More than 60 percent of Ecuadorians believe things are going “badly” for the country and 40 percent believe things will get worse, according to a survey conducted by the Cedatos-Gallup polling organization last week. If there is a silver lining to the dour sentiment, it’s that citizens of other Latin American countries think their countries are doing even worse.
The Cedatos survey, which polled 2,120 in 17 towns and cities, found that 63.4 percent of Ecuadorians held negative views of the state of the country, listing corruption, the economy and crime among their top concerns.
A composite poll compiled by Gallup of public opinion in other Latin America countries showed the level of pessimism ranged as high as 90 percent in the region, with Venezuela, Nicaragua and Honduras bringing up the rear. Residents in major Ecuador trading partners, Colombia, Peru and Brazil, showed disapproval ratings of 76, 72 and 78 percent respectively, when responding to the question of how their countries were faring.
In Ecuador, 26.1 percent of respondents said that unemployment and underemployment are the country’s biggest problem, followed by general economic difficulties (24.4%), corruption (14%) and crime (10%). The dissatisfaction level is bad news for President Lenin Moreno who took office in May 2017 with a negative sentiment of only 43.6 percent.
In a separate poll conducted by a University of San Francisco political science professor in January, 800 respondents rated corruption and economic problems neck-and-neck among their top concerns. Although they overwhelming blame former president Rafael Correa for the corruption, they say Moreno has not done enough to bring the guilty to justice.
Earlier polls show a dramatic decline in Moreno’s approval raring, dropping from a high of 75 percent shortly after he took office to less than 30 percent in December.