As presidential campaign resumes, candidates focus on young voters; Gasoline shortage creates long lines at the pump; Criminal gang leader captured

Aug 28, 2023 | 0 comments

A week after the first cross death election, presidential candidates Luisa González and Daniel Noboa were back on the campaign trail over the weekend, both targeting younger voters. The two will face off in the October 15 runoff.

The Citizens Revolution’s González campaign released three videos on social media platforms aimed at young voters. “We understand the importance of connecting with the youth of Ecuador and are redoubling our efforts to appeal to them,” said Pamela Aguirre, newly elected Assemblywoman and CR campaign advisor.

Citizens Revolution’s presidential candidate Luisa González is projecting a new “sporty” look in hopes of attracting young voters.

In the videos and other social media messages, 45-year-old González is pictured wearing a cartoon-art head scarf. “We are presenting the sporty side of Luisa to show she is the candidate or new, youthful ideas,” says Aguirre. “We are also bringing the CR message to all voters about creating new employment and fighting the drug cartels.”

Meanwhile, Noboa was campaigning in person on the coast. In photos taken near Manta, the candidate appears on horseback with his running mate Verónica Abad. On Saturday and Sunday, he met with community and university leaders in Manabi Province, discussing his plan to fight drug crime and to reduce unemployment.

In comments about creating new jobs, Noboa said his emphasis is on those recently entering the job market. “The young people of Ecuador suffer the most from unemployment and lack of opportunity,” he said. “They have two times the rate of unemployment and underemployment and this is why so many of them are leaving the country.”

Presidential candidate Daniel Noboa and his running mate Verónica Abad rode horseback in Manabi Province on Saturday.

Citizens Revolution is right to focus on the youth vote in the runoff election, says Santiago Pérez, director of the NGO Social Climate. “They didn’t pay enough attention to this in the first election, and it hurt them,” he says. “At this point, however, they are playing catch-up to Noboa and the question is whether they can capture the attention of the young. Another disadvantage is that the CR social media campaign is being run by 40- and 50-year-olds while Noboa’s is managed by 20- and 30-year-olds.”

Pérez believes the outcome of the October runoff will be close. “The Citizens Revolution has a very strong organization and this will help them. On the other hand, most of the votes of the defeated presidential candidates will go to Noboa. The outcome will be determined by how many of those votes González can capture in the next month and a half.”

Gas shortages create lines at the pump
Hundreds of gasoline stations across the country reported supply shortages over the weekend, with the worst in Cuenca. On Sunday, long lines of cars waited for fill-ups at Cuenca gas pumps with most dealers limiting the amounts they sold.

The shortage affects Ecopaís, the country’s most popular brand, as well as Super Premium.

State-owned Petroecuador, which supplies gas stations, blamed “product shortages and operational issues” for the shortages and said most stations will need to ration sales through at least the first part of the week.

Azuay Governer Consuelo Orellana said the problem is the result of a back-up of supply ships at the Panama Canal. “The tankers are carrying the additives we need for the fuel and because of the severe drought in Panama, there are restrictions on the number of ships passing through the canal,” she said. “More than 200 are awaiting passage and many of these are fuel tankers.”

Police arrest Los Tiguerones leader
National Police announced the capture of one of Ecuador’s most wanted men Sunday, Erick M., aka, “The Blaster”, leader of the Los Tiguerones criminal gang. The arrest was made following a joint police and armed forces operation in Tachina, in Esmeraldas Province.

Erick M was wanted for murder and extortion in Emeraldas, Manabi and Guayas Provinces. He is also accused of ordering several murders of opposition gang members and business owners who refused extortion demands.

During the police operation in which Erick M. was arrested, police say “large quantities of ammunition” were seized.

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