With nine of the eleven questions posed in the referendum on Sunday, April 22, the president of Ecuador, Daniel Noboa, obtained the extradition of compatriots and tougher sentences against organized crime, according to a quick count by the National Electoral Council (CNE). .

The Yes vote was supported by 60% to 73% of valid votes. The No prevailed in the questions on the reestablishment of hourly work (69%) and the recognition of international arbitration to resolve commercial disputes (65%), the head of the CNE, Diana Atamaint, informed the press.

Previous polls and an exit poll had anticipated the majority victory of the Yes.

Noboa expressed that Ecuador now has “more tools to fight crime.”

Of the five proposals in the referendum and six in the popular consultation, a good part aimed to give a greater role to the Armed Forces in the fight against drug trafficking, which has turned the nation into a strategic center of its operations and unleashed a wave of violence. .

What was voted in the referendum?

1. That complementary support from the Armed Forces to the Police be allowed to combat organized crime (Yes 73%).
Currently, the Constitution establishes that the military is in charge of defending sovereignty, while maintaining public order is the responsibility of the police.

2. Allow extradition (Yes 65%).
The Constitution determines that in no case will the extradition of Ecuadorian citizens be granted. The proposed constitutional amendment refers to crimes of terrorism and crimes against humanity, with the condition that the death penalty is not applied in the country of destination.

3. Establish specialized judiciaries in constitutional matters (Yes 60%).
The specialized judges, who if the measure is approved will be installed throughout the country, will rule exclusively in their own jurisdictions. In Ecuador there have been cases in which politicians and criminals have benefited from protection measures issued by magistrates from places that do not correspond to the processes.

4. Recognize international arbitration to resolve investment and commercial disputes (No 65%).
During the government of former socialist president Rafael Correa (2007-2017), Ecuador terminated bilateral investment treaties and withdrew from arbitration organizations such as ICSID.

5. Establish a fixed-term and hourly employment contract (No 69%).
The Correa administration eliminated hourly work, considering that it made working conditions precarious. Noboa’s initiative to promote employment is rejected by union and indigenous sectors.


6. That the Armed Forces carry out weapons controls at the entrances to prisons (Yes 71%).
The prisons, where the authorities have found weapons more sophisticated than those of the public force itself, have been scenes of bloody massacres among prisoners who are members of drug gangs that are vying for power.

7. Increase in penalties for 10 crimes such as terrorism, drug trafficking and hitmen (Yes 68%).
Noboa, in the war against drug trafficking, declared about twenty gangs “terrorists.” That crime is now punishable by up to 13 years in prison.

8. Elimination of sentence reductions for those convicted of crimes such as terrorism (Yes 68%).

9. That the public force can immediately use the seized weapons (Yes 65%).

10. Classify the crime of possession or carrying of weapons for the exclusive use of the military and police (Yes 65%).

11. Simplify the procedure of the Asset Forfeiture law so that the State becomes the owner of the seized assets of illicit or unjustified origin (Yes 62%).

The constitutional amendments will come into effect as soon as the results are published in the Official Registry (Diario).

In the case of the popular consultation, the approved proposals will be processed by the unicameral National Assembly (Congress), in which the opposition is the majority, but is dispersed.

Prison director murdered

The day was marked by the murder of Damián Parrales, director of the prison on the coastal Portoviejo (southwest). The official, who had taken office five days ago, was shot while having lunch with his family in a restaurant from the nearby town of Jipijapa, according to the media.

At the end of the day, the Armed Forces reported a riot that left four prisoners injured in a penitentiary in the also coastal Quevedo (southwest).

Source: https://www.noticiascaracol.com/mundo/nueve-de-once-puntos-de-referendo-en-ecuador-fueron-aprobados-por-los-ciudadanos-cb20

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