President Rafael Correa has confirmed that he won’t seek re-election when his current term ends in 2017.
The government-run newspaper El Telegrafo quoted Correa as saying that it “is dangerous when one person considers himself to be indispensable.” In 2013, in a media argument with Guayaquil Mayor Jamie Nebot, Correa suggested he would consider asking for a change to the constitution that would allow him to run for another term.
The current constitution, adopted in 2008, allows presidents to serve two consequetive terms. Most observers believe Correa would be easily elected if he ran for a third full term. One of the most popular presients in Latin America, he has poured much of the country’s oil wealth into social programs and infrastructure. Ecuador spends more on public projects per capita than any other country in the western hemisphere.
Correa took office in 2007 and won election again in 2009 after a new constitution was adopted. He was re-elected to second four-year term in 2012.
Correa has hinted that he may return to academic life, possibly in Europe, when his presidency ends. He and his Belgium-born wife own a house near Brussels. Correa received his college graduate degrees in Belgium and the U.S. and was an economics professor at San Francisco University in Quito before he won the presidency.
Priest arrested in Ibarra drug bust
A Catholic priest was arrested in Ecuador on suspicion of being part of a criminal organization that was sending drugs to Europe and the United States. Narcotics police officers seized 74 kilos of cocaine.
Luis Bolivar, a Catholic priest in the city of Ibarra, Imbabura Province in northern Ecuador, was arrested along with five other people, four Ecuadorians and a Colombian national. During the raid, which involved eight houses in four different cities, police seized 74 kilos of cocaine and four vehicles.
The priest has denied being part of the band. However, the prosecution has reported having contradictory evidence. The prosecution presented evidence demonstrating that the priest had been in contact with the owners of the property where the drugs were stored. According to police versions Father Bolivar’s role was in the capacity of “public relations officer” of the band, as well as “responsible for logistics,” reports ElNorte (In Spanish).