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Lenín Boltaire Moreno Garcés (Spanish pronunciation: [leˈnim bolˈtai̯ɾe moˈɾeno ɣaɾˈses]; born 19 March 1953) is an Ecuadorian politician who is the current President of Ecuador, in office since May 2017. He was Vice President from 2007 to 2013, serving under President Rafael Correa.

Lenín Moreno
Lenin Moreno, president of Ecuador.jpg
46th President of Ecuador
Assumed office
24 May 2017
Vice PresidentJorge Glas
María Vicuña
Otto Sonnenholzner
Preceded byRafael Correa
47th Vice President of Ecuador
In office
15 January 2007 – 24 May 2013
PresidentRafael Correa
Preceded byAlejandro Serrano
Succeeded byJorge Glas
United Nations Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility
In office
19 December 2013 – 30 September 2016
Secretary GeneralBan Ki-moon
Preceded byPosition established
Succeeded byMaria Soledad Cisternas Reyes
President of the PAIS Alliance
Assumed office
1 May 2017
Preceded byRafael Correa
Personal details
Lenín Boltaire Moreno Garcés

(1953-03-19) 19 March 1953 (age 66)
Nuevo Rocafuerte, Ecuador
Political partyPAIS Alliance
Rocío González (m. 1974)
ResidenceCarondelet Palace
Alma materCentral University of Ecuador

He was nominated as the candidate for Correa's PAIS Alliance, a centre-left, democratic socialist[1] political party, in the 2017 presidential election and won a narrow victory in Ecuador's second round of voting on 2 April 2017.[2] However, after his election Moreno radically shifted his political stance, breaking with Correa's legacy and making radical changes to both internal and foreign policy.

Moreno was shot in 1998 in a robbery attempt and thereafter has used a wheelchair. For his advocacy for people with disabilities, he was nominated for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize.[3] When he assumed office on 24 May 2017, Moreno became the world’s only currently serving head of state to use a wheelchair.[4]



Lenín Moreno was born into a middle-class family in Nuevo Rocafuerte, a small town in the Ecuadorian Amazon, near the Peruvian border. His father, Servio Tulio Moreno, was a teacher who promoted bilingual education and integrated schools for Indigenous children and mestizo children. His parents named him after their favorite authors; his father idolized Vladimir Lenin and his mother liked Voltaire, although an error in the civil registration turned his middle name into Boltaire.[5][6] (In Spanish the letters v and b represent the same phoneme) He moved to Quito with his family when he was 3 years old.[7]


Moreno studied in Quito at the Instituto Nacional Mejía (Mejia National Institute), the Colegio Nacional Sebastián Benalcázar (Sebastian Benalcazar National School), and the Universidad Central del Ecuador (Central University of Ecuador), where he earned a degree in Public Administration and was honored as the best graduate. He studied psychology.[8]


Moreno began his career in 1976 as the director of the Continental Professional Training Center. He went on to become Director of OMC Publigerencia Andina, sales manager of Satho and marketing manager of Zitro, all located in Ecuador. Then he moved to the public sector, taking an administrative post with the Minister of Government. He worked extensively in the public tourism industry. He founded the Chamber of Tourism of Pichincha, a province in Ecuador, and was Executive Director of the National Federation of Tourism Chambers and Executive Director of the Chamber of Tourism of Pichincha, between 1997 and 1999.

Politics and awardsEdit

Moreno has earned numerous awards while serving as vice president of Ecuador: the "Fray Jodoco Ricke" Award; the Order of the Sun of Peru in the rank of Grand Cross; and the Order of Merit to the Democracy, presented by the governments of Peru, Guatemala and Colombia, respectively. He was also recognized unanimously by the Council of the Metropolitan District of Quito with the order of Gran Collar Sebastian Benalcazar. He has received various Honoris Causa awards, from the University of the Americas (Ecuador) [es], Universidad Tecnica del Norte del Ecuador (Technical University of Northern Ecuador) and the Universidad San Martin de Colombia (San Martin University of Colombia). He earned a Honoris Causa Masters, from the Business School (ESAE), Spain, on 25 November 2011.

Moreno was appointed as Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in December 2013.[9]

Eventa FoundationEdit

After being shot, Moreno created the foundation "Eventa" to promote humor and joy as a way of life based on his personal experiences.

He is the author of numerous books on his theory of humor, including: Filosofía para la vida y el trabajo ("Philosophy for life and work"), Teoría y Práctica del Humor ("Theory and Practice of Comedy"), Ser Feliz es Fácil y Divertido ("Being Happy is Easy and Fun"), Los Mejores Chistes del Mundo ("World's Best Jokes"), Humor de los Famosos ("Humor of the Famous"), Trompabulario, Ríase, no sea enfermo ("Laugh, don’t be sick") and Cuentos no Ecológicos ("Non-Ecological Tales").[10]

Vice PresidencyEdit

During his first year in the office of Vice President, Moreno investigated the state of disabled people in Ecuador. At the time the government’s entire budget for disabled services was approximately US$100,000. Moreno increased the budget for disabled people more than fifty-fold. The state currently assists over 600,000 disabled Ecuadorians, and provides housing and income for 15,000 people and prostheses for another 4,000.[6] Through his Ecuador without Borders programme, rights for disabled people were introduced in laws passed in 2007 and 2012, and in the 2008 constitution, that empowered Ecuador's disabled; measures included in 2010 requiring companies with over 25 employees to have at least 4% of their staff people with disabilities.[11]

He also founded the Manuela Espejo Solidarity Mission for the Disabled [es], which offers rehab, technical help, and psychological support to thousands of disabled Ecuadorians. Between 2009 and 2010 the Solidarity Mission sent Ecuadorean and Cuban doctors[11] to over 1.2 million homes around the country and interviewed nearly 300,000 disabled people to find out what needs were most pressing. Many of those people received free medical checkups. And now the Solidarity Mission is spreading to Paraguay, Peru, Guatemala, Chile, El Salvador and Colombia.[12]

Moreno left the vice presidency on 24 May 2013 and was succeeded by Jorge Glas.[13] He was the first vice president to complete his term since 1992.

Nobel nominationEdit

In 2012 a group of Ecuadorians living in Norway pushed Moreno's nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize. Their efforts were backed by Assemblyman Celso Maldonado, Vice President of the People with Disabilities Commission of the National Assembly, who formally nominated Moreno. His advocates praise the “Ecuador sin barreras” (Ecuador without Barriers) projects, the government policies he has promoted in favor of the rights of people with disabilities, the Manuela Espejo Solidarity Mission, the Joaquin Gallegos Lara Stipends and Neonatal Screening, and other helpful work. The prize was expected in October 2012; however, while he had wide international support with 180 countries supporting his nomination to the Nobel Peace Prize,[14][disputed ] that award was given to the European Union.

Presidency of EcuadorEdit

Moreno, first lady Rocío González Navas and his predecessor Rafael Correa, 3 April 2017.

On 1 October 2016, Moreno was nominated as a candidate for the 2017 presidential election at the conference of Alianza País. The statement was made by President Rafael Correa.

In the 19 February 2017 election, Moreno won the elections with 39.3% of the vote. However he was short by less than one percentage point of outright victory, as Ecuador requires in its two-round system.[15] On 2 April 2017 second runoff, he defeated Lasso, with a 51.16% of the vote.[16][17]

Internal politicsEdit

Within months of winning the election, Moreno started moving away from his election platform,[18] thus igniting a feud with ex-president Rafael Correa.

Later that same year, through a referendum,[19] Moreno reversed several key pieces of legislation, passed by the Correa administration, that targeted wealthy individuals and banks, reversed a previous referendum allowing indefinite re-election, thereby blocking future electoral bids by Correa, and established the Consejo de Participación Ciudadana y Control Social Transitorio [es] (CPCCS-T), which has supra-constitutional powers,[20] to "evaluate control authorities and judges", with the aim of removing what remains of Correa's influence.

Since the creation of the supra-constitutional CPCCS-T, Moreno has used it to oust and replace significant government officials, provincial judges, the judicial council, and the National Electoral Council (CNE).[21][22][23][24][25]

Lenin Moreno's government adopted a conservative policy: reduction of public spending, trade liberalization, flexibility of the labour code, etc. The Productive Development Act enshrines an austerity policy, and reduces the development and redistribution policies of the previous mandate. In the area of taxes, the authorities aim to "encourage the return of investors" by granting amnesty to fraudsters and proposing measures to reduce tax rates for large companies. In addition, the government waives the right to tax increases in raw material prices and foreign exchange repatriations.[26]

Moreno with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, 26 July 2018.

Moreno's government supported plans for oil drilling in Ecuador's Amazon region.[27]

With regard to public expenditure, the State can no longer increase public expenditure by more than 3% per year and restricts budget deficits to the repayment of interest on debt. Investments are thus significantly reduced, while privatisations are facilitated through subsidies guaranteed over several years. The government adopts the international system of dispute arbitration for all foreign investments, which is in violation of the Constitution. The first article of the Organic Law on the Defence of Labour Rights is deleted: it allowed the authorities to prosecute owners of companies that have harmed the interests of their employees by concealing resources or emptying the workshops of their machines.

Lenin Moreno announced in February 2019 that he had obtained a loan of more than $10 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, with which the previous government had broken off, "at rates below 5% on average and for terms of up to 30 years".[28]

Allegations of corruptionEdit

In March 2019, the INA papers scandal sparked a congressional corruption probe into Moreno.[29][30]

Mueller investigationEdit

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team had been investigating a meeting between former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and President Moreno in Quito in 2017. Moreno talked with Manafort about removing WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and his extradition to the United States.[31]

Foreign affairsEdit

Moreno meets with US Under Secretary for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon in 2018.

In 2018, President Moreno made a statement about Julian Assange who had been given political asylum in Ecuador's London embassy since 2012. Moreno named conditions under which Assange could stay on in the embassy, including bringing down the level of security at the embassy and no Internet access[32] (the Internet access was restored half a year later).[33] In an interview to Deutsche Welle, Moreno rejected the claim that any external pressure from other countries had influenced this decision concerning the status of Assange.[34] On 11 April 2019, Ecuador revoked his asylum, with Moreno saying Ecuador had "reached its limit on the behaviour of Mr Assange", allowing Metropolitan Police to arrest him in the embassy.[35]

Following a June 2018 visit by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, who agreed with President Moreno to improve the US-Ecuador relations which were strained under the presidency of Rafael Correa, Ecuador launched a security effort with the United States, including buying weapons, radar sets, six helicopters and other equipment, as well as cooperation with the U.S. will include training and intelligence sharing.[36] Pence and Moreno also spoke about Julian Assange.[29]

In August 2018, Ecuador withdrew from ALBA, a regional bloc led by Venezuela, in a bid to further distance itself from that country’s socialist government and because Ecuador wants to be “independent” of organizations that are trying to impose “specific views” on Latin America’s social and political issues.[37]

Moreno congratulated Brazilian president elect Jair Bolsonaro for his victory in the 2018 Brazilian general election.[38]

In early 2019 the IMF approved a $4.2bn loan for Ecuador.[39] In April 2019 the World Bank approved the Social Safety Net Project for Ecuador.[40]


  1. ^ Ortiz-T., Pablo (2008), "Ecuador", The Indigenous World 2008, International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs, p. 147
  2. ^ "Ecuador's ruling-party candidate Moreno declared presidential winner". ABC News.
  3. ^ "Secretary-General Appoints Lenín Voltaire Moreno Garces of Ecuador Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility" (Press release). United Nations. 2013-12-19. Retrieved 2017-02-20.
  4. ^ Londoño, Ernesto (7 April 2017). "Ecuador Elects World's Only Head of State in a Wheelchair". New York Times. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  5. ^ "Elecciones en Ecuador: quién es Lenín Moreno, el rostro conciliador que sucederá a Rafael Correa". Clarín (in Spanish). 3 April 2017. Retrieved 1 February 2018. Nació allí porque sus padres -profesores- decidieron trabajar en Nuevo Rocafuerte, que aún hoy no tiene conexión por carretera. Un error en la inscripción en el Registro Civil hizo que su segundo nombre fuera Boltaire, en vez de Voltaire. "Papá era de ideas socialistas y mamá de ideas liberales. A ellos les gustaba mucho leer; a papá, Lenín; y a mamá, Voltaire", explicó.
  6. ^ a b Watts, Jonathan (2013-02-19). "Ecuador's Lenín Moreno gives revolutionary turn by quitting while on top". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-02-20.
  7. ^ "Lenín Moreno, el heredero de la Revolución Ciudadana". LATERCERA. 3 April 2017.
  8. ^ "Biografía".
  9. ^ "Secretary-General Appoints Lenín Voltaire Moreno Garces of Ecuador Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility". Press release. United Nations. 19 December 2013.
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ a b Caselli, Irene (20 August 2013). "The law that empowered Ecuador's disabled". Quito: BBC News. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  12. ^ "Despite limited funds vice president leads the charge to make Ecuador accessible to the handicapped". CuencaHighLife. 2011-03-16. Archived from the original on 2014-10-30. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
  13. ^ "Vicepresidentes en la historia" (PDF). Retrieved 25 November 2017.
  14. ^ "180 Paises en el Mundo Quieren que Lenin Moreno sea Premio Nobel de la Paz – Quito Ecuador".
  15. ^ In the Ecuadorian system, to avoid a runoff a candidate needs to either win 50 percent of the first-round vote, or take 40 percent of the vote and be at least 10 percent ahead of the runner-up (Guillermo Lasso had obtained 28.09%; so had Moreno gained 40 percent he would have won on the 40-10 rule).
  16. ^ "El Futuro Es Ahora".
  17. ^ "CNE informa "resultados irreversibles": Moreno 51.16% – Lasso 48.84%" (in Spanish). Ecuavisa. 4 April 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  18. ^ "¿Una broma? Presidente Moreno: A los que les estoy agarrando un poco de odio, más bien, es a los que votaron por mí (VIDEO)". August 30, 2017. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  19. ^ "¿Cuáles son las siete preguntas del referéndum y la consulta popular del 4 de febrero del 2018 en Ecuador?". El Comercio (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  21. ^ "CPC Transitorio resuelve cesar en funciones a Gustavo Jalkh y a miembros del Consejo de la Judicatura". El Universo (in Spanish). 2018-06-04. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  22. ^ Telégrafo, El (2018-04-05). "Consejo suspende concursos de la Judicatura y cesa a Patricio Rivera". El Telégrafo (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  23. ^ quannt. "CPCCS-T CESÓ DE MANERA DEFINITIVA AL SUPERINTENDENTE DE BANCOS". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  24. ^ quannt. "PLENO DEL CPCCS-T CESA EN FUNCIONES A SUPERINTENDENTA DE COMPAÑÍAS". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  25. ^ "CPC transitorio resuelve destitución del superintendente Carlos Ochoa". El Universo (in Spanish). 2018-03-07. Retrieved 2018-08-01.
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Indigenous peoples go to court to save the Amazon from oil company greed". Salon. 12 April 2019.
  28. ^
  29. ^ a b "This simmering political clash may have led to Julian Assange's ouster from Ecuador's embassy". Business Insider. 11 April 2019.
  30. ^ "Julian Assange to be kicked out of Ecuadorian embassy: WikiLeaks". Deutsche Welle. 5 April 2019.
  31. ^ "Paul Manafort reportedly tried to make a deal with Ecuador to hand over Julian Assange". CNBC. 3 December 2018.
  32. ^ Henley, Jon (28 March 2018). "Ecuador cuts off Julian Assange's internet access at London embassy". Retrieved 24 December 2018 – via
  33. ^ "Julian Assange to regain internet access at embassy base – reports". 14 October 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  34. ^ Welle (, Deutsche. "Lenín Moreno: "Assange puede seguir gozando del asilo, mientras cumpla" - DW - 30.05.2018". DW.COM. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  35. ^ "Julian Assange: Wikileaks co-founder arrested in London". BBC News. 11 April 2019. Retrieved 13 April 2019.
  36. ^ Ecuador says it is launching security effort with US. Fox News. Retrieved 2018-08-03.
  37. ^ Ecuador leaves Venezuelan-run regional alliance. 23 August 2018. The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2018-08-24.
  38. ^ "Latam leaders congratulate Brazilian people and Bolsonaro; Uruguay ex president Mujica compares him with Hitler". MercoPress. 29 October 2018.
  39. ^ IMF approves $4.2bn loan for Ecuador. Tuesday 12 March 2019.
  40. ^ The World Bank Approves a US$350 Million Loan to Strengthen the Social Safety Net in Ecuador. April 4, 2019.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Alejandro Serrano
Vice President of Ecuador
Succeeded by
Jorge Glas
Preceded by
Rafael Correa
President of Ecuador
Party political offices
Preceded by
New creation
First Vice President of the PAIS Alliance
Succeeded by
Jorge Glas
Preceded by
Rafael Correa
President of the PAIS Alliance
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
Position established
United Nations Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility
Succeeded by
Maria Soledad Cisternas Reyes