Guillermo Lasso, President of Ecuador (since May 24, 2021)
Guillermo Alberto Santiago Lasso Mendoza (born 16 November 1955) is an Ecuadorian businessman, banker, writer and politician who has served as the 47th president of Ecuador since 24 May 2021. He is the country’s first centre-right president in nearly two decades, marking a noted shift in the country’s electorate.
Lasso served as Superminister of Economy during the Jamil Mahuad presidency briefly in 1999. He previously served as Governor of Guayas from 1998 until 1999. In 2003, he briefly served as the Itinerant Ambassador of Ecuador during the Lucio Gutiérrez administration. Aside from his political career, Lasso is also a banker and previously served as CEO of Banco Guayaquil. During the presidency of Rafael Correa, Lasso became a noted critic of his administration.
Lasso became involved in presidential politics when he founded the Creating Opportunities Party in 2012. He first ran for president in 2013; Lasso came in a distant second place behind President Correa, who won by a landslide. He would later run again in the 2017 election, where he advanced to the run-off running against former Vice President Lenin Moreno and narrowly lost the election winning 48.84% of the vote against Moreno’s 51.16%. In his third presidential campaign in 2021, Lasso narrowly advanced to the April run-off round of the election in February and later was elected in April.
A liberal, his public agenda includes classical liberal points such as the defence of the division of powers to limit government and of fundamental rights. He has also expressed opinions in favour of tax cuts and is a free-market advocate. His presidency has been noted for his high approval rating, COVID-19 vaccination initiatives and economic relief packages through tax increases on the wealthy and funding with the International Monetary Fund.
In 2018, Lasso underwent a surgical procedure on his spinal cord at the Cleveland Clinic in the United States following a back injury from a fall at a pilgrimage in Spain in 2013. The operation required him to use a forearm crutch since the operation. In June 2021, Lasso had a second spinal cord surgery in the United States to “regain regular leg mobility” in Miami, Florida.
Lenín Moreno, Former 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.