EspañolEcuadorian opposition leaders announced Thursday they will work together to promote a referendum that prevents a constitutional amendment authorizing indefinite reelection.
The alliance between Guillermo Lasso, of the Creating Opportunities (CREO) political movement, and César Montufár, leader of the National Democratic Coalition Movement (MCND), aims to deny Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa another consecutive term in office.
According to the opposition leaders, the only goal is to “take care of democracy against a totalitarian and controlling state.”
“This is a one-off deal and does not have any implication beyond defending democracy. This is not an electoral agreement. Its only goal is, if need be, to promote a referendum emerging from the citizenry,” Lasso stated.
Montufár echoed Lasso’s sentiment, and noted they joined forces because “democracy is in a state of emergency.”
“We support the initiative of Guillermo Lasso to boost a referendum. The purpose of this union is to fight with decency, respect, willingness, and force, so we can make Ecuador democratic again,” he added.
“We will not only collect the signatures required by law, but we will collect the number of signatures needed to prevent them from playing with the law,” said Lasso.
On Wednesday, September 17, demonstrators flooded the streets of Ecuador to protest against a number of policies proposed by Correa, among them, a constitutional amendment that would authorize indefinite reelection.
The protests resulted in 17 police officers injured and 120 demonstrators detained, including 59 students that remain in custody after nine days. On Thursday, the Provincial Court of Pichincha denied them a habeas corpus request. Later that the same day, the attorney Verónica Yuquilema filed a claim alleging torture and unlawful detention.
“There is proof that [the student] was brutally assaulted,” said the lawyer.
EspañolHonduras and Peru will sign a free trade agreement before the end of the year, according to an announcement made on Thursday by Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández in New York. “A visit by senior officials and businessmen from Peru to San Pedro Sula is the only thing missing. We will probably be ready [to sign the agreement] in November," said Hernández after meeting with Peruvian President Ollanta Humala. Following the meeting, President Hernández invited Humala to visit Honduras: "We have invited President Ollanta Humala to come to Honduras to sign the agreement. Otherwise, we are going to do it during the climate change summit in Peru." They also discussed issues related to trade, mining, and Honduras's intentions to become a full member of the Pacific Alliance, a Latin-American trade bloc composed of Mexico, Peru, Colombia, and Chile. In statements to Honduran newspaper La Prensa, the Peruvian president emphasized the bilateral relationship between the two countries: "We identify closely with Honduras. We have a free trade agreement that, God willing, we will sign this year. This is an opportunity for both nations," said Humala. Hernández also highlighted the potential for the Pacific Alliance to support the Zones for Employment and Economic Development (ZEDEs) in Honduras. The news of a free trade agreement between the two countries comes only days after Honduras announced a similar agreement with Canada. Fuentes: La Prensa, Proceso Digital.