|Birth Day:||April 6, 1963|
|Birth Place:||Guayaquil, Ecuador|
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He received a degree in economics from Belgium's Universite Catholique de Louvain and went on to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
In the October 2006 general election, Correa obtained second place (23%) behind banana tycoon Álvaro Noboa (27%). The situation led to a run-off election, in which Correa portrayed Noboa as an exploitative oligarch and Noboa portrayed Correa as a dangerous leftist with strong links to Venezuela. Correa won the subsequent November 2006 runoff election with 57% of the vote. Correa was the first leftist to assume the presidency since Ecuador's transition to representative democratic governance in 1979.
When attending UCSG, he was elected President of the Association of Students of Economy, Audit and Administration (AEAA) and, later on, President of the Federation of Students (FEUC) of the same education center, a position which in 1986 allowed him to preside over the Private Universities Students Federation of Ecuador (FEUPE in Spanish).
While living in Guayaquil, Correa was highly involved in the Boy Scout program. At the age of 17, his family faced financial hardship, but a family friend was able to pay for him to be educated at an elite local school, where he excelled. During his secondary studies he was president of the Lasallian Student Cultural Association ("ACEL" in Spanish). Correa then obtained a scholarship to study at the Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil (UCSG), a private higher education institution in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where he obtained an undergraduate degree in economics in 1987.
Following the conclusion of his studies at UCSG, Correa worked for a year in a mission at a kindergarten run by the Salesian order in Zumbahua, Cotopaxi Province, where he taught Catholicism and mathematics. It was here that he furthered his faith in Catholicism, and developed a working understanding of the Quechua language spoken by most of Ecuador's indigenous people. In Zumbahua he became aware of the widespread poverty that afflicted Ecuador's indigenous population. He then secured a scholarship to study economics further at UCLouvain in Belgium, where he met Anne Malherbe Gosselin, whom he married and had three children. He later received a Master of Arts in Economics from UCLouvain in June 1991.
Between 1992 and 1993, during the presidency of Sixto Durán Ballén, Correa was a director at the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC) in Ecuador, tasked with administrative oversight and supervision of improvement programs for the national educational system. The improvement programs were funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
Correa was able to afford a university education with the aid of funding grants. He would then continue his studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he earned a Master of Science in Economics in May 1999, and a PhD in Economics in October 2001. During graduate studies, he came under the particular influence of the laissez-faire critical economist Joseph Stiglitz. Correa's adviser at the University of Illinois was Werner Baer, who later commented that at the time Correa did not seem anti-capitalist but was concerned by uneven income distribution in society.
Correa has criticized the neoliberal policies of previous presidents, particularly former president Mahuad's adoption of the U.S. dollar as Ecuador's domestic currency in 2000 to combat the country's inflation. Correa has characterized American dollarisation as a "technical error" which has effectively eliminated Ecuador's ability to set its own currency and exchange policy. However, Correa has also acknowledged that it would be politically and economically impossible to abandon that policy now. After his election victory of 15 April 2007, he pledged to maintain dollarisation during the entire four years of his administration, though he also indicated his support for the idea of replacing the US dollar with a regional South American currency at some point in the future.
Correa argued for reforms to be made to a fund that had been established on the advice of the International Monetary Fund in 2002 to collect and distribute Ecuador's oil revenue. Correa believed that the fund unjustly allocated the wealth generated by the country's oil; 70% of it went to pay back foreign debt, while 20% was set aside to stabilize oil revenues and 10% was spent on health and education programs. Given that over half of Ecuador's population were deemed to be living in poverty, Correa convinced Congress that a greater share of the fund should be spent on social programs to alleviate the effects of poverty; as a result, the portion spent on debt repayment was reduced to 50% and that allocated to health and education was increased to 30%. The World Bank responded by cancelling its previously approved loan to Ecuador, with Palacio holding Correa responsible for this action.
In 2005, Correa was appointed to the position of Minister of Economy and Finance in the government of President Alfredo Palacio, having previously advised Palacio before his ascension to the presidency. As finance minister, Correa met with a number of Latin American presidents, including Brazil's Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Argentina's Nestor Kirchner, and Venezuela's Hugo Chávez. In this position, he also publicly criticized the United States, describing U.S. President George W. Bush as "dim witted", and stating that Chávez's comparison of Bush with the Devil was unfair to the latter. He therefore established himself as both a political maverick and a staunch critic of economic neoliberalism.
Infant mortality, from 24.4 per 1000 in 2005, declined to 18.3 in 2015. Between 2008 and 2016, new public hospitals have been built, the number of civil servants has increased significantly and salaries have been increased. In 2008, the government introduced universal and compulsory social security coverage. In 2015, corruption remains a problem. Overbilling is recorded in 20% of public establishments and in 80% of private establishments.
Correa decided to campaign for the presidency in the 2006 presidential election, although at the time he was a largely unknown figure among the Ecuadorean public. Employing Vinicio Alvarado as his campaign manager, Correa's campaign emphasised his personality as a macho family man of modest origins who was angry with the country's political elites. During his campaign, he described himself as the head of "a citizen's revolution" against the established political parties and corrupt elites, and depicted himself as the leader of a second independence movement devoted to freeing Ecuador from American imperialism. Touring the country aboard a motorized caravan attending political rallies, he emphasized this opposition using campaign songs such as Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It", as well as through the slogan "Se viene el correazo" ("Here comes a whipping"), a pun on the fact that "Correa" can be translated as whip.
However, the Alianza PAIS movement signed a political alliance with the Ecuadorian Socialist Party, which did present candidates for Congress. On 31 July 2006, Alianza PAIS also signed a Programmatic Political Agreement with the Communist Party of Ecuador when Correa was postulated for candidate for president. Other parties that joined Alianza PAIS coalition in a runoff election included Democratic People's Movement, Democratic Left, Pachakutik, and the Partido Roldista Ecuatoriano.
Correa also proposed strategies for reducing the burden of Ecuador's foreign debt service through compulsory debt restructuring. He indicated that his top priority would be spending on social programs rather than servicing Ecuador's debt. On foreign policy, Correa commented on Ecuador's relations with its neighbor Colombia. Correa stressed Ecuador's aversion to becoming involved in Colombia's domestic conflict. In October 2006, Correa added that he would "pursue and capture" FARC members if they enter Ecuador. He also declared that he condemned their kidnappings, violations of human rights and bombings. In addition to his platform on economic and social policy, Correa's ability to communicate with a large majority of Ecuador's indigenous population in their own language also differentiated him from other candidates. He learned Quichua in his youth during a year he spent volunteering in a remote highland town.
Rafael Correa was officially declared President on 4 December 2006 by the electoral court. He was sworn in on 15 January 2007 as the 56th President of Ecuador, the seventh to occupy the post since the legislature removed President Abdalá Bucaram 10 years earlier in the midst of a debt crisis that had devastated the country. His inauguration was attended by most regional leaders, as well as the Iranian president and the Spanish Crown Prince. Declaring that "Ecuador had voted for itself", Correa proclaimed that his election meant an end to neoliberalism in the country. Invoking the name of African-American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., he also spoke out against racial discrimination toward indigenous and Afro-Ecuadorians in his speech. During the ceremony he wore a shirt decorated with motifs from the prehistoric Jama Coaque culture.
The health budget was $561 million in 2006 and was increased to $1,774 million in 2012, which is 6.8% of the national budget.] The Ecuadorian government signed an agreement with the Cuban government to allow public company Enfarma to massively produce medicine at low cost. Working hours for doctors were increased to 40 hours/week and their salaries were also increased. Mobile hospitals have been implemented. Another program has been implemented in order to increase the rate of return of medics amongst Ecuadorian emigrants.
Correa ordered a plebiscite on the issue or whether or not Ecuador should establish a new constitution in April 2007; the proposal passed with over 80% of the vote. Elections to establish a Constituent Assembly were held in 2007 and were won by Correa's government with over 60% of the vote. The new constitution also increased the powers of the presidency by increasing the number of presidential decrees permitted.
Correa adopted a confrontational approach to both the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Correa's administration has suggested that the new government will not sign an agreement allowing the International Monetary Fund to monitor its economic plan. In February 2007, Correa's economy minister Ricardo Patiño stated: "I have no intention … of accepting what some governments in the past have accepted: that (the IMF) tell us what to do on economic policy." "That seems unacceptable to us," Patiño added. However, as a member of the IMF, the annual report known as the "Article IV" report will be submitted.
In May 2007, evidence surfaced that some of the Ecuadorian government rhetoric might have been part of an alleged market manipulation to benefit Ecuador from movements in the price of financial instruments linked to Ecuadorian Bonds. A fall in Ecuador bond prices, ignited by aggressive default rhetoric, would trigger a buyback by Ecuador, financed by Venezuelan banks. This strategy collapsed due to operations engaged by Venezuelan financial institutions who profited from the market swings. Correa referred to the allegations as a conspiracy from a powerful banker. On 26 July 2007, Rafael Correa replaced finance minister Patiño, due to Patiño's appearance in a video recording, apparently discussing the market manipulation. Patiño then assumed a newly created position responsible for the Pacific coast region and later assumed the Politics Affairs Ministry. In a radio address on 13 December, Correa said that he wanted to force a "big discount" on creditors, whom a day earlier he called "true monsters who won’t hesitate to crush the country". "I have lost sleep over this … this will cost us tears and sweat but I think we are doing the right thing." Correa, who endorses anti-debt NGO Jubilee 2000's slogan "life before debt", is popular among Ecuadorians for his stance against foreign investors.
In February 2007, Correa's plan to have a referendum on the convening of a constituent assembly was approved by Congress. The referendum took place on 15 April 2007. However, after this date was set, the "statutes" for the referendum were modified by Correa to allow more powers to the constituent assembly. One of these powers was the ability to dismiss Congress, a power which Congress never approved. The newer version of the referendum was approved by the majority of the seven-seat Electoral Tribunal. In early March, Congress, which was controlled by Correa's opposition, reacted by trying to impeach the President of the electoral tribunal. The electoral tribunal then removed from office the 57 members of Congress who tried to impeach the President of the Electoral Tribunal, on the grounds of attempting to intervene an electoral process. Correa backed the electoral tribunal (which approved his version of the referendum) while stating that the removal of the 57 congressmen was constitutional. The situation escalated to a feud between the opposition in Congress and the Executive and marches in the street against Congress and police intervention to prevent the Congressmen from entering the legislative building.
On 15 April 2007, Ecuadorians voted overwhelmingly (81.72% in favor) to support the election of a constituent assembly. On 30 September 2007, due to the extraordinarily large number of candidates and lists (26 national lists, 428 provincial lists, 44 emigrant lists) the 2007 Ecuadorian Constituent Assembly election was the most complex in Ecuador's history. As a result, in the national election, President Correa won backing for his plans to rewrite Ecuador's constitution and expand state control of the nation's economy. Correa's faction won approximately 61% of the seats in the National Assembly (80 of 130 Assembly Members).
The Ecuadorian Constituent Assembly first convened on 29 November 2007 in Montecristi, and was given six months to write a new constitution, with a possible two-month extension. When Ecuador began the process of writing a new constitution, they received help from the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund to draft environmental laws giving nature and ecosystems rights.
On 3 August 2007, Correa ordered the deportation of Sean O'Hearn-Gimenez, director of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, saying that he would not allow "gringuitos" (literally, "little gringos") to tell Ecuadorians what to do or to pursue local fishermen. However, a local newspaper noted that O'Hearn-Gimenez had signed a 5-year agreement with Ecuador's own Environmental Police rather than acting unilaterally (as a foreigner with no authority of his own), and was married to an Ecuadorian. The deportation was ordered because Sea Shepherd, in partnership with the Ecuadorian National Environmental Police, exposed and stopped the biggest shark-fin shipment in the port city of Manta. Correa later rescinded the extradition order because O'Hearn-Gimenez was married to an Ecuadorian woman. All the arrested fishermen were released, too, and the confiscated shark fins returned to them.
Ecuador's largest advocacy group for Indians, the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, planned a two-week march to Quito beginning on Thursday to protest Correa's land and water policies that they say were hurting their way of life. Correa condemned the action and accused them of being hypocrites for having allied with the extreme right, of seeking to exploit mining for themselves and of trying to destabilize his government, urging his followers to mobilize against them. The Indians were supported by the Popular Democratic Movement, a leftist party, the National Union of Educators and CONAIE, which supported Correa at the start of his administration in 2007 but soon moved to the opposition.
Between 2007 and 2014, poverty decreased from 36.7% to 22.5%. At the same time, inequalities, as measured by the Gini index, decreased from 0.55 to 0.47. Between 2006 and 2016, poverty decreased from 36.7% to 22.5% and annual per capita GDP growth was 1.5 percent (as compared to 0.6 percent over the prior two decades). At the same time, inequalities – as measured by the Gini index – decreased from 0.55 to 0.47.
On 10 May 2007, Correa filed a lawsuit against Francisco Vivanco Riofrío of the board of directors of the Quito-based La Hora newspaper, over an editorial published in the paper on 9 March. The editorial, titled "Official Vandalism", said that Correa intended to rule Ecuador "with turmoil, rocks and sticks". It described the president's behavior as "shameful." Correa's suit is based on Article 230 of the country's penal code that sets prison penalties of up to two years for contempt, expressed in "threats or libel that would offend the president."
Upon his election, Correa began a weekly Saturday radio show, "The President Talks to his People", in which he discussed the week's events and answered questions from journalists. In August 2007 he signed Ecuador to TeleSUR, the pan-Latin American media service. Correa decided to create Ecuador TV, the first state-owned channel in the country, with the announced intention of producing television with better quality standards than the private channels. Also, newspaper El Telegrafo was purchased and became state-owned. Radio Pública, El Ciudadano, ANDES and PP were also created under Correa's presidency and are administered by state agencies.
In May 2008, the Ecuadorian government renegotiated radio spectrum franchises for mobile phone operators Porta and Movistar for a total price of 700 million dollars, far more than that recommended by studies conducted under previous governments, which had proposed granting the same franchises for only 70 million dollars.
On 1 March 2008 at 00:25 local time (05:25 UTC), Colombia launched a military operation, 1.8 kilometers (1.1 mi) into Ecuador. According to Colombian authorities, the guerrillas responded militarily to this initial bombardment from a position in the vicinity of Santa Rosa de Yanamaru, on the Ecuadorian side of the border, killing a Colombian soldier, Carlos Hernández. A second bombardment was then carried out, resulting in the deaths of Raúl Reyes and at least 20 more FARC members. Two bodies, several documents and three laptops found in the guerrilla camp were returned to Colombia. This was the first time the Colombian military had killed a member of FARC's leadership council in combat. After this operation, the Colombian authorities increased its security measures nationwide, fearing FARC retaliation.
Correa withdrew his government's ambassador in Bogotá, Colombia, and ordered troops to the country's border following the 2008 Andean diplomatic crisis in early March 2008. On 3 March 2008, Colombia's police said that documents found in a camp in Ecuador where Colombian troops killed Raul Reyes, a top guerrilla boss, showed ties between the FARC rebels and Correa, including contacts about political proposals and local military commanders. Correa denied the accusations, calling them lies. Correa also said that a deal to release political prisoners – including former Colombian Sen. Ingrid Betancourt – was nearly complete before the 1 March 2008 Colombian raid into his country. On 5 March 2008, Correa and Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez met to discuss Colombia's attack and made a series of accusations against Colombia's government. During the meeting, Correa dismissed Colombia's president Álvaro Uribe as just a "puppet" while others are the "puppet masters". On 18 May 2011, Colombia's Supreme Court ruled documents found on computers of slain FARC commander "Raul Reyes" are inadmissible as evidence in court as the material is illegally obtained and provides no evidence.
A constitutional referendum was held in Ecuador on 28 September 2008 to ratify or reject the constitution drafted by the Ecuadorian Constituent Assembly elected in 2007. Partial results show that 64% of voters voted to approve the 2008 Constitution of Ecuador.
On 16 April 2009, Finance Minister Maria Elsa Viteri embarked on a trip to Europe in a mission to present Ecuador's offer to buy back global bonds 2012 and 2030 at 30% of their current value. In May 2009, Ecuador announced that it had successfully bought 91% of the bonds at a cost of 35 cents on the dollar.
Correa adopted a confrontational approach to the governments of both the United States and neighboring Colombia. At the time of his election, Ecuador contained Manta Air Base, the only U.S. military base in South America, with Correa refusing to renew the base's lease when it expired in 2009.
Correa was sworn into the Presidency on 10 August 2009, the same day as Ecuador's bicentennial. His speech took place in front of several South American dignitaries, such as the president of Argentina Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Bolivian President Evo Morales, Cuban President Raúl Castro, and Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. Correa used the opportunity to promise a continuation of his "socialist revolution", his plans to end poverty and to go on "stamping out the structural causes of poverty". He also said the actions of the media were opposing his government. He claims that the continuation of his "The Citizens' Revolution" policy is intended to ensure all citizens are equal.
In June 2009, CONARTEL (a radio and television regulating body) imposed fines on a television station, Teleamazonas. A third fine could lead to a temporary or permanent ban on this private television channel. In December 2009, the station was taken off the air by the Superintendent of Telecommunications [es], under a provisional suspension of 72 hours for purportedly "spreading false information."
Correa was a signatory to The UNASUR Constitutive Treaty of the Union of South American Nations on 15 July 2009. Ecuador has ratified the treaty. According to treaty, the UNASUR headquarters will be located in Ecuador.
On 10 August 2009 Correa hosted the Heads of Government of South America in Quito, as he took over the one year Pro Tempore Presidency of UNASUR. Correa announced on 3 April 2010 that he would propose to UNASUR the creation of a united front against transnationals like the US company Chevron, which he accused of attempting to destroy his country.
A debate to modify this and other reforms, especially the one which granted control of the Higher Education System by the government, was practically passed with consensus by the multi-partisan National Assembly on 4 August 2010 but vetoed by the president Rafael Correa, who wanted to keep the law strictly as it was originally redacted by his political party and SENPLADES (National Secretary of Planning and Development). Due to this change, there are many highly educated professionals and academicians under the old structure but estimated that only 87% of the faculty in public universities have already obtained a master's degree and fewer than 5% have PhD (although many of them have already Ecuadorian granted Doctorate degrees). In order to raise the number of Masters and PhDs the Government started a scholarship program to send Ecuadorians to study in the top ranking Universities around the world (around 8.500 scholarships until 2013) and around 820 more have been approved for 2014.
On 30 September 2010, the National Police went on strike over the passage of a bill that would end the practice of giving medals and bonuses with each promotion. In what was called an attempted coup d'état, protests included road blockades, storming the National Assembly and state-run television station, and the military seizure of the Mariscal Sucre International Airport in Quito. President Correa went to debate with the rebellious police, but he was unsuccessful and instead challenged them to kill him, saying, "I'm not taking one step back. Gentlemen, if you want to kill the president, here he is, kill him if you have the guts." At this point none of the policemen dared to shoot him, so instead they decided to attack him and take him hostage. While held in the hospital inside the police headquarters, Correa declared a national state of emergency. That night, an elite army unit rescued him from the hospital amid violent clashes between the police and the army. The Army then took him to Carondelet Palace, where he announced he would not pardon those responsible. Throughout Ecuador, eight people were killed and 274 wounded in the unrest.
During Friday's summit, leaders also approved a democratic charter that would serve as a guide for the 12-nation bloc if any of them faced an attempted coup. The charter would have been an effective tool during Ecuador's revolt, Correa said. On 29 November 2010, UNASUR's presidency passed from Ecuador to Guyana.
As of 16 February 2012, the National Court of Justice (Ecuador's highest court) confirmed the lower court's award of $40 million in damages, as well as the three-year prison sentences against a journalist and three executives of the newspaper. The case related to unrest in September 2010, described by Mr Correa as an attempted coup, which saw him trapped inside a hospital for several hours by police officers. In an opinion article from February 2011 which appeared in El Universo, Emilio Palacio alleged that the president had ordered soldiers to fire on the hospital, which was full of civilians.
In 2010 and 2011, Ecuador received Chinese credits for around US$5 billion. One of this financing model's projects is the hydroelectric Coca Codo Sinclair that the Asian giant builds and it finances with something more than US$2 billion.
In April 2010, Correa received the 2009 Madhuri and Jagdish N. Sheth International Alumni Award for Exceptional Achievement from the University of llinois. Correa, who earned a doctorate in Economics at the university in 2001, was recognized for his commitment to public service and his leadership in implementing economic development and political reforms in Ecuador. Later that month Matt Lloyd, a University of Illinois graduate who became a US State Department employee, wrote an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune criticizing the university for making the award to Correa. He wrote that "Correa is a dictator who idolizes Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. In fact, he has been quoted as saying he preferred 'a thousand times' to be a friend of Fidel Castro and Chavez than be an ally of the United States". He also wrote that "Correa is allied with FARC, designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department. FARC has been known to kidnap and kill Americans". The University received further criticism in a July 2019 article in the Chambana Sun for not taking back the award in the intervening period.
Also, in April 2010 he received the Prize for Exceptional Academic Achievement 2009 of the University of Illinois. On 3 December 2010, the UBA Cultural Center of Buenos Aires gave him the Faces and Masks Democracy Prize.
The Washington Post reported in July 2011 that, according to a report for the National Endowment for Democracy, the government had controlled one radio station when Mr. Correa became president in 2007, but that by the time of the report it owned five television channels, four radio stations, two newspapers and four magazines.
Correa announced a constitutional referendum, which took place on 7 May 2011. The Ecuadorian people were asked to vote on ten questions, including a reform of the judiciary. Despite opposition members denouncing what they call a "power grab" on behalf of Correa's government. Although an Exit poll driven by the "Santiago Perez" pollster showed that the 10 questions won with the 62% of the votes, as the count continued the "yes" lost presence even going as far as slightly losing to the "no" for a short period of time in questions 4 and 9. Correa pledged that the data had been manipulated by counting first the votes from the provinces where the "no" have won to create the "sensation of fraud" and he predicted that the "yes" will win with at least 250.000 votes on all 10 questions. At the end the "yes" won all 10 questions but only the first question got more than the 50% of the votes. This was the eight election to pass during Correa's term in office.
Correa established the National Interagency Strategy for Family Planning and the Prevention of Teen Pregnancies (ENIPLA) in 2011. It had an annual budget of $2 million and focused on preventive doctor visits and family planning, including access to the morning-after pill. In the four years since ENIPLA was established pregnancies amongst women between the ages of 11 and 14 decreased by 18 percent. At the end of 2014 Correa replaced ENIPLA with Plan Familia (a family-based abstinence only program). One study found that this shift led to an increase in teenage pregnancy in Ecuador.
Following wide condemnation of the sentences in the El Universo case, Correa announced on 27 February 2012 that he would pardon the four individuals involved, also reminding that from the very beginning he asked for a rectification by the newspaper or an apology, both which the newspaper refused, instead claiming this was censorship, including asking Correa what he wanted them to publish. Despite the subsequent pardons, "the lawsuit had," according to Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, "a powerful chilling effect on the press."
In 2012, China loaned Ecuador 240 million dollars for the purpose of overhauling the Ecuadorian security system. This system comprises 4,300 new surveillance cameras, drones, automated evidence processing systems, and increased manpower to manage each of these new technologies, which have been collectively dubbed the ECU 911 Integrated Security Service. Much of this new hardware has been developed in Ecuador, but in laboratories designed and set up by China National Electronics Import and Export Corporation (CEIEC), which is a state-owned company and a subsidiary of national defence contractor China Electronics Corporation (CEC). The CEC has also undertaken similar surveillance overhauls in Venezuela and Bolivia, and has also introduced technology to monitor the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil. The Ecuadorian government has highlighted the benefits of this extensive security system, which has been installed across the nation's 24 provinces. They argue that it has been able to decrease the response time for everyday emergencies such as life-threatening illness, and have cited the system as a large factor in the dramatic drop in crime in Ecuador since its installation. Some individuals have expressed concern about the nature and the pervasiveness of these technologies, however, and how they may be used to create an Ecuadorian police state.
According to the Cedatos, Correa began his presidency with a 73 percent approval rating. An opinion poll carried out by Profiles of Opinion in the cities of Quito and Guayaquil, in March 2012 indicates that 80.5% of those interviewed categorize President Correa's administration as positive. According to the Mitofsky of April 2012, as regards the "approval of leaders in America and the world", President Correa possesses an excellent evaluation. His popularity even increased from 75% to 81% from August 2011 to January 2012. According to the Mitofsky of April 2013, as regards the "approval of leaders in America and the world", President Correa possessed a positive evaluation of 90%. However, his public image in Ecuador was heavily deteriorated after several controversial regulations during his latest years as president. Approval ratings for Rafael Correa slipped from 60% in January 2015 to 45% in July 2015.
In 2013 Ecuador announced that it would auction more than three million hectares of Amazonian rainforest in the Yasuni Nature Reserve to Chinese oil companies. The indigenous people inhabiting the land protested the deal. They claim that the oil projects would threaten their traditional way of life and devastate the area's environment. Ecuador's Shuar people's women's leader, Narcisa Mashienta, said that the government lied when claiming that the people would have given their consent.
In August 2013, Correa abandoned the initiative and approved oil drilling, blaming lack of support from the international community for the decision.
General elections were held in Ecuador on 17 February 2013 to elect the President, the National Assembly, Provincial Assemblies and members of the Andean Parliament. Correa was reelected president, winning by a large margin in the first round of the presidential election. According to the quick count released by Participación Ciudadana, the Alianza PAIS movement (AP) reached two-thirds of the new National Assembly. The results gave the movement 100 of the 137 seats contested in the polls. Correa's closest electoral rival, Guillermo Lasso (with 11 of the 137 seats in the new National Assembly), conceded shortly after the election concluded.
In June 2013, US Senator Robert Menendez, chairman of the foreign relations panel, warned Ecuador that accepting PRISM leaker Edward Snowden "would severely jeopardize" preferential trade access the United States provides to Ecuador. "Our government will not reward countries for bad behavior."
On 23 May 2013, Correa reiterated his opposition to same-sex marriage.
In 2014, Correa opened the $65 million UNASUR headquarters in Quito.
In 2014, the law is amended to allow same-sex unions to benefit from legal recognition.
In 2014, crude oil prices (main export of the country) began moving downward, from $111 dollars per barrel in June 2014, down to $50 dollars per barrel in March 2015, which quickly deteriorated the balance sheet of the government. With such low prices, negative speculation around the economy grew, and the high spending of the government was no longer sustainable, Correa proposed raising taxes, most notably an increase of up to 75% in capital gain (Ley de Plusvalia), and a tax on inheritances from 2.5% up to 77.5% (the highest for inheritances of over $849,600 dollars). This led to the 2015 Ecuadorian protests around Quito. The PanAm Post reported the protesters were chanting "fuera Correa, fuera” (get out Correa, get out)".
Correa has also revealed the real identities of a number of his social media-based critics which has led to the individuals concerned being harassed. On May 1, 2015, Correa stopped his motorcade in downtown Quito to berate 17-year-old teenager Luis Carrera, after he spotted Carrera gave the middle finger gesture at Correa. Carrera was later sentenced to 20 hours of community service.
On 3 July 2018, a judge in Ecuador ordered the arrest of Correa after he failed to appear in court during a trial surrounding the kidnapping of his political opponent Fernando Balda. Correa, who lived in Belgium at the time, denied the allegations regarding the kidnapping.
Since 2018, Correa has hosted the weekly political talk show, Conversation with Correa, on RT Spanish.
On 18 June 2018, Ecuador's highest court ordered the former President be included in an investigation into a 2012 botched kidnapping of opposition lawmaker Fernando Balda. After Correa ignored judicial orders and did not assist with the investigation, an Ecuadorian judge ordered for his arrest on 3 July 2018. The judge alerted Interpol because Correa was living in Belgium at the time with his wife, who was a Belgian native. Correa denied the allegations surrounding the kidnapping. In July 2018 Interpol rejected an Ecuador-issued arrest warrant and called it "obviously a political matter."
Correa maintained his support for Australian activist Julian Assange throughout his post-presidential life. On April 11, 2019, the Ecuadorian government withdrew Assange's asylum and invited Scotland Yard into its embassy to arrest Assange. In response Correa called Moreno a traitor and said “Moreno is a corrupt man, but what he has done is a crime that humanity will never forget". Correa's Facebook account, which had more than 1.5 million followers, was blocked on 11 April 2019 for disclosing personal data. Correa had been using his Facebook account since March to publish details of the "INA Papers" case involving a company linked to Lenin Moreno's family.
Correa's trial in absentia, on charges of bribery, began on February 10, 2020.
Currently, Rafael Correa is 58 years, 3 months and 22 days old. Rafael Correa will celebrate 59th birthday on a Wednesday 6th of April 2022.
Find out about Rafael Correa birthday activities in timeline view here.