Elected on a progressive platform, the Moreno government has resorted to the politicization of justice and the militarization of politics to repress its former allies and constituents.
Ecuador is facing some of its darkest days. The country is trapped with a highly unpopular president who has betrayed his mandate and proved his willingness to shed blood to implement a conservative economic agenda. Last October, the Moreno government unleashed a wave of repression to stifle widespread opposition to IMF-dictated policies.
Since taking office and after forcing a split within the ruling party Alianza País, Lenín Moreno has handed the state back to the powerful left-outs of Rafael Correa’s government. He used his mandate to subvert democratic institutions, persecute the opposition, and bring back the old neoliberal model to Ecuador, all in the name of the descorreización of the country. This has gained him the support of big business, the right-wing sector, the private media, and the U.S. government, who are not willing to let him go easily.
The Rule of Unconstitutionality
To push forward its agenda, the Moreno government has often disregarded the constitution. The first instance was the referendum held in February 2018 without the approval of the Constitutional Court, which kick-started the purge and ad hoc designation of state authorities, including the Attorney General and the Constitutional Court itself.
The capture of the judiciary did not rid the political system of all the obstacles to a neoliberal restoration. For this reason, the agreement signed with the International Monetary Fund was riddled with unconstitutional details. Apart from contradicting domestic regulations on monetary policy and fiscal deficit, the agreement bypassed the Assembly and the Constitutional Court. This violates articles 419 and 438 of the constitution and deprives the agreement of any democratic legitimacy.
The Moreno government employed unconstitutional measures to meet the protests against the economic policies imposed by the IMF. The state of exception that the government declared on October 3 and October 8 presented a number of serious legal flaws.