Continuing the Revolutionary Road Towards a Better Life in Ecuador

We the undersigned support the process of improvement of the living conditions of the historically excluded majority that has taken place in the last decade in Ecuador. We are aware that on that long journey there were many things that were not accomplished and there are some dynamics that need to be corrected but we strongly believe that the process of social transformation that started on the basis of the 2008 Constitution must continue. The presidential and legislative elections which will be held February 19 are not just one more election. It is an important stage of the struggle and progressive forces need to defeat those who are now announcing the end of the cycle of governments of change in Latin American and who are attempting to reverse the achievements of the policies of dignity as in Brazil or Argentina.

The Ecuadorian people have stood up after a long period of subordination to their financial institutions, the big large corporations, the imperialist policies and the corrupt Governments that plunged them into poverty, inequality through the permanent robbery of national wealth and the lack of sovereignty. The past decade has been one of social transformation by establishing a recovery of the homeland and its dignity, under the philosophy of the Good Living.

The achievements of the “Citizen Revolution” in favor of the wellbeing of the social majority of the Ecuadorians are undeniable:

-Between 2006 and 2016 approximately 1.5 million of people are no longer poor and the extreme poverty was reduced to half (approximately 900,000 people are no longer poor). Multidimensional poverty between 2009 and 2016 dropped from 27.2 to 16.9. This reduction happened through public policies that guarantee the right to employment, education, social safety, access to water, dignified housing, etc.

-Between 2006 and 2016, the difference between the income of the richest 10% of the population and the poorest 10% fell from 36.4 times to 24.3. In the past two years of economic crisis the richest sector has been the only ones who have felt a decrease in its percentage of revenue. Between 2007 and 2014, Ecuador reduced inequality, according to the Gini index by 8 points, while in the whole of Latin America was only reduced by 3 points.

-Between 2007 and 2015 the economically active population has grown by more than 1.5 million people, the rate of informal employment has fallen by 17 points and currently unemployment stays at 5.2%, the lowest in Latin America. The enrollment into social security has increased by 20 points, in 2006, there were 1.5 million people affiliated with the Social Security Ecuadorian Institute (IESS) while in 2015 this figure rose to 3.5 million members.

-In this decade the gender gap in low-income labor has decreased by 10 points. In addition, between 2012 and 2016 the gap of elderly who received pensions was reduced by 5%.

-The monthly family home income covered 65.9% of the basic needs in 2006. In 2016 this coverage reached 97.5%. In the course of a decade the standard of living has increased in two years. In the same period the number of people receiving non-contributory pensions (elderly and disabled) has doubled.

-Illiteracy was reduced from 8.6% in 2006 to 5.7% in 2016. The average number of years of schooling has increased by 1.2% and this increase was more significant in rural areas. The net rate of registration in high school went from 48.4% in 2006 to 71.5% in 2016; the indigenous population doubled its net rate of high school enrolment.

-In 2016, thanks to the policies of equal access to higher education, 7 of every 10 students were the first generation of their family to attend the university level. Between 2006-2014 the enrolment in College has increased by 260,000 students (a growth of 59%).

-Between 2006 and 2015 the number of doctors per 10,000 inhabitants doubled, going from 9 to 18. The number of visits to care facilities of the Ministry of Public Health went from 16 million a year in 2006 to 41 million in 2016.

-Access to drinking water increased from 69% of households in 2006 to 83.6% in 2016. And sewerage went from 52.6% in 2006 to 64.7% per cent in 2016.

– Social expenditure was prioritized over the payment of the debt. December 2015, “social investment” was $9,696,000, while the payment of external debt was $2,743,000 million. In other words, the social investment is 3.5 times higher.

In the international arena, Ecuador today has its own voice in the global arena and has helped drive the processes of regional integration in organizations like UNASUR, ALBA and CELAC, and is currently presiding over the G77. Ecuador has developed counter-hegemonic policies to fight against the transnational Chevron-Texaco, responsible for the greatest environmental disasters in history; Ecuador introduced a binding instrument on human rights against transnationals in the UN Council of Human Rights; it granted diplomatic asylum to Julián Assange in 2012; and introduced the creation of an Environmental Criminal Court; fought for fiscal justice and against tax havens and pushed for an international system of arbitration for the resolution of disputes in the field of investment and bilateral treaties of investment (TBI).

We are aware that along with all these achievements the project hast not been free of contradictions and that certain decisions have eroded the support of social organizations that were part of the great constituent process of Montecristi. No doubt about it that in this long and complex road many of the developed policies are perfectible and must be improved. However, we believe that Ecuador has challenged neo-liberalism and neo-colonial policies by reversing the material and symbolic conditions imposed by the Washington consensus and has implemented social policies of inclusion and the democratization of rights for all moving towards the Good Living.

That is why the signers below support the continuity and necessary deepening of the process of change in Ecuador.

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