Lenín Moreno, President of Ecuador (Elected on Apr 2, 2017)
Lenín Boltaire Moreno Garcés (born 19 March 1953) is an Ecuadorian politician who is the President-elect of Ecuador. He served as Vice President from 2007 to 2013, serving under President Rafael Correa.
On 1 October 2016, he was nominated as the candidate for Correa’s Alianza País in the 2017 presidential election. On 2 April 2017, on the second round of voting, he won a narrow victory on the elections.
His election as Vice President was notable because as a paraplegic, Moreno was one of the world’s few national leaders to have a disability. For his advocacy for handicapped people, he was nominated for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. On 24 May 2017, Moreno will become the world’s only head of state in a wheelchair.
Moreno was born into a middle-class family in Nuevo Rocafuerte, a small town in the Ecuadorian Amazon, near the Peruvian border. His father, Servio Tulio Moreno, was a teacher who promoted bilingual education and integrated schools for Indigenous children and mestizo children. Lenín Moreno was greatly influenced by his father’s example. He got his first name from his father, a professor who idolised Vladimir Lenin.
On 3 January 1998, two young men approached Moreno in a grocery store parking lot in Quito and demanded his car and his money. He handed over his wallet and keys, but one of the men shot him in the back anyway. This left Moreno paralyzed, unable to walk. In the first years following the shooting, Moreno was bedridden with intractable pain. When doctors were unable to suggest a workable course of action, Moreno turned to laughter therapy, which he had read about. Although his doctors were skeptical, within four years of the shooting Moreno felt well enough to move about in a wheelchair and continue his work as a public servant.
Rafael Correa Delgado, Former President of Ecuador
Correa Delgado, Rafael Vicente, 1963–, Ecuadorian economist and political leader, president of Ecuador (2007–), b. Guayaquil. A leftist economist (Ph.D Univ. of Illinois, 2001), he served briefly as minister of finance (2006) under interim President Alfredo Palacio before running as reformer in the 2006 presidential election. A friend of Venezuela’s President Hugo Chávez, Correa called for constitutional reform, restructuring Ecuador’s foreign debt, antipoverty programs, and anticorruption measures. Although Correa placed second in the first round of voting, he won a solid majority after a runoff against businessman Álvaro Noboa.