<i>"The Name of Our Country is América" - Simon Bolivar</i> The Narco News Bulletin<br><small>Reporting on the War on Drugs and Democracy from Latin America
 English | Español August 15, 2018 | Issue #26

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Opening Statement, April 18, 2000
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Lucio Wins in Ecuador

The Colonel of the People, President-Elect

By Luis A. Gómez - Narco News Andean Bureau Chief

November 24, 2002

At a little after six p.m. in the capital of this country in the middle of the planet, the sky is clear after weeks of air filled with ashes from the El Reventador volcano and its clouds that smelled of sulfur. And the horizon is also clear now, with 61.56 of the votes now counted, Colonel Lucio already has 56.51 percent (tallies emitted by the Supreme Electoral Court)… Thus, it’s a done deal, kind readers. The people have chosen the new president of Ecuador. The winds of change have arrived to sweep the garbage away and into its place.

In his first statements, from Guayaquil – the second most important city in the country and his official residence – the Colonel of the People said that he will await the official results before celebrating. However, in every Ecuadorian city the people have already taken to the streets and the fiestas proliferate. In any case, the 13 percentage points that Lucio Gutiérrez enjoys over banana magnate Álvaro Noboa are practically irreversible… at least, of course, unless the Republicans of Florida arrive to help the candidate of the Right and overturn a difference of more than 400,000 votes in favor of Lucio Gutiérrez.

“The important thing now is that all of us in Ecuador support the new president, no matter who it is, and I say it because I love my country. Beginning tomorrow, if the trends continue, I will be foundation of the process of change in this country and I will seek out attorney Noboa to dialogue about the future. Our process of dialogue will now be more open than ever before,” were the first words from the virtual president elect. In about an hour, Lucio Gutiérrez will arrive in Quito, where he will join the parties in his alliance. The celebration in Guayaquil, though, has slowed traffic to the airport.

“Well, I’d like to appeal for calm. And I want to thank the Ecuadorian people. The party continues although the final whistle has not been blown, but I feel optimistic. Now is the moment of unity. If we unite, Ecuador will move forward… I think that in any case it is important await the counting of the final votes,” Lucio declared on a local television station. The first step? “To call for unity among all Ecuadorian people. I continue working to bring together a grand concentration of the people. I ask the leaders to take down the tee-shirts from their political stores and all of us will put on the yellow shirt of Ecuador. The third round now begins. The first round was the fight of David against Goliath. The second, I am winning. And the third will be to reconstruct this country… I am going to keep the dialogue open, not to share power, but, rather, to share responsibilities… My government will be one of national agreement… I will respect human rights… the rights to life, education and health… I want to offer better security to the productive sector as well as the national and international financial sectors…!

Well, kind readers, that is all at this step in the road. Lucio Gutiérrez, supported by a majority of the people, has come to power and now begins his “third round” to change this country, to construct a democracy from below. In a few minutes he will give his first official speech as President-Elect and later will celebrate with his closest advisors and the leaders of the political organizations in his alliance… And your correspondent will be there, to witness the moment and celebrate with the Ecuadorian people.

Congratulations América.

We have new hope walking in our beautiful land..

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The Narco News Bulletin: Reporting on the Drug War and Democracy from Latin America