In the annual ‘report to the nation’, Noboa focuses on crime fight and proclaims a ‘new Ecuador’

May 25, 2024 | 0 comments

In the annual Report to the Nation, President Daniel Noboa claimed Friday that his government has made “great gains in restoring institutionality of the country.” He praised the work of the National Police and armed forces in the fight against criminal gangs, saying they “are the true heroes of Ecuador.”

A crowd of supporters gathered outside of the National Assembly Friday as President Daniel Noboa delivered his report to the nation.

For the first time in a national report, Noboa projected videos on the giant screens of the National Assembly, as he delivered his speech.

Responding to criticism that his emergency declarations violated civil rights, Noboa said he was putting the rights of law-abiding Ecuadorians ahead of those who break the law. “It is time to defend our families, our institutions, our freedom and our homeland,” he said. “We are putting our police and military personnel out front to face a dangerous enemy whose weapons are violence, corruption and chaos. We are committed to fighting and defeating this enemy.”

He continued: “We have implemented security measures with the goal to rebuild a country where tranquility and security are the norm and not the exception,” he said. “Previous governments have either ignored emergencies or offered lukewarm responses. This is not the approach of my government. We will be unrelenting in the effort to restore and maintain order. A new Ecuador is emerging from the lethargy of the old one.”

He added that January 9, 2024 is a date Ecuadorians will remember. “This is when we made the decision to elevate the fight against organized crime to the category of internal armed conflict after we experienced a series of violent attacks by criminal groups, including the seizure of a television station by armed men during a live broadcast. That was the day we announced to the country and world that we would not tolerate lawlessness anymore.”

Several National Assembly members criticized the use of videos during Noboa’s speech, calling them a “distraction” and a “gimmick.” After the speech, Noboa’s office responded that it was simply using the technology of the day. “We appreciate the methods of 18th and 19th century statemen to deliver their messages and, likewise, we are using the methods of the 21st century to deliver ours,” the press office said.

Media commentator and Quito attorney Martín Torres agreed that the videos “were as distracting as they were helpful” but pointed out that Noboa’s speech was mostly a political message aimed at the February election. “Yes, this was mostly propaganda but that’s what all presidents do, especially if they are planning to stand for reelection in the next election.”

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