Ecuador Recent History

In 1944 the governing parties, each for their own account, designated the future peesident which, after revolutions and counter-revolutions, was JM Velasco Ibarra. The new assembly did not repudiate the agreement but did not praise it; abolished the law prohibiting entry to the Chinese; he established relations with the Soviet Union, but the president did not completely agree and called for new elections; Velasco was confirmed until 1948.

In the meantime a friendship treaty had been signed with China, a commercial agreement with Argentina for the exchange of rubber, oils and balsa wood against wheat, cattle and hides. In addition, the United States had vacated some occupied bases during the war.

According to Abbreviationfinder, an acronym site which also features history of Ecuador, it therefore seemed that Velasco’s position was solid, instead on 23 August 1947, the then Minister of War, Colonel Moreno, with a coup d’etat formed a new government. The counter-revolution that broke out in the north brought things back to their origins, but since Velasco had fled to Argentina, Juan Carlos Arosemena was considered temporarily lapsed and until the completion of the legislature, but was replaced by the final president, the senator Galo Plaza Lasso.

He held one of the most democratic governments that Ecuador had over time; enhanced agriculture by curbing excess industrialization so as not to run the risk of creating imbalances; he developed the exploitation of mines, improved education, public finances and communications. In February 1952 he signed a military assistance pact with the United States.

In July of that same year, Josè Maria Velasco Ibarra was elected after returning from Argentina, who continued the policy of his predecessor. In 1953 he joined the economic union with Argentina, Chile, Paraguay. In 1955, the border issue was exacerbated with Peru, which was then composed by the OAS.

In 1956 with regular elections the conservative Camilo Ponce Enriquez was president who immediately strengthened relations with the United States from which he had large loans for the development of the country’s economy. It was 1958 and in that year Ecuador was admitted to the International Nuclear Energy Agency.

In 1960 Velasco Ibarra was re-elected for the fourth time. Returning to power, he first declared the pact signed with Peru in 1942 null and void: he promised lands, houses and high wages; the pro-Castro Castro M. Araujo Hidalgo was appointed Minister of the Interior; he sent CJArosemena as Vice-President to Moscow to meet with Soviet leaders. Then, instead of keeping the promises made, he imposed tax increases especially on the lower classes of the population. There were student riots, discontent and unrest everywhere. Velasco was forced to resign and Arosemena, initially arrested, was then installed as president.

Ecuador Recent History

Arosemena immediately declared that he would further tighten relations with the castrìsti, the Soviets and the North Americans; this provoked the distrust of the other Latin American Republics and then, after a few months, the president changed dispositions, broke
relations with Cuba and strengthened those with the United States. However, since he was very addicted to alcohol, because of this vice he was forced to abandon power, which was taken on in 1963 by a military junta, formed by the commanders of the three weapons.
The new regime did its best to govern the country but did not meet the popular favor and there were serious demonstrations by the students which caused the closure of the University of Quito (January 1964).

In September 1964 De Gaulle visited Quito. On that occasion he assigned the “Legion of Honor” to four members of the Executive. Immediately there was a singular diplomatic incident because, having learned that other Latin American heads of state had had a higher degree of the same honor, the members awarded the “Legion of Honor” were deemed offended and returned.
The Junta, then lost control of the situation in the country, was overthrown in 1966 and the wealthy landowner C. Yerovi Indaburu took over temporarily.

In 1968 once again Velasco Ibarra became president who, after having openly declared that he was not in the attempt to restore relations with Cuba and with the countries of Eastern Europe, also found the system of worsening relations with the United States since in 1969 had six US fishing boats seized and caught fishing within 200Km of the Ecuadorian coast.
In the 1970 legislative elections Velasco Ibarra was placed in a minority but the military forced him to assume full powers and dissolve the chambers. This coup had been prepared by the Minister of Defense, J.Acosta Velasco, grandson of the president, who also had Manuel Aguirre, rector of the University of Quito arrested, accused of supporting student rebellions.
The armed forces, suspecting that Acosta Velasco wanted to seize power, forced him to leave, freed the officers who had participated in the previous insurrection and formed another Military Junta that deposed Velasco Ibarra, who once again had to repair in Argentina.

The new government, chaired by General Guillermo Rodriguez Lara, promised a social policy; in 1972 he inaugurated the transandine oil pipeline; he was admitted to OPEC as 12 Member in the World Oil Producers Organization, held in Vienna on June 28, 1973.
On September 1, 1975 a coup organized by General Raul Gonzales Alvear failed to oust General Rodriguez Lara.
But in January 1976 his regime ended and a new military junta took office, which first implemented a certain repression against the strikes but then worked to bring the country back to civilian rule.
In January 1978 a new constitution was proclaimed (one-chamber congress, illiterate vote, president with greater powers but not re-eligible) and in April 1979 J. Roldos Aguilera, a progressive, was elected, who did not have an easy life due to contrasts arose between the old populist party and the new parties of the “democratic left” and the Catholics.

At the beginning of 1981, a blitzkrieg was fought between Peru and Ecuador over the usual border issue, which could have been a launching pad for Roldos Aguilera if he had not perished three months later in a plane crash.

He was succeeded by the Christian Democrat Vice-President Hurtado who, however, was unable to govern, given the serious economic crisis in which the country had fallen after a sharp drop in oil prices. Strikes and demonstrations aggravated the situation.

The 1984 elections saw the right-wing candidate L. Febres Cordero win. He tried to overcome the crisis by entering “real prices” for food, imposing wage restrictions, reducing the role of the state in the economy, facilitating privileges to foreign capital. All this worked against the people who set up strikes and unrest. In 1987 the highest data on malnutrition, unemployment and underemployment were reached.
The system of government of Febres Cordero generated right-wing paramilitary bands and left-wing guerrillas. In the 1988 elections the right was defeated and R.Borja, of the democratic left, won over A.Bucaram, populist and former mayor of Guayaquil.

Borja set out to revive the economy with greater industrialization and income redistribution. But in practice the situation remained very difficult; restrictive measures were needed that promoted other unrest. The armed groups of the far right and the intrusion into Ecuador of Colombian drug traffickers, persecuted by their country’s drug laws, contributed to everything.
In June 1990 a large right-wing majority was formed in Congress, but nothing against Borja was possible.

Still a serious problem persisted in Ecuador and was that of the very slow integration of the Indians, and moreover the natives claimed their rights on the lands and asked for compensation for the damages suffered as a result of the environmental deteriorations caused by the oil companies. And for this reason insurrections occurred in some Andean provinces, but without success. In 1991, however, an important agreement was reached with the countries of the Andean Pact (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela) which in 1992 created a free trade area and adopted a common tariff policy towards the rest of the world.

The general elections of 1992 saw the strengthening of the conservative majority and the insertion into power of S. Duran Ballen, head of a splinter fraction of the conservative party: a split that gave birth to the “Republican Unity Party”.

He continued with the austerity measures promoted by his predecessors and tried to accelerate all reforms for the recovery of the economy. But he found considerable resistance in many sectors, including the military one which had its hands in the hands of many public enterprises, especially in the oil field, communications and electricity.

The legislative elections of May 1994 decreed a significant loss of the Ballen party and, on the other hand, a strong increase in the “Christian Social Party”, followed by the Democratic Left. In the following June, a right for agricultural development was proposed by the right-wing organizations, which benefited mainly landowners and large producers. This proposal found many opponents in the natives and Indians, towards those articles that threatened the collective ownership of the land. Furthermore, many scandals for the corruption of government elements also weakened the power of the president who, having arisen in the meantime of the problems with Peru, on an old topic of borders, tried through the spring of patriotism to silence the other negative tasks.

The difficulties with Peru resulted in a real war for the possession of the Cordorera del Condor; this war ended in March 1995 with the mediation of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and the United States. In October of the same year, Vice-President A. Dahik had to resign because he was guilty of corruption for having paid some elements of the opposition with public money that would have had to support government reforms.


The Christian Social Party won the legislative elections in May 1996. At the same time, the presidential elections were also held. Since, however, no candidate had obtained an absolute majority, the ballot had to be reached in July 1996, in which A. Bucaram Ortiz, leader of the “Ecuadorian Roldosist Party”, affirmed himself. He had conducted a strange election campaign, declaring that he wanted to form a “government of the poor”. And when, after the victory, the time had come to put his plans into practice, he instead continued with the neoliberal economic policy that had characterized the previous government. He too was then involved, together with his government, in a series of scandals and a strong constitutional crisis ensued.

In February 1997 Bucaram Ortiz was released from office and replaced by President of Congress F. Alarçon of the “Alfarist Radical Front”. His provisional appointment, which was to last 18 months, was then confirmed by a popular referendum of May 1997, with which a Commission was also appointed for the re-elaboration of the Constitution.

The Social Christian Party had the majority at the Constituent Assembly of November 1997 and in May 1998 other consultations took place both for the election of the president and for the renewal of the Parliament. The “Popular Democracy” had the majority but for the presidential elections no candidate obtained the majority in the first round. In the following July, the ballot won by the Christian Democrat J. Mahuad Witt, former mayor of Quito.

Floods that occurred in 1998 had brought the country into a serious economic crisis which throughout 1999, also due to the simultaneous worldwide drop in the price of oil, led to huge strikes and very strong tensions in March.