‘Regaining the homeland’ could be difficult for the Correistas; New drivers test is in effect; Esmeraldas among Latin America’s 10 ‘most murderous’ cities
Although she believes the Citizens Revolution will “return in force” after the cross death elections, Rafael Correa’s sister, Pierina Correa, acknowledges it will face “serious challenges” implementing its programs.
“Because of the short period the new Assembly and government will serve, we need to win the 2025 election as well to regain the homeland and achieve our goals,” said Pierina Correa, former CR director and a candidate for the National Assembly. “First, of course, we need victories next month to start the process.”
Among the CR’s top objectives is to install a constituent assembly that would reverse Rafael Correa’s corruption conviction and allow him to return to Ecuador. “We need our leader back in the country but there will probably not be enough time to do this in the 18 months following the election,” Pierina said in a radio interview last week. “This will need to continue in 2025, which means we must win two elections.”
Pierina acknowledges that CR faces strong opposition. “Of course, we have enemies on the right but, ironically, some of our opponents are on the left, focused on the personality of my brother, not the issues Ecuador needs to address. I believe the opposition is less than it was in the past, but it is still strong and there is no guarantee we will achieve total victory in August.”
Based on current calculations, Pierina said she believes CR will win 60 seats in the Assembly and be able to form alliances with other parties to attain a majority of 72. “I am the first to admit that there is uncertainty in the numbers and that is why we are working hard for victory. We are also confident that Luisa [Gonzalez] will be elected president in the first round.”
She adds: “Ours is a long-term plan, which means we must win this year and in 2025. We need the next 18 months and then full four-year term to make the necessary changes, to rescue Ecuador from political deadlock.”
New drivers test is ‘friendly and practical’
The National Transit Agency (ANT) has updated the bank of questions used for drivers license testing. According to ANT, the revised questions are now “friendly, easy and practical,” reflecting everyday situations encountered by drivers on the streets and roads of Ecuador.
The ANT says the update is based on provisions of the Organic Law on Land Transport, Traffic and Road Safety, the Organic Criminal Code (COIP) and the training provided by professional driving schools.
In its question revisions, ANT explained that it is putting greater distinction on the different classes of licenses in its tests, saying that owners of private cars will no longer be asked about situations that apply to bus and truck drivers. It also said the number of questions in the full bank of questions has been reduced to 300 from the previous 600. The number of questions on the drivers test will remain 20, of which applicants cannot fail more than four to receive a license. To review the updated questions, applicants can go to the ANT website, www.ant.gob.ec.
The new bank of questions went into effect on July 24.
Gang leader calls for peace
On a day in which 31 deaths were recorded at a Guayaquil prison, alias ‘Fito’ of the Los Choneros gang called for peace among Ecuador’s criminal gangs. In a video, Fito said: “Now is the time to end the killings, the vaccines, the kidnappings and extortions, since they hurt all of his. My heart goes out to the families of the dead and injured at Litorial [prison].”
Esmeraldas among top 10 ‘most murderous’ cities
Through June 2023, Emeraldas ranked among the top 10 “most murderous” cities in Latin America, according to the crime research group InSightCrime. With 87 murders per 100,000 population, only cities in Colombia and Mexico have a higher murder rate.
InSightCrime says that Esmeraldas’ location near the Colombian border is the biggest factor for its murderous reputation. “It is a crossroads of drug transport out of South America, and it is also a place where drug gangs compete for dominance,” InSight said.
It added that poverty and an atmosphere of corruption contribute to the city’s ranking. “The entire coast of Ecuador has experienced rising crime as a result of the drug transport trade but there are special conditions in Esmeraldas that make it stand out.”