When Rafael Correa assumed the presidency of Ecuador in January of 2007 it was still impossible to glimpse what the future of that country would be like. The former Minister of Economy and Finance of the government of President Alfredo Palacios (2005-2007) came to power at the head of the Country Alliance Movement and supported the ideas expressed by the Bolivarian Revolution.
Ten years after the arrival of Correa, Ecuador has achieved important gains in terms of social and economic benefits, being the country with the highest quality of life in Latin America. In opposition to neoliberal and conspiratorial policies, Ecuador has overcome an attempt of a coup d'etat and invested more than 85 billion dollars in social benefit.
The Citizen's Revolution that Correa began with his mandate, stabilized the country after decades of political instability, the product of the neoliberal measures established in the 90s. Such were the events that three Ecuadorian presidents succeeded in only ten years: Abdalá Bucaram, (February 1997), Jamil Mahuad (January 2000), and Lucio Gutiérrez (April 2005)
Constitutional reforms, in this period, focused on promoting social guarantees for all citizens. Of 190 laws approved, 27% were in development models, 24% in reorganization of power and recognition of citizen participation, 18% in Buen Vivir rights, another 18% for the recovery of state powers and new territorial organization, 12% in State and 1% in other interests according to the last report of the National Secretariat of Planning and Development. This showed that the country was among those of greatest achievements in the social sectors.
The percentage of people classified as poor by their economic income is now 23.3% when it was 36.7% upon the arrival of the Country Alliance Movement to power. This indicates that more than one million Ecuadorians overcame extreme poverty.
The economic growth of the South American nation registered an average of 3.9% in the last decade, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC), with the social sector being one of the main beneficiaries, as the gap between those receiving more and less income thus reducing inequality.
For its part, the net enrolment rate in education rose to 96% in eight years, adding some 875,000 students to existing enrolments. Between 2007 and 2015 the enrolment of the poorest population increased from 89% to 95.4%. At the same time, the South American country became the largest investor in Higher Education, allocating 2% of its Gross Domestic Product to that branch.
In Latin America, Ecuador achieved the lowest rate of unemployment with 4.3% of the population, below Peru, Argentina and Chile, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses.
With an investment of 13.5 billion dollars in health in the last 9 years, the country has 21 new hospitals, more than 20,000 medical professionals, 1,200 of them were Ecuadorians who had emigrated abroad.
Undoubtedly, the social achievements of the Citizen Revolution will be a strong endorsement in the presidential elections "Ecuador 2017".
Translated by ESTI