Jun 25 2015
GUEST: Amalia Pallares, Associate Professor of Political Science and Latin American and Latino Studies and Director of the Latin American and Latino Studies Program. Her books include “From Peasant Struggles to Indian Resistance: the Ecuadorian Andes in the late Twentieth Century”
Since June 8th, the Latin American nation of Ecuador has been experiencing a wave of protests from people upset over a new tax law. The law would implement an inheritance tax that would impact the richest 2% of the nation’s population. President Rafael Correa responded by asking the following question on social media: “How can we call a country a ‘democracy’ if less than 2% of families own 90 percent of big businesses?” But wealthy elites are up in arms. To placate them, Correa halted the implementation of two other tax laws temporarily.
Opposition figure Guillermo Lasso, who lost to Correa in the last Presidential election, is one of the main leaders of the protest. He denounced Correa’s tax plans as an attack on Ecuador’s meritocracy, to which Mr. Correa responded, “What kind of ‘meritocracy’ justifies that fact that in 2014 Guillermo Lasso ‘earned’ $15 million, which is to say the equivalent of 3,500 years of wages for a worker … How can that be morally justified?”
The ideological battle has been playing out on the streets of cities like Quito where protesters and pro-government counter protesters have been marching and rallying. On June 13th, teleSUR reports that a group of pro-government protesters was attacked by opposition marchers, injuring the government’s culture minister Paco Velasco. Now, there are calls for Correa to be ousted, with some on social media demanding a military coup.
To learn more visit lals.uic.edu.
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