Political Newcomer Daniel Noboa Secures Ecuadorian Presidency Amid Surge in Violence

by Joshua Brown
Daniel Noboa Ecuadorian Presidency

Daniel Noboa, a political novice and the son of a wealthy businessman, has succeeded where his father failed on multiple occasions—securing the presidency of Ecuador.

Securing his win on the first try, Noboa triumphed over a leftist legal advocate in a runoff election. His victory is particularly remarkable given his relatively young age of 35 and his belonging to Ecuador’s upper class, which typically entails education abroad, some involvement in entrepreneurship, and a limited political background.

Confronting him now is the pressing issue of public safety, a demand reiterated by the electorate throughout the campaign in the wake of a marked increase in violence related to drug trafficking.

Throughout his campaign, Noboa’s solutions to this urgent problem have varied widely. At one stage, he suggested transforming ships into offshore detention facilities for the most dangerous criminals; at another, he merely pledged to better equip law enforcement agencies.

Ecuadorians have grown increasingly alarmed by the rise in drug-related violence over the past three years, with homicides, kidnappings, and other crimes becoming alarmingly frequent occurrences, causing many to contemplate not whether, but when they will be affected.

Moreover, Noboa will serve a shorter term, intensifying the challenges ahead.

Experts like Will Freeman, a Latin American studies fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, question Noboa’s ability to ameliorate Ecuador’s deteriorating security landscape within the span of his 18-month term, citing his erratic policy proposals as evidence of improvisation.

Noboa’s limited term runs until May 2025, picking up the remnants of Guillermo Lasso’s presidency, which ended prematurely when he disbanded the National Assembly amid impeachment investigations concerning government contract improprieties.

Final electoral results indicate Noboa won 52% of the votes, compared to nearly 48% for Luisa González, an associate of the exiled former President Rafael Correa. González graciously accepted defeat while also urging Noboa to deliver on his electoral commitments.

Acknowledging his victory, Noboa expressed gratitude towards Ecuadorians for their faith in “a nascent, unlikely political initiative.” His proclaimed objective is to restore peace, education, and employment in a nation marred by widespread violence, corruption, and animosity.

Past governance has shown a lack of capability in addressing Ecuador’s security issues, as evidenced by the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio in August. Subsequent events, including additional killings of political figures and acts of terrorism, have highlighted this failure.

Daniel Noboa began his professional journey with an event management company at 18, later transitioning into various roles within his father Álvaro Noboa’s business conglomerate, Noboa Corp. He entered politics in 2021, securing a seat in the National Assembly and leading its Economic Development Commission.

Álvaro Noboa, Daniel’s father, is Ecuador’s wealthiest individual, amassing his fortune primarily through banana exports. He unsuccessfully campaigned for the presidency five times.

Daniel Noboa’s political party lacks a majority in the National Assembly, meaning he will need to build coalitions with opposition lawmakers to avoid the legislative struggles that plagued his predecessor, Guillermo Lasso.

Lasso, a conservative and former banker, experienced significant conflict with the National Assembly after his 2021 election and chose not to participate in the special election. Under his governance, violent deaths in Ecuador peaked at an all-time high of 4,600 in 2022, doubling the previous year’s count. The first half of 2023 saw 3,568 violent deaths.

The escalation in violence is intricately linked to cocaine trafficking from neighboring Colombia and Peru, with criminal organizations from Mexico, Colombia, and the Balkans establishing operations in Ecuador.

Julio Ricaurte, a 59-year-old engineer, expressed skepticism about the potential for change, citing both the limited timeframe of Noboa’s term and the obstructionist tendencies of the National Assembly.

Noboa and González emerged as the finalists from a pool of eight candidates in the first electoral round held on August 22. González, largely unknown prior to her candidacy, held various governmental roles during Correa’s presidency and served as a legislator from 2021 until May. She initially claimed Correa would serve as her advisor but later distanced herself to appeal to Correa’s critics.

Rosa Amaguaña, a 62-year-old vendor, highlighted public safety as the foremost issue for the next administration, expressing cautious optimism for even minimal improvements under the new leadership.

The report is by Garcia Cano, based in Caracas, Venezuela.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Daniel Noboa Ecuadorian Presidency

Who is Daniel Noboa?

Daniel Noboa is a 35-year-old political newcomer and the son of Álvaro Noboa, Ecuador’s wealthiest individual. He secured the presidency of Ecuador on his first attempt in a runoff election.

What is Daniel Noboa’s background?

Daniel Noboa started his career at the age of 18 by opening an event management company. He later joined his father’s conglomerate, Noboa Corp, holding various management positions. He entered politics in 2021, securing a seat in the National Assembly and leading its Economic Development Commission.

What were the key issues of his campaign?

The key issues of Daniel Noboa’s campaign were primarily related to public safety and the escalating violence in Ecuador tied to drug trafficking. His proposals for tackling this issue have varied, ranging from converting ships into offshore detention facilities to better equipping law enforcement agencies.

What challenges does he face?

Noboa faces significant challenges, including a divided National Assembly and an escalating security crisis marked by a significant increase in violent deaths, kidnappings, and other crimes. His term will also be truncated, running only through May 2025.

What was the electoral outcome?

Daniel Noboa won with just over 52% of the vote, compared to nearly 48% for his opponent, Luisa González, an associate of exiled former President Rafael Correa.

Who was the previous President, and why did his term end prematurely?

The previous President was Guillermo Lasso. His term ended prematurely when he disbanded the National Assembly amid impeachment proceedings against him over alleged improprieties in a government contract.

What are the current crime statistics in Ecuador?

Under the previous governance of Guillermo Lasso, violent deaths in Ecuador peaked at an all-time high of 4,600 in 2022, doubling the previous year’s count. The first half of 2023 saw 3,568 violent deaths.

What is the public sentiment about the new presidency?

Public sentiment appears to be cautiously optimistic yet wary, given the pressing issues of public safety and governance. The general electorate is keenly interested in seeing improvements in these areas, even if they are minimal.

Who reported this information?

This information was reported by Garcia Cano, based in Caracas, Venezuela.

More about Daniel Noboa Ecuadorian Presidency

  • Daniel Noboa’s Campaign Promises
  • Guillermo Lasso’s Tenure and Resignation
  • Crime Statistics in Ecuador 2022-2023
  • Profile of Luisa González
  • Ecuador’s National Assembly and its Role
  • Drug Trafficking and Violence in Ecuador
  • Council on Foreign Relations Commentary on Ecuador
  • Overview of Álvaro Noboa’s Business Empire and Political Attempts

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EcoWarrior October 16, 2023 - 7:50 am

And still, nobody’s talking about the impact of drug trade on the environment. Huge issue and totally ignored.

Paul_J October 16, 2023 - 8:52 am

Luisa González was pretty close with 48%. Would’ve liked to know more about her plans if she won.

Mike87 October 17, 2023 - 1:22 am

This guy sounds pretty privileged, wonder if he’ll actually help regular folks.

SandraM October 17, 2023 - 1:48 am

Can he really fix the security crisis in Ecuador? Its really bad out there, especially with just a truncated term. I have my doubts.

JohnDoe October 17, 2023 - 2:34 am

Wow, Noboa got elected on his first try while his dad failed 5 times. Like father, not like son i guess.

TinaK October 17, 2023 - 3:55 am

Why did Lasso quit? Impeachment sounds serious but this article doesn’t go into details.

AnnaBee October 17, 2023 - 4:44 am

More gear for police? Hope that means they’ll actually do something about the drug problems. Tired of just hearing talk.

VickyQ October 17, 2023 - 5:16 am

At this point, I’ll take any change. The violence has to stop. Just hope Noboa’s up for the job.


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