Ecuador referendum on crime

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Street scene in Quito, Ecuador
Reiseuhu (Unsplash)
On Sunday, Novermber 21, Ecuadorians will in a referendum on measures to tighten security, fight organised crime and reform the constitution.

Members of the media may directly contact:

Marie-Christine Doran (English, French and Spanish)

Full Professor, School of Political Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences and Director, Observatory on Violence, Criminalization and Democracy.

[email protected]

Professor Doran's research focuses on South America including democracy and governance, violence, justice and human rights and political legitimacy.

"Faced with an unexpected drug-related violence crisis in Ecuador, this once peaceful country and many others in the region, such as Argentina, Peru and Honduras, are tempted to follow the lead of President Nayib Bukele in El Salvador, who imprisoned over 75,000 people to curb the gang violence. 

"Ecuador will hold a historic referendum on April 21 to amend its constitution and follow the Salvadorean security model. However, there is considerable concern about the consequences of this referendum, as El Salvador is currently subject to sanctions by the United States, and the “Bukele model” is not as miraculous as some would  assume, with high levels of corruption and major impacts on democracy, such as the imposition of 10 to 15-year prison sentences for journalists who criticize the work of the police or the army, opening the door to an authoritarian shift in the region."