Tuesday, February 19th 2013 - 05:34 UTC

Correa pledges land distribution, media clamp but also mining law to attract investors

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, 49, vowed to press ahead with laws to control the media and redistribute land to the poor as he looks to deepen his revolution after a resounding Sunday re-election victory. Correa has already been in power six years and will add another four.

.The Ecuadorean president also expects a clear majority for his Alianza Pais in Congress

However Correa will have to balance his desire for a populist agenda with the need for pragmatic negotiations with foreign investors to raise Ecuador's oil production and spur the mining industry. And on Monday he focused on his reforms saying he'd push through legislation that has been blocked by opposition leaders in Congress.

“The first thing we'll do is to push through key laws that have been left to wither as a way of hurting Correa, but this has actually hurt the country,” Correa said in an interview with regional television network Telesur.

Those include a proposed land redistribution drive to give terrain deemed unproductive to poor peasants and setting up a showdown with large banana and flower producers. He also plans to create a state watchdog group to determine if media have published inappropriate content.

In addition, Ecuadoreans voted for a new Congress on Sunday and Correa said he expected his ruling Alianza Pais to win a majority. That would help speed his efforts to pass the proposed legislation.

But he is also expected to pass a new mining law that would ease investment terms as a way of helping close a deal with Canada's Kinross to develop a large gold reserve. That will be a major test of his ability to offer investment security while ensuring the state keeps a large portion of revenue.

The vice-president of Kinross in Ecuador, Dominic Channer, said that “good progress” had been made in the negotiations.

“Kinross ... understands that the government plans to send mining and tax reforms to the National Assembly. These reforms should provide improvements to investor security and an improved economic balance for mining projects” Channer told Reuters.

With almost three-fourths of votes counted by Monday afternoon Correa had 57% support compared with 23% for conservative candidate Guillermo Lasso. The election established Lasso, a former banker from the coastal city of Guayaquil, as the face of the opposition. Six other candidates trailed way behind.

31 comments Feed

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1 LEPRecon (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 05:50 am Report abuse
“Correa pledges to follow in Zimbabwae's footsteps!”

Is the correct headline here.

Rob hard working people of land and give it to your brainless supporters, who don't actually want to work for a living.

Stifle the 'free' media even more than they already are.

And somehow he has made everything about him, and is equating himself with the country. An attack on him is an attack on the county.

Will these dictators never learn? Or more importantly, will the people never learn that 'populist' politicians are just a bunch of selfish, self promoters, who care nothing about anyone or anything except themselves and lining their own pockets.
2 reality check (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 07:30 am Report abuse
I can just see all the foreigh investors lining up to hand him money to distribute among the poor.
3 Idlehands (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 07:33 am Report abuse
All these countries dedicated to the Bolivar revolution need to find investors from within because few others are going to buy into it. However I doubt any with the expertise and the cash actually exist.
4 agent999 (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 07:51 am Report abuse
I see Mr. J Assange, Correa's mate, is going to become an Australian senator.
5 Idlehands (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 08:00 am Report abuse
Assange is deluded if he believes his latest ploy will spare him extradition to Sweden. He doesn't seem to understand the world he operates in. Maybe he doesn't believe it himself and is just playing to his audience that will believe any old nonsense he comes out with.
6 agent999 (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 08:10 am Report abuse
I had thought he was lined up to run the new state watchdog group to determine if media have published inappropriate content.
7 ChrisR (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 10:15 am Report abuse
The voters deserve what they have coming.
8 ElaineB (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 10:26 am Report abuse
To pay back China's loans Ecuador is allowing China to destroy their forests with open pit mining. How much land will there be to distribute after so much has been sold off to foreign companies for gold mining?
9 rylang23 (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 10:59 am Report abuse
“Rob hard working people..... and give it to your brainless supporters, who don't actually want to work for a living.” - LEPR
“The voters deserve what they have coming.” - ChrisR

Sounds like you're talking about Obama or Cameron. O & C are just taking from and destroying the middle class and giving it to the 1%. For you Brits it's King John all over again! So, we'll see how you like it.

Actually, it looks like “All Trolls, All the Time” on MercoPress anymore.
10 reality check (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 02:07 pm Report abuse
King John all over again!

Well “us Brits” certainly remember what it was like living with him ruling the country. Just as if was yesterday.

When was that? after Wilson and before Thatcher?

Just trying to place him!
11 Conqueror (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 02:45 pm Report abuse
Interesting. “a proposed land redistribution drive to give terrain deemed unproductive to poor peasants and setting up a showdown with large banana and flower producers.” One wonders what “poor peasants” are going to do with “unproductive” land. And bananas and flowers represent 17.7% of the country's exports, so the producers of those products are a good group to upset!
12 jakesnake (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 02:55 pm Report abuse
The sad thing is that 99% of his supporters simply don't know any better. If you promise to give a lot of “free stuff” to people who have never had anything, and those people make up a majority of the population of the country, then you can win an election.

Unfortunately, the people as a whole will end up completely dependent on the government. Even if their GDP grows because of increased oil production and metals extraction, yes that would show a higher per-capita GDP. But, that won't translate into a higher standard of living because the average income and the amount of disposable income probably won't change because the crackpots in the government will be funding all of their entitlement programs that keep the masses dependent on the government. So, in the end you'll have a country that has destroyed its landscape, has an illiterate population dependent on the government, and then you have a long term disaster.
13 ChrisR (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 03:36 pm Report abuse
9 rylang23 I remember you, you twat:
@3 rylang23

“From now on that is how you will be perceived here. Nothing but a CIA troll. You will need to change you pseudonym now, but we will watch for you and call you out.” His laughable comment about me.

Oooohhhrrr! I am so frightened by you! Ha, ha, ha to the power googol (if you have ANY idea what that means).

I have the gist of you though, have you:

1) not read the article?;
2) OR (more likely) cannot understand the language of diplomacy?

Sep 18, 2010 ... 1 rylang23 (#) Sep 18th, 2010 : I will be moving to Uruguay very soon. And, I am so very proud to hear how President ...

As you have not moved to Uruguay DON’T, WE DON’T WANT YOU. Move to Chubut and be with your windy mate ‘I don’t Think’ because you clearly don’t think either.

Nothing chances with these idiots. Ha, ha, .
14 Tim (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 03:48 pm Report abuse
7 ChrisR (#) Highly likely the majority of voters can't read or write or are in the lowest bracket of education, so what can you expect from their balloting. What Correa doesn't seem to realize is that peasants are subsistence farmers and don't produce hence the comment from 1 LEPRecon (#)
15 Captain Poppy (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 05:41 pm Report abuse
Now.....let's see what constitutional changes take place in this term.....expanded presidential terms, expanded presidential powers, outlawing opposition to imcumbant officials? SOmething will change, the constitution is written in pencil for a reason.
16 reality check (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 05:54 pm Report abuse
Don't you just love satellite TV. Scrolling through the international news channels came upon a piece about this on the Russian RT channel.

There was the interview with resident American left winger, acussing the US and the West of trying to stifle up and coming democracies such as Correas Ecuador and Venezuala.

Democracies! do me a favour. What's Correas's first order of business? gagging the free press.

Where do they find these commentators?
17 Ayayay (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 06:08 pm Report abuse
Nothing wrong with an intention to gibe people a little piece of Earth that is honorably exchanged. After all, many upper middle class Americans get help with their.down payment or have trust funds.

There is SO much land in this world. You could fit the entire population of.Earth into Texas at the density.of zNew York City.
18 Captain Poppy (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 07:19 pm Report abuse
Ecuador and and Venezuela and democracy in the same sentence......now there's a stretch of the imagination.
19 Stevie (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 07:35 pm Report abuse
Funny thing you say that, while the whole world are in Venezuela as observers during elections, reassuring that everything is being done democratically, the same observers aren't allowed in some states in USA, one of the few countries where one can get elected President without achieving the majority of the votes.
20 screenname (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 07:35 pm Report abuse
How much money will this guy give CFK if chavez pops his clogs?
21 ElaineB (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 08:04 pm Report abuse
Venezuela funded Argentina to pay off their IMF loans. I think Chavez considered that he owned Argentina. What with that and the suitcase of readies to fund the K oligarchy. I am really not sure the next guy will have the same generous disposition towards Argentina. Chavez had this dream of creating a South American alternative to the IMF. It was an interesting idea that never got off the ground. Add to that the dire economic straights of both countries.
22 XAVIERV (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 08:17 pm Report abuse
Perhaps the government's “illegal” the islands could take this measure, soon. They do not want to know anything about the Argentines, that is why we are allowing to be colonized by the “Viet Cong” that one begins to get to the islands .. Jaajaja!
23 slattzzz (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 08:28 pm Report abuse
sussie is using my name minus a z so don't be fooled i have reported the said crack whore
24 reality check (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 08:28 pm Report abuse
I expect the poor man aked for directions to the Ecuadorian Embassy, after all their reputation as a champion of the oppressed is known throughout the civilised world.
25 MagnusMaster (#) Feb 19th, 2013 - 10:16 pm Report abuse
@12 Bingo! You understand Latin America better than people with several PhDs. What I don't understand is how what is today the first world didn't fall to populism back when the Industrial Revolution started. There was a more fair distribution of land than in Latin America but the people were far from rich, and not that educated. Populism would have definitely ruined them, but somehow nobody had that idea. Communism could have worked as a populist ideology but it arrived way too late.
26 ioroman (#) Feb 20th, 2013 - 02:29 am Report abuse
Hello unhappy bunch! Yes, Rafael Correa for four more year. And yes you may continue to believe and repeat whatever you hear about us. Correa will continue to select investment, yes a developing country that sets criteria for foreign investment might sound difficult for some of you to swallow. Please keep your favorite Australian immigrant, R. Murdock and yes, keep believing anything and/or everything you wish to believe of us. We have our standards and prefer Assange. Adios amigos.
27 reality check (#) Feb 20th, 2013 - 04:15 am Report abuse
Keep him, because when he shows his face outside the embassy, he's nicked.

Not to soon though, those bobbies would like a bit more double bubble for their mortgages, another 6 too 12 months, do very nicely. On behalf of the Metropolitan police Benevolant Fund, thank you very much!
28 bushpilot (#) Feb 20th, 2013 - 04:19 am Report abuse
“We have our standards and prefer Assange.”

29 reality check (#) Feb 20th, 2013 - 05:22 am Report abuse
Don't forget, according to Don Correa, what Assange is alleged to have done, is not a crime in Latin America.
30 Condorito (#) Feb 20th, 2013 - 03:15 pm Report abuse
Correa is a clever guy. He used Chavez's help to establish himself and through a reasonably successful administration and the high profile Assange case, he has consolidated his position - even become a hero to many of his people.

He knows that land reforms and encouraging foreign investment will often conflict, but if he can balance it, good on him and good for Ecuador. He should have the confidence not to clamp down on the press.

He doesn't need Chavez anymore.
31 ioroman (#) Feb 21st, 2013 - 01:27 am Report abuse
So many experts on Ecuador and Latin America, very impressive!! Perhaps one thing you don't know, Correa is just the president. We, the majority of Ecuadorians have elected him to do the job we believe he is best qualified. Ecuadorians had a diverse field to choose from presidential candidates: The richest (and dumbest) Ecuadorian, a tax evader; an ex-president, military thrown out of office (by the people) for incompetence and corruption; a banker tied to the worst financial crisis Ecuador has suffered; a homophobic evangelist pastor; a populist, populist, populist (or whatever you want to label him) and quite POPULAR Rafael Correa and three others. The choice was clear; and now he, the populist one has a huge majority in the Asamblea Nacional (perhaps 100 out of 137 seats). We'll do just fine.

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