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News > Ecuador

Ecuadorians Participate in Referendum Called by President Noboa

  • A voting station in Ecuador.

    A voting station in Ecuador. | Photo: X/ @complicefm

Published 21 April 2024

If the population votes "YES", 5 out of 11 questions will imply changes to the 2008 Constitution.

On Sunday, over 13.6 million Ecuadorians are expected to participate in a 11-questions referendum called by President Daniel Noboa.


What Questions Should Ecuadorians Answer in Sunday Referendum?

From 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. local time, 4,322 polling stations will remain open to receive citizens, who will have to vote "Yes" or "No" to questions related to the participation of the Armed Forces in the fight against organized crime, the recognition of international arbitrations, and the establishment of temporary and hourly contracts.

External and Internal Crisis

This vote will be a turning point for President Noboa as his levels of public acceptance have notably declined. After five months in power, his administration faces multiple issues.

The referendum is being held amid an international diplomatic crisis caused by the assault on the Mexican Embassy to arrest former Vice President Jorge Glas. In the last two weeks, Ecuadorians have also experienced blackouts and power cuts lasting up to eight hours a day.

In the week before the referendum, criminal violence has intensified and gained public notoriety due to the murder of two mayors who were serving in rural areas where illegal mining is linked to international drug trafficking.

If the "Yes" option is the winner in the plebiscite, Noboa will be strengthened to run for re-election in next year's presidential elections. If the results are unfavorable, he will be politically weakened for the remainder of his term, which will end in May 2025.

The text reads, "How can the Daniel Noboa Azin administration call farmers 'terrorists'? In Palo Quemado, 70 farmers are criminalized for defending life. We say NO to Noboa's repressive and pro-mining administration."

Constitutional Reforms

If the population votes "YES" in the referendum, 5 out of 11 questions will imply changes to the 2008 Constitution approved during the presidential term of Rafael Correa (2007-2017). Changes proposed in the other questions will be processed through the National Assembly.

Most of the questions propose legal tools to strengthen the fight against organized crime. In the last seven years, right-wing governments have failed to control a wave of violence that has placed Ecuador among the Latin American countries with the highest homicide rates. In 2023, this Andean country registered 45 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.

The referendum proposes that the Armed Forces permanently support the Police in operations against organized crime. It also proposes that the military be responsible for controlling access to prisons, which have been dominated by gangs.

The text reads, "The inauguration ceremony of the 2024 referendum begins with the entry of President Daniel Noboa, State authorities and the flag of Ecuador."

Extradition of Criminals and Tougher Penalties

The referendum also proposes allowing the extradition of Ecuadorians wanted by authorities in other countries, increasing the years of sentence for crimes related to organized crime, and eliminating penitentiary benefits for various types of crimes.

Other questions propose making the possession of weapons exclusive to the Police and Armed Forces a crime, equipping Ecuadorian security forces with the weapons seized from criminals, expediting the process of expropriating assets of illicit origin, and establishing a system of constitutional courts.


Daniel Noboa
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