The statement below, in defence of Ecuador’s democracy, was originally published here by the Progressive International.
Ecuador’s democracy is under attack. We must fight to defend it.
The people of Ecuador are deciding their future. Reactionary forces — both inside Ecuador and across the region — are plotting against them. We call on the international community for vigilance, solidarity, and a defense of popular sovereignty.
On 7 February, the people of Ecuador exercised their constitutional right to elect a new President, Vice president, and National Assembly. The results were clear: a major first-round victory for Andrés Arauz, Carlos Rabascall, and their Unión por la Esperanza (UNES).
Now, a backlash against democracy is underway. Reactionary forces — both inside Ecuador and across the hemisphere — are leading a dirty and dishonest campaign to remove Arauz, delay the elections, and prevent the formation of a progressive, indigenous, and feminist bloc.
Inside of Ecuador, the electoral authorities attempted an unprecedented vote “recount” that threatened to derail the democratic process. Let us be clear: There was no legal basis for this “recount”, and no evidence of fraud to justify it. We have seen the consequences of baseless claims of fraud in the coup against Evo Morales in November 2019. And we say to the CNE, the OAS, and to the US State Department: We are watching.
Now, the Office of the Prosecutor is escalating efforts to dismiss the first-round results. Against clear Constitutional rules, the Prosecutor’s office has called to seize “all digital content from the database that administers the electoral system.” We are ringing the alarm: the government of Lenín Moreno is preparing a coup against democracy.
The attack on Ecuador’s democracy is not only coming from inside the country. Last month, the Colombian magazine Semana circulated an absurd and malicious rumor that the Progressive International facilitated a loan between the guerrilla forces of the ELN in Colombia and the campaign of presidential candidate Andrés Arauz. These ridiculous rumors were easily debunked by a range of experts and dismissed by the Progressive International.
Nonetheless, the Duque government in Colombia continues to spread this lie. On 13 February, the Attorney General of Colombia traveled to Ecuador to pass along “secret” information that could be used in a legal case to disqualify Arauz from the presidential election.
Ecuador has a long tradition of “legal warfare” against its progressive forces. The absurd lie about the ELN is simply the latest lawfare tactic to prevent them from coming to power.
They will not succeed. The illegal “recount” and the absurd “loan” reflect the desperation of reactionary forces across Latin America. They know that their time is over. They know that they can only hold onto power by illegal means. And they know that the peoples of the world are ready to reclaim their democracies for peace and prosperity.
Their fear is our strength. Now, more than ever, we must unite in defense of our fragile democracies. We must bring together progressive, feminist, ecologist, and indigenous forces to defeat the reactionary right. Together, we can dismantle this “lawfare” regime, and restore popular sovereignty in Ecuador and around the world.
Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta
Cabinet Minister, Argentina
Former Foreign Minister of Brazil
Former Ambassador of Argentina and Trade Union leader
Laureate Professor of Linguistics, University of Arizona
Member of the Hellenic Parliament
Member of Parliament, UK
Member of German Bundestag
MP and Leader of France Insoumise
Adolfo Pérez Esquivel
Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Professor, Tsinghua University, Beijing
Relations internationales, France Insoumise
Assistant Professor in the American Studies Department at the University of New Mexico
(Asamblea de Ciudadanos Argentinos en Francia) France
Member of the Chamber of Deputies of Chile
Honorary President of the Peoples’ Democratic Party
Former Senator, Australia
Member of Parliament for Hayes and Harlington
Director of the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research
Founder-Member of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS)
Founder & President, Imagine Africa
Actual decana de la Facultad de Periodismo Universidad de La Plata, Argentina Asociación de Trabajadores del Estado (ATE) Ciudad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Legisladora CABA (MC) Consejo Consultivo de la Discapacidad, Argentina
Presidente del Partido de la Izquierda Europea
Hebe de Bonafini Presidenta Asociación
Politólogo y catedrático, Argentina
Senador Nacional (MC) Exembajador en Francia, Argentina
Diputado Nacional (MC), Expresidente de la comisión de relaciones exteriores del congreso de la nación Argentina
Escribano. Exombudsman Central de Trabajadores argentinos de la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires Argentina
Verónica Azpiroz Cleñan
Politóloga Comunidad Mapuche Epu Lafken Tejido de Profesionales Indígenas, Argentina
Luis D’ Elia
Presidente del Partido MILES por Tierra Techo y Trabajo, Argentina Espacio Puebla Argentina
Docente universitario Secretario General Patria Para Todos, Argentina
Exjefe de Gabinete, Argentina La Comisión de Política Exterior Soberana y la Comisión de DDHH del Instituto Patria Argentina
Frente Patria Grande
Frente Patria Misiones
James K. Galbraith
Member of German Bundestag, Vice Chairwoman of Die Linke parliamentary group and member of Foreign Affairs Committee
Liga Argentina por los Derechos Humanos
Madres de Plaza de Mayo
El Manifiesto Argentino
Vice-Presidenta primera del Partido de la Izquierda Europea, responsable de las Relaciones Internacionales
Movimiento por la Paz, la Soberanía y la Solidaridad entre los Pueblos, Argentina
Juan Carlos Monedero
Director del Instituto 25 M, España
Victor Hugo Morales
CEP Cooperativa Eléctrica de Comunicación de Santa Rosa La Pampa, Argentina
Gerardo Pisarello Member of the Congress of Deputies
Hector Recalde Diputado Nacional (MC) Abogado laboralista, Argentina
Anton Gomez Reino External deputy España, Podemos
Carlos Rozanski Abogado. Exjuez Camara Federal Argentina
Florencia Saintout Legisladora de la provincia de Buenos Aires. Exdecana de la Facultad de Periodismo UNLP, Argentina
Milagro Sala Exdiputada Parlasur, dirigente social de la organización Tupac Amaru, presa política, Argentina
Diputada Nacional, Argentina
MEP and International Relations, Podemos
Member of the German parliament, member of Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe, regular election observer for OSCE and COE parliamentary assemblies