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Rafael Correa Still Strongest Leader in Ecuador

Rafael Correa Remains the Strongest Leader in Ecuador, but his Influence is Waning

In the next twenty months, Rafael Correa’s second and final presidential term that began in 2009, will come to a close. The story of the young and impetuous president who has weathered an attempted coup, endless criticism from a divided but increasingly boisterous opposition, and a relentless battle with the media, already has begun to be recorded in the country’s chronicles. Over the course of his time in office, Correa undeniably has nurtured a foreign policy that has isolated Ecuador from international markets and distanced the nation from Washington, which happens to be its main trading partner. Nevertheless, not unimportantly, the Obama White House continues to see Ecuador as a key player in the fight against narco-trafficking.

Investments in education, health, and infrastructure have reflected some of Correa’s major achievements, but his government’s unbridled spending habits have left the country short of foreign exchange and vulnerable to the effects of the global economic recession. Additionally, cracks have started to appear within his party structure due to ideological differences dividing the nation. Though the possibility of a destabilization of Ecuador’s democratic institutions seems remote at this time, both Correa and his polity could use a dose of tolerance. They both must learn the important lesson of disagreeing with one another while firmly upholding the tenets of democracy.

This analysis was prepared by COHA Senior Research Fellow Olga Imbaquingo and COHA Research Associate Lauren Paverman.

To read the full article, click here.

Brazil’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission: A Small Step in the Right Direction

Brasilia has been making great strides toward securing a prosperous future, but one of its recent actions has centered on resolving a troubling aspect of the country’s past. On October 27, state officials announced a plan to establish a truth and reconciliation commission that will investigate crimes against humanity from 1946 to 1988, which encompasses the period during which the South American giant was run by a military junta. Like other post World War II Latin American nations, Brazil had previously been under military rule, and once President Dilma Rousseff signs the legislation into action, it will become the ninth country in the region to carry forth such a provision of self-scrutiny.

A number of human rights organizations have applauded the Brazilian government’s move. In a press release, the International Center for Transnational Justice, an international non-profit based in New York, commented that “[t]he Government of Brazil now has the opportunity to acknowledge a painful past and to implement an effective tool to establish the facts about past abuse, to help victims heal and to allow Brazilian society to understand a painful period of their history, therefore preventing recurrent violations.”

This analysis was prepared by COHA Research Fellow Alex Sanchez and COHA Research Associate Lauren Paverman.

To read the full analysis, click here.

Monday November 7th, 2011 | Research Memorandum 11.3

________________________________________

The Council on Hemispheric Affairs, founded in 1975, is an independent, non-profit, non-partisan, tax-exempt research and information organization. It has been described on the Senate floor as being "one of the nation's most respected bodies of scholars and policy makers." For more information, please see our web page at www.coha.org.

ENDS


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