In June 2020, Correa announced his intention to run for vice president in the upcoming elections. Correa’s presence on the electoral ticket would undeniably boost the electoral potential of his movement at the polls and pose a clear threat to Moreno and his conservative alliance. Foreseeing this, Moreno had already resolved that his safest option would be to banish Correa from Ecuadorian politics for good.
The only way to secure this was via a distinctly aggressive form of judicialization of politics or “lawfare,” inspired by the judicial targeting of political adversaries elsewhere in Latin America, as in the case against former president Lula da Silva in Brazil. In order to carry out his plan, Moreno needed a tight control over the justice system, which he achieved by slipping a proposal into the 2018 referendum granting him extraordinary powers over the judiciary.
The referendum allowed Moreno to appoint trusted, die-hard anti-correistas at the head of autonomous institutions. Once he controlled the Judiciary Council, the Constitutional Court, the Prosecutor General, and the Comptroller General, he could unleash all these institutions against his correista enemies.
The regime’s other line of attack has been to undermine the organizational strength of correismo. The purpose is to prevent Correa and his supporters from having a coherent and functioning political party. Back in 2017, Moreno successfully stripped Correa of Alianza País, the party Correa had created in 2006 in his first successful bid for the presidency. As Correa’s former vice president, Moreno knew that in order to wage an effective campaign against Correa and his legacy, he needed to neutralize Correa’s movement.
The opportunity arose when Moreno’s leadership of Alianza País was challenged by several Correa loyalists. Another favorable judicial ruling gave Moreno complete control over the party. Of course, Alianza País was correista in essence, and once its historic leader was sidelined, most of its members jumped ship. But fully aware of his transitional role, Moreno’s goal was never really to have a strong party of his own. His aim was to make the biggest political force in Ecuador party-less. This he achieved.
AGR; This article details how fascists destroy a fully functioning democracy, one step at a time. It is also a warning for the US, which is headed down the same path.