Julio César Trujillo, who Forbes magazine called the “most powerful man in Ecuador,” suffered a major stroke Tuesday afternoon and remains hospitalized in Quito. As president of the Transitory Citizen Participation and Social Control Council (Cpccs-t), Trujillo led the effort to dismiss dozens of appointed officials, including judges of the country’s highest court, which the council considered corrupt or unqualified.
Many of those dismissed by Cpccs-t were appointments and allies of former president Rafael Correa.
Doctors at Metropolitan Hospital said Wednesday afternoon that Trujillo, who is 88, was unconscious but resting comfortably. Based on his wishes, his wife said there were would be no surgery or other “extraordinary efforts” to resuscitate him.
Trained as an attorney, Trujillo had a long career in politics and served as a member of the national assembly, as national ombudsman and as president of the tribunal of constitutional guarantees. Originally a member of the Conservative Party, Trujillo moved to the left as a result of his legal representation of workers and indigenous groups. During Ecuador’s period of dictatorship in the 1970s, he advocated for democracy and was forced to hide out in the Amazon jungle from the ruling junta, which wanted him arrested.
He ran for president in 1984 but received less than five percent of the vote.
Following the 2018 national referendum, Trujillo was named to head the Cpccs-t and lead the investigations of hundreds of public officials.
According to Forbes, Trujillo and his council were responsible “for reshaping the political landscape of Ecuador.”