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Ecuador

Monthly Event Reports

January 2024 | Presidential decree expands security forces’ powers due to “internal armed conflict”
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President Daniel Noboa decreed a state of emergency and expanded security forces’ powers after a significant surge in violence, including the escape of an imprisoned gang leader, the kidnapping of police officers and the taking of over 100 prison officials hostage, as well as an incident in which a group of armed men took reporters hostage during a live broadcast at a TV station.   The presidential decrees, which include the declaration of an “internal armed conflict”, enable the military and national police to “neutralize” such groups. They established a night-time curfew and determined the applicability of international humanitarian law.  In the following days, the military regained control of prisons, releasing the hostages.   The surge in violence highlights gang leaders’ power and influence over prison officials, members of the judiciary and police. Relatedly, a prosecutor investigating the hostage taking at the TV station and working on another gang-related investigation known as “Caso Metastasis”, related to the infiltration of gangs in Ecuadorian institutions such as the police and judiciary, was murdered in Guayaquil state.

October 2023 | Daniel Noboa is elected President in run-off election
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Daniel Noboa, a right-of-centre entrepreneur running for the National Democratic Action coalition (Accion Democratica Nacional, ADN), was elected president on 15 October, in a run-off election. He defeated Luisa Gonzalez, a politician aligned with ‘Correismo’, a political movement that embraces former president Rafael Correa’s policies. Noboa will assume office in December and will govern for only 16 months, as the election was triggered to complete President Guillermo Lasso’s term after he dissolved Congress and called for early legislative and presidential elections. Noboa obtained nearly 52 per cent of votes, over Gonzalez’s 48 per cent. Electoral participation was 82.3 per cent. In Ecuador, voting is mandatory for most of the population. On 16 October the Organization of American States electoral observation mission to Ecuador issued a preliminary statement recognizing citizens’ commitment to democracy, and the holding of peaceful elections amid the country’s complex security situation.

August 2023 | Ecuadorians vote to end oil drilling in Amazon national park
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In a referendum held on 20 August, over 58 per cent of voters chose to stop oil extraction in the Yasuni National Park, a UN protected biosphere located in the Amazon. In a second referendum, Ecuadorians also voted to ban all extraction activities in the Choco Andino tropical rainforest, near Quito, with around 68 per cent of support.  Efforts to contain oil production in the Amazon had been spearheaded by Indigenous Peoples and environmental activists, many of them young people, for years. Officials across several administrations and the state’s oil company, Petroecuador, had argued that an end to oil development in Yasuni, would lead to austerity measures with a negative impact on the economy. Petroecuador will have to dismantle its oil processing facilities and provide for reparations.  According to Human Rights Watch, the vote on the Yasuni is the first time a referendum had resulted in a ban on new and pre-existing fossil fuel exploration. Turnout for this referendum neared 83 per cent. Notably, the decision will benefit the Taromenane, Tagaeri and Dugakaeri peoples, who choose to live in isolation in the region, as the drilling activities impacted the quality of their water and resources. Environmental activists have organized to demand the government’s compliance with the referendum as, following the results, officials, including incumbent president Lasso, as well as the candidate currently leading in polls to succeed him, have expressed reservations about the government’s ability to implement the results in the given timeline. 

July 2023 | State of emergency imposed on country’s prisons

On 25 July a state of emergency was imposed for 60 days in Ecuador’s prisons after 31 persons deprived of their liberty were killed and more were injured during riots in the Guayas 1 prison in the city of Guayaquil. Violence reportedly broke out between rival gangs, who had also taken officers hostage, leading the government to order the military’s intervention. After the state of emergency decree was issued, violence was also reported in the province of Esmeralda, were a local prison and police unit were attacked, and prison staff taken hostage. The decree establishing the state of emergency covers the entire Social Rehabilitation System and will enable the armed forces to, in collaboration with National Police, take measures to reestablish control of all detention centres.

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GSoD Indices Data 2013-2022

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Basic Information

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Population Tooltip
17 888 470
System of government
Presidential system
Head of government
President Daniel Noboa (since 2023)
Head of government party
Acción Democrática Nacional
Electoral system for lower or single chamber
List Proportional Representation
Women in lower or single chamber
43.1%
Women in upper chamber
Not applicable
Last legislative election
2023
Head of state
President Daniel Noboa
Selection process for head of state
Direct election (modified two-round)
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) date
01/05/2017
Latest Universal Periodic Review (UPR) percentage of recommendations supported
89.01%
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Human Rights Treaties

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State Party State party
Signatory Signatory
No Action No action
United Nations Human Right Treaties
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
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International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
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International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
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Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
State Party
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment
State Party
Convention on the Rights of the Child
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International Convention on Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families
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International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance 
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International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
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International Labour Organisation Treaties
Forced Labour Convention
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Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise Convention
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Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining Convention
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Equal Remuneration Convention
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Abolition of Forced Labour Convention
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Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention
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Convention concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment
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Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention
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Regional Treaties
American Convention on Human Rights
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Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights in the Area of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
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Performance by category over the last 6 months

Representation neutral Representation
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Representation neutral Rights
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Representation neutral Rule of law
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Representation neutral Participation
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Global State of Democracy Indices

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Explore the indices
Representation
Representation
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/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rights
Rights
0
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high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Rule of Law
Rule of Law
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high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4
Participation
Participation
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/1
high 0.7-1.0
mid 0.4-0.7
low 0.0-0.4

Factors of Democratic Performance Over Time

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