to maintain our homes, there are traditional politicians who have been directly or indirectly involved in corruption and now, precisely, they come to ask for the vote.

I was the only candidate who received training from the Citizenship and Development Foundation, which manages the concept of open, transparent government, together with the United Nations.

My commitment as president is to be a leader who sets an example and does not allow corruption to continue preventing the development of our country.”

Final Statement

“Thank you for watching this debate, we have a great responsibility, we are risking the country in these elections.

Some candidates have given proposals without much sense, I have given concrete solutions and with emphasis precisely on this crisis of how to get out, with concrete solutions, projecting our country into the future.

Some candidates have wanted to confront, my main objective is to unite the Ecuadorian society and that the traditional politicians do not continue dividing us.

Once in this blessed country, I dreamed that more tractors were needed, today I assemble and finance agricultural tractors; one day I dreamed of exporting broccoli, today I export it to the country of Japan and many other countries in the world.

Let’s dare to dream, let’s think big. We have a great opportunity in our country and these elections are the golden opportunity to recover it.”

César Montúfar is a professor at Simón Bolívar Andean University, where he has been a staff teacher for 26 years. He teaches courses like “Anti-Corruption Fight Mechanism” in Administrative Law and believes that it’s time to dismantle the “mafias” who have taken over the State. He is representing the Honestidad Alliance, formed by the Ecuadorian Socialist Party and the Concertación movement.

Why do you want to be President?

“Good evening Ecuadorians, inside and outside the country. I congratulate and thank the newspaper El Comercio and Participación Ciudadana for this debate. This is precisely what I asked, debates so that we can oppose and discuss ideas about the country. No advertising bands. Not that the candidates receive resources from the State in this pandemic, that is why I renounced any electoral financing in my campaign and once again I urge the candidates to do so out of decency. It is dishonest, it is indecent, it is obscene that in full pandemic Ecuadorians have to pay for advertising us as candidates.

Yesterday we attended a superficial debate. Ecuador must listen to truths and I am here for that, when I am president of Ecuador, I am going to dismantle the criminal state that Rafael Correa formed in Ecuador. ”

On the economy and employment:

  • Plans to lead a large agreement for economic reactivation and job creation that protects dollarization and allows creating sources of work
  • Will generate credit lines to facilitate, promote small and medium enterprises
  • Said that these lines of credit, which will be for farmers and entrepreneurs, will be generated through public banks
  • Plans to bring in foreign investment by lowering the tax on the outflow of foreign currency and promoting an economy based on employment
  • Offered to reduce public spending and renegotiate the debt payment, but stressed that he will not recognize the debt acquired during the Rafael Correa government

“We are going to bring foreign investment by lowering the Foreign Currency Outflow Tax and we are going to work so that in Ecuador we have an economy based on employment.

To prioritize is to govern and to govern is to prioritize, that is why we are going to reduce public spending and [institute] transparent management of finances, that is why we are going to do a job of renegotiating the debt, and why we are not going to recognize the illegitimate and corrupt debt that the Correísmo signed.

We are going to work with multilateral organizations so that, without conditions, resources can be injected. That is the model that we are going to promote.

In my first speech I spoke about the need for Ecuadorians to save, debt management and fiscal accounts to be honest, clear and transparent. Yesterday Guillermo Lasso spoke about the way in which the resources of the State, the resources of the ISSPOL, disappeared in this grand scheme of corruption and robbery of more than $800 million dollars. I want to summon both the candidate of organized crime, (Andrés) Arauz, as well as Guillermo Lasso, so that they can tell us how this embezzlement of police security happened, of the security of the police who do so much work. This Guillermo Lasso and the crime candidate should clarify.”

On the pandemic:

  • Offered to completely change the strategy of the fight against COVID-19 that the current government has been maintaining
  • Promised more tests, more diagnoses, preventive care and to rebuild the national health system”
  • Said his government will generate opportunities for the primary health network, promotion and prevention to be the basis of the public care system and also offered job stability for health workers
  • Will work with unions and professional associations and health personnel to attack the pandemic and overcome the health problems that exist in the country
  • Under an emergency declaration, will prioritize public spending to generate a transparent vaccination policy with the surveillance of civil society, guaranteeing the immunization of at least 70% of the Ecuadorian population

“The handling of the Lenin Moreno pandemic has been disastrous. Ecuador has the second highest number of excess deaths (40,000) in the world (after Peru) during the pandemic; that is the result of an absolutely disastrous, failed and incorrect policy. It only dedicated itself to containing the number of people who go to hospitals, isolation measures and distancing measures that destroyed the economy and employment.

We are going to totally change the strategy to fight COVID-19.This has to do with the transformation that we are going to develop of the national health system.

At the beginning of the debate, I proposed again to the candidates that they renounce electoral financing and that those resources go to health. Do you know how much would be saved if those resources go to health? 500,000 tests to diagnose COVID, five million vaccine doses, 400,000 biosecurity teams for doctors.

Spending must be prioritized. In my government, no more Danieles, Salcedos or Mendozas. We are going to do a task force to clean the health sector of corruption. We are going to generate a transparent vaccination policy with the vigilance of civil society, so that the robbery that the Ecuadorian people lived under during the pandemic does not occur.

I am going to declare a state of emergency as President of the Republic in order to redirect funds and finance the vaccination of 70% of the population Ecuadorian.”

On Security:

  • Said that a change of the law will be carried out that will allow the police to use more force, always within the framework of respect for Human Rights
  • Does NOT support arming citizens, says it will only lead to more violence
  • Said that his government will review immigration policy, will seek to generate mechanisms for citizen participation so that society can attack violence and insecurity in the streets
  • Expressed concern about the domestic violence that exists in the country and recalled that in 2020 there were 116 femicides; will implement a protection system for the eradication of violence

“Security or insecurity has two faces: violence in the streets, violence in the family, within homes. For the first, we will implement a democratic and effective public security policy, in which we will strengthen the National Police, we will change the law, through the legislative and presidential initiative, we will generate a new doctrine so that the police can act and progressively use force, always respecting human rights.

No carrying arms, it is a measure, a proposal that can only lead to more violence in the streets, within the homes and also the seed of paramilitarism; we are going to review the migration policy; we are also going to generate a mechanism for citizen participation so that we can all work to attack violence and insecurity in the streets.

Domestic violence is also a serious problem in Ecuador that must be made visible: 116 femicides in the country, many of them against transgender people, we are going to implement the system for the prevention and eradication of this violence so that we can have security within the homes.”

On Corruption:

  • The candidate said that his anti-corruption policy will be fundamental because the Ecuadorian state must be cleaned of the mafias that have kidnapped it
  • Anti-corruption policy will have three axis: reform the legal system, reform the COIP and impose 35 years of maximum punishment for crimes of corruption, change the Law of the National Hiring System of Public Contracting
  • Stated that he will work to change the Public Procurement Law which he described as a window for impunity

” I believe that I am the candidate who has firmly fought against corruption without immunity, without protection, risking everything. I would like to expand my request that I made a few moments ago to candidate Guillermo Lasso and to Andrés Arauz, what I am saying is very serious, very serious and I would like you to pay close attention to me. Yesterday Guillermo Lasso mentioned how the money from ISSPOL, the Police Insurance accounts and money that left with authorization from the Central Bank were robbed, through private banks.

That is very serious. I have here in my hands a document that would certify that it was, that an account of the Banco de Guayaquil had been used, at that time Guillermo Lasso was President of that bank, Account No. 11912562.

I want to summon candidate Lasso to tell us that this document is true, I will present this documentation to the media and I will also make a presentation to the Prosecutor’s Office for you to investigate this case.

We are going to generate a national and international policy to the recovery of what was stolen,we are going to implement a form of international cooperation to ensure that in Ecuador we recover what was stolen. ”

Final Statement

“Ecuador is a country of decent people, honest people, hardworking people, we cannot, we must not be governed by criminals, criminals must be in jail and return what they stole from us even in the pandemic, they must return what they robbed from us in the pandemic.

I offer you as President of the Republic, to destroy that criminal state, eradicate those mafias that have trapped the Ecuadorian state, make the corrupt return what was stolen and those who are enjoying in Belgium with our money come, come to pay with jail and return what was stolen from us. Vote with faith and vote with joy, vote thinking about the future of our children.

This country was made with values, with principles, with those values, with those principles we have to rebuild the country, in the government of honesty we will do it with simplicity, with strength, with joy, with love.”

Juan Fernando Velasco is a very successful singer-songwriter who took a career break in 2019 to take over the Ministry of Culture. During that time, he promoted tax measures such as eliminating the value added tax for artistic services and tariffs for the importation of artistic supplies and zero taxes on new businesses from 5 to 7 years, among others. He is representing the Construye movement, formerly Ruptura 25, in this Presidential election. 

Why do you want to be President?

“I am Juan Fernando Velasco, I was born here in this country 48 years ago. I have not done more than work all my life to make this a better country, to leave the name of Ecuador high. Many times, they told me “no,” like so many other Ecuadorians, that I was not going to be able, that I was crazy, that I quit, but here I am because I believe in the possibility of building a different country, a country of social justice, a country of opportunities. I congratulate, celebrate and greet all the candidates who are here today, as well as yesterday. I am sorry for those who have not been able to come today, have decided not to come, but it is understood because when one is another’s puppet it is difficult to sustain those ideas.”

On the economy and employment:

  • The economy must be recovered with the implementation of policies that make business hours more flexible
  • Will not restrict hours for tourism
  • The government must release the controls on the private productive sector

“There are some interesting proposals from the candidates, what you have to ask yourself is where does that money come from for so much to offer? You have to speak clearly, the pandemic killed the economy and what we have to do is look for a new way to face these very serious problems, to get out of the previous thought. The Ecuadorian economy, the country, the world will not be the same.

That person who had a bus and who had school transportation, what is he doing right now, we have to give that person an alternative. Tourism, which at this time has restricted hours of operation, where holidays are not an alternative either, which is the oxygen of that tourism?

As I said in my previous speech, employment is generated in the private sector. Ecuador is on the controls. What does this mean? Procedures, fees, licenses, all this bathed in corruption, excessive taxes, there is no one clear action from the State to encourage those producers, those entrepreneurs to find in the State the partner they need.

From the credits, which we have already said here, it is necessary to lower the interest from the public bank, I do not agree that interest in private banking can be lowered, private banks must be given freedom, the action has to be from the public sphere.

Colonel Gutiérrez spoke of lowering interest to 3%, we do not believe in these actions, we believe that we must liberate, you have to give freedoms, it is necessary to generate the possibilities so that the entrepreneurs feel in the State a support and not a burden.”

On the pandemic:

  • Will focus on the vaccination of 75% of the population, as recommended by scientists, to combat infections and achieve the immunization of society
  • Pointed out that prevention policies will be promoted
  • Questioned that citizens do not have access to drinking water, an important element for hand washing
  • Referred to the need to strengthen early detection of the virus

“The first action, the priority has to be the vaccine. Experts around the world identify as 75%, the number of people who must have acquired that immunity, either by the vaccine or by contagion. We will not rest until we achieve that. For this, we have to acquire the vaccines and prioritize this, there is nothing more important than acquiring those vaccines, everything else can wait because without these vaccines we will not go back to school, there will be no economic reactivation, etc.

Why did so many Ecuadorian brothers die in Guayaquil? It is not surprising that this is one of the cities with the least access to drinking water in Latin America. We know that the conditions to overcome the pandemic, or to avoid contagion have to do with the use of masks, distancing and hand washing, what do people wash their hands with if they don’t have water? And after primary health care, understanding that the strength lies there, in prevention, in early detection, that was the key to ensuring that today we are in a better situation.”

It seems to me that we must return to the issue of vaccines. We are clear that we must prioritize, first, health workers, the elderly, but I would include, UNICEF and UNESCO are already talking about this, include teachers, it is essential to return to the classrooms and they should be among the priorities.

The balance between health prevention and reactivation is fundamental, finding alternatives for citizens, when the State simply does not give clear messages, when it says that there is a holiday but then there is no holiday, that it is possible, that it cannot be, businesses go bankrupt. Those people, that lady who is waiting for the tourists to arrive and who adapted her small restaurant to receive them can no longer bear this lightness with which the subject is treated. Clear rules, clear regulations to get out of the pandemic.”

On Security:

  • Listed several measures to improve citizen security in the country
  • Will equip the police in a better way, does not agree that the common citizen carries firearms
  • Questioned that certain judges release people who have been arrested in flagrante delicto, with strong evidence
  • Questioned that the National Navy does not have sufficient resources to provide security for fishing sector

“I think relevant points have been touched here. The direct relationship between the economic crisis and the explosion of insecurity in the country, one cannot think without the other. Provide the police with equipment so that they can carry out their tasks, but that it is not only equipment, but also legal tools so that effectively, always respecting human rights, they can make the progressive use of force. We do not believe in putting arms on citizens.

To this we would add the importance of recovering those Community Police Units, the UPC, which in a previous time, it was thought that rebuilding large buildings would solve this problem. What you have to have is many units, so that this reduces the response time of the police, that the police are closer to the communities, to the families that need this action.

But what happens if the action of the police, the Prosecutor’s Office, does their job but the judges continue to set criminals free? What answer can we give to the relatives of Roberto, of Lizbeth when we see the videos in which the criminals are evidently accusatory, these videos and the judges continue to release the criminals? We cannot talk about controlling violence like that.”

On Corruption:

  • Said that corruption should be fought in both the public and private sectors
  • Businessmen who bribe the public official must receive the same sanctions, must receive the same penalties; the business must be taken away so that it is not attractive to continue stealing from people
  • Reflected that the corrupt official “steals the dreams of parents who want to send their children to public university.”
  • Must toughen laws and create national judges against corruption to reduce impunity
  • Must reduce the paperwork that increases the chances of malicious acts

“The issue of corruption belongs to the entire society, it is not the exclusive property of politicians, the corrupt person needs a corrupter and for this it is important to establish that the penalties of the businessman who bribes the public official for these criminal actions must be the same sanctions, he must receive the same penalty, the business must be taken away from him so that it is not attractive to continue robbing people.

The corrupt man is not stealing a number, money from the State, he is taking out of Ecuadorian’s pockets. He takes out of the pocket of the father who dreams of seeing his son study, or he takes out the possibility of health for all, that is why we have to treat corruption with the seriousness and force that needs to be treated.

How to alleviate the issue of corruption? There are some methods, for example sanctioning laws as we have said, firm hand. But also, for example, the reduction of procedures; the more procedures there are to carry out a process in the public sector, the more possibilities there are that that public official is corrupt and wants to commit a crime. Finally, hire national anti-corruption judges so that they do not have local pressure.

At all levels, corruption is installed in the way we run our families, our businesses, in the way we relate to each other, the culture, of the one that gives it the back, you have to break with that.

But once again the State has a fundamental role in making it visible, in cutting off that impunity, in providing alternatives and thus we will be able to fight against corruption.”

Final Statement

“They constantly ask me why I am a candidate. The answer is very simple; because I was born in this country that lights up before the sun rises. I was born in this country of poor and stiff children, in this country indebted to the same children as they took everything, a country full of stories of concrete men and women, a country full of passion and joy.

This country that goes with joys and pain, with beautiful people and scoundrels who today want to steal our lives again. Illusion, a country that does not fear the future, that does not allow itself to be defeated, this country that does not ask for a visa and to which I always want to return.


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