Monday, February 27, 2012

El Rey Rafael

Rafael Correa announced he would pardon the owners of El Universo and the authors of the book El Gran Hermano. He did not do it for himself, but for the people. He was not abusing power, but just protecting human rights. A grand victory, etc., etc., etc. If you read Spanish, then you can get the gist through the presidency's Twitter account @Presidencia_EC.

It is common for presidents to have some type of pardon power. Of course, in the United States it is often controversial (the pardon of Richard Nixon being the most infamous, but there are countless other examples).  So that alone doesn't set Ecuador apart.

What makes this particular case unique is that the president launched a legal campaign against private media, then announced that he would decide whether or not to pardon them. In other words, he consciously and aggressively took on the role of both prosecutor and judge simultaneously. He did so with as much spectacle as possible (see the photo, for example) and the government even took note of admirers calling out about his "noble heart." Taking on this sort of monarchical stance is not good for democracy.


Justin Delacour 3:30 AM  

While I can certainly sympathize with thoughtful criticisms of Correa's actions on this particular score, I fail to see how it is instructive to compare Ecuador's political system to a monarchy. It is precisely these sorts of mischaracterizations that have contributed to some very unconstructive forms of hysteria about the Latin American left.

Alfredo 5:50 PM  


I concur.

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP