Supporters of former president Rafael Correa are being blasted by disability and human rights organizations for referring to President Lenin Moreno as a “cripple.”
During an April 10 protest march in Quito, the Correistas chanted “se va a caer, se va caer, el patuleco se va a caer…” (“he is going to fall, he will fall, the cripple is going to fall”). On social media videos, former Alianza Pais leaders who now oppose Moreno, including Ricardo Patiño and Gabriela Rivadeneira, are shown participating in the chant.
Moreno was paralyzed as the result of a 1998 shooting and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since.
Among the groups criticizing the anti-Moreno chant are the National Federation of Disability Rights, the Special Olympics, the National Council for the Disabled and Human Rights Watch.
“We are shocked that national leaders who once pretended to support rights for the disabled are now making fun of us,” said Héctor Cueva, Ecuador Special Olympics president. “They make it clear that they despise those who are not able-bodied.”
Xavier Torres, president of the National Council for Disabilities said that voters will remember the insult delivered during the march, “This is offensive to the entire country, not just to the disabled. They offended 500,000 people with disabilities but they also offended their friends and families and all Ecuadorians who stand for decency and equal rights.”