Displaying items by tag: Ecuador
In October we prayed for the presidential election in Ecuador. Now millionaire Daniel Noboa has been sworn in as president, marking a significant shift in the country's political landscape. A businessman with no prior political experience, he surprisingly won the snap election which former president Guillermo Lasso called to avoid possible impeachment. He will serve only 18 months, the remainder of Lasso’s term. Once considered one of the safest countries in the region, Ecuador has seen violence explode in recent years; there was an unprecedented increase in bloodshed, and drug violence has led to some 3,600 murders so far this year. Noboa has said he will target the violence by tackling unemployment, but also implement a state of emergency, suspend some citizen rights such as freedom of movement, and deploy the military to the streets. There is a considerable sense of uncertainty and anticipation surrounding his presidency.
Left-leaning Luisa González and centrist Daniel Noboa have faced each other in the last debate before the run-off election on 15 October. The debate gave both candidates a platform to address long-simmering issues in the country. The economy remains Ecuador’s Achilles heel: at the end of 2022, debt alone accounted for 57 percent of the GDP. The other major issue facing the candidates is crime. Ecuador, once one of the most peaceful countries in Latin America, is now on track to become the third-most violent country in the region. In August, that violence spilled over with the assassination of presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio in Quito. Since then, candidates have been wearing bullet-proof vests. Noboa is ahead in the polls, but many Ecuadorians have not yet made up their minds about who to vote for.
Elections in Guatemala and Ecuador are a test of democracy as both have a climate of corruption, tension and violence in politics. In Guatemala’s election on 20 August, anti-corruption candidate Bernardo Arévalo won, despite Guatemala’s court recently ordering his political party into suspension, triggering massive protests and unrest. He denounced the police raid that followed, stating it was an act of ‘political persecution’. Also on 20 August Ecuador voted for a president. Rampant crime blamed on drug gangs, a struggling economy, and a rise in unemployment and migration are the top concerns of voters. The candidate standing against corruption and organised crime was assassinated on 9 August. There was no outright winner on the 20th. The runoff will be on 15 October, between leftist candidate Luisa Gonzalez and businessman politician Daniel Noboa. Noboa wants to implement harsh policies in relation to crime, and talks about security, which appeals to those unhappy with the current political system.
Ecuador, one of four Latin American teams in the 2022 World Cup, is drawing attention not only for its impressive start to the tournament but also for the way the players are celebrating their goals. On 20 November former West Ham player Enner Valencia scored twice, securing the win against host team Qatar. Both goals were dedicated to God as the players came together to form a circle and fall to their knees before pointing and looking up to the sky to celebrate. It is understood most of the team’s players are Christians, with several videos on social media showing them praying before each match.
Two activists who successfully fought against mining on their ancestral lands have won an international environmental prize. Alex Lucitante, 29, and Alexandra Narváez, 32, led the Cofan indigenous community which used drones and camera traps to collect crucial evidence in securing a legal victory which resulted in 79,000 acres of rainforest being protected from gold mining. In 2017, they found out that the government had issued 20 mining licences, with 32 more waiting to be approved. After a legal battle which lasted almost a year, the community achieved a remarkable victory. A provincial court ruled that the authorities had failed to seek the consent of the Cofan, nullified both the existing and pending licences, and ordered that the mining activities be stopped.
Landslides triggered by heavy rain and flooding have sent mud waves three metres high across Quito, killing at least 24 and seriously injuring 48; many more are missing. Residents could not save anything as mud carried away motorcycles, cars, trees, telegraph poles and anything not bolted down. It was the worst landslide in almost twenty years. Government rescue workers, hearing cries for help from people trapped below the mud, called for everyone to keep quiet so they could hear survivors. The rescue operations remain dangerous as smaller mud waves continue to cascade from the mountains. Pray for residents and rescue workers in danger of being buried as soil from the mountain continues to shift. Authorities have not yet ruled out the possibility of another major landslide in the area. Most of Quito’s 2.7 million people have been taken to shelters, some suffering from hypothermia. Authorities have called for three days of mourning to remember the victims.
Latin America continues to be a continent enduring profound suffering.
Alongside some background articles about current affairs in parts of the continent, IPC’s Latin America Director – Yanira Gonzalez – has drawn together some prayer points to focus our hearts and minds on the needs of the people of Latin America.
The effects of the pandemic after a year on the continent have been devastating: deaths, unemployment, increased poverty, depression, domestic violence. Pray that the church will be a prophetic voice in this crisis announcing hope, grace and forgiveness. Latin America needs to hear God’s voice.
During the course of 2021, nine Latin American countries will hold elections, with five—Chile, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Peru—selecting presidents. In particular, the Chilean and Peruvian elections will be taking place during the coming weeks.
The Chilean elections have already demonstrated the turmoil that 18 months of the pandemic have brought to many nations as Chile's centre-right ruling coalition failed to secure a critical one-third of seats in the body that will draft the country's new constitution.
With 90% of the votes counted, candidates backed by President Sebastian Pinera's centre-right Chile Vamos coalition had won only a fifth while independents picked up the most votes. New proposals will require two-thirds approval and without a third of the delegates, the government will struggle to block radical changes to the constitution unless it can forge new alliances.
At the time of writing this article, the result of Peru’s election remains unclear. Peru’s left wing candidate Pedro Castillo, a relative newcomer to the political scene, has claimed victory in the after clinging on to a narrow lead as the lengthy vote count ended, although his right-wing rival has pledged to fight the result and has yet to concede.
Castillo ended the count 44,058 votes ahead of Keiko Fujimori, who has made allegations of fraud with little proof and has tried to get some votes annulled.
The result of the ballot held on 6 June has not been formally announced by electoral authorities, but Castillo hailed the win on Twitter.
As tensions increase, United Nations Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet expressed her concern.
"Electoral institutions and the decisions they make must be respected and accepted," she tweeted.
"If the rules of democracy are not accepted before, during and after the elections, it can create dangerous cracks in social cohesion."
Please pray for deeply divided Peru.
Pray: for Colombia’s ongoing protests against increased taxes, corruption, inequality, lack of opportunity and health care reform, proposed by the government of President Ivan Duque Marquez to stop. The protests have claimed dozens of lives since the end of April, 2021 in Bogota and other main cities. Pray that God will touch the heart of government and demonstrators with peace.
Pray: for a continental movement of repentance from the shedding of innocent blood supported for many abortion laws approved by governments in Latin America. Pray for mercy! (Psalm 106:38 And shed innocent blood, even blood of their sons and of their daughters,/; and polluted the land with blood. Proverbs 6:16, 17... These six things the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood.)
Please pray for a practical solution for the USA – Mexico Southern Border Crisis.
Pray: for the welfare of 21,000+ children incarcerated in US-run shelters awaiting immigration clearance, and for their families facing stressful processes and uncertainties.
Pray: for protection and rescue of trafficked children whose freedom and innocence have been betrayed (Matthew 18:10)
“Unauthorized immigrants are now running head over heels toward the Border Patrol in a most unlikely pattern of controlled anarchy.” The San Diego Union Tribune May 7, 2021)
In Venezuela, a meeting of the National spiritist council, sorcerers, federation of ancestral religions, shamans, yatiris and governmental leaders of the continent is being summoned for a strategic proclamation of the Bolivarian* movement in Latin America. They want to establish not only a more leftist agenda, but spiritism as an endorsement of popular socialism to activate a revolution in our nations. We invite you to pray against all witchcraft and invocation of ancestral spirits that want to take over Latin America.
*Bolivarianism is a mix of pan-hispanic, socialist and national-patriotic ideals fixed against injustices of imperialism, inequality and corruption named after Simón Bolívar, the 19th-century Venezuelan general and liberator from the Spanish monarchy then in abeyance, who led the struggle for independence throughout much of South America.
The Bolivarian Revolution is a political process in Venezuela that was led by Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, the founder of the Fifth Republic Movement and later the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). According to Chávez and other supporters, the Bolivarian Revolution seeks to build an inter-American coalition to implement Bolivarianism, nationalism and a state-led economy. (Attribution: Wikipedia)
Please pray for the spirits of darkness, ideological, political and occult, to be bound along with their human actors who want to destabilize and destroy Latin America and all freedom-loving nations.
Pray: that God would raise up leaders with integrity, godly inspired to bring transformation to their nations.
Coronavirus has soared in Latin America recently: the worst in Brazil, followed by Chile and Ecuador where bodies lie in the streets. Beyond the public health toll, the economic impact could be catastrophic. Lockdowns and social distancing risk triggering the worst recession in fifty years. Fourteen Latin American and Caribbean countries have asked the IMF for financial lifelines, totalling $4.48 billion. Even before coronavirus, many of their economies were suffering from low oil prices, with some countries almost in outright recession. 80 emerging economies have so far requested financial relief from the $1 trillion earmarked by the IMF for relief.
Global case counts of COVID-19 quietly clicked past 1 million 2nd April afternoon on the Johns Hopkins tracking map, revealing the disease’s startling speed and reach since it emerged 4 months ago.
The pandemic is afflicting countries unevenly as the US muffed its early response, while China acted with strong-armed efficiency, and many others are yet to be tested.
The US: Though the novel coronavirus has emerged in all 50 states, the media focus has zeroed in on New York, which has more than 92,000 cases. That will likely change in the coming days as new hotspots emerge, according to Scientific American.
The American South is at special risk with high numbers of cases per capita. Albany, Georgia has 13 per 10,000 people, for example. And, as Bloomberg News points out, the region already has some of the poorest health indicators in the country (4 of 5 states with highest diabetes rates) and a lack of health care access that includes shuttered rural hospitals. Of the 239 coronavirus deaths in New Orleans, “40% had diabetes, 25% were obese and 21% had heart problems,” Bloomberg reports.
Africa: WHO has announced that new COVID-19 cases are being reported in Africa at a dramatically accelerating pace as the number topped this week, according to The Citizen (Tanzania). Another worrying sign: Cases are beginning to emerge outside capitals and other large cities. The coronavirus has been detected across South Africa, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, and Senegal.
Also: Very few of the more than 300 clinical trials that are underway to seek a COVID-19 treatment are in Africa, Nature reports. The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative is part of the new COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition seeking to remedy this.
South Africa: Though the country has the most cases (1,462) on the continent, President Cyril Ramaphosa and Health Minister Zweli Mkhize are being lauded for leading an effective and efficient battle against COVID-19, according to the BBC. However, the response also has included rounding up 1,000 homeless men and forcing them into a sports stadium in Pretoria, CNN International reports.
Ecuador: Officials in Guayaquil report more than 400 deaths in recent days as morgues have been overwhelmed and some bodies have been wrapped in plastic and left on street. UPI
Indonesia: The 170 COVID-19 deaths reported in recent weeks have surpassed nearly 2 decades of bird flu deaths. The Jakarta Post
North Korea: Assertions that the country is coronavirus-free has been viewed skeptically. The Guardian
Reporting from Johns Hopkins University: https://www.globalhealthnow.org/2020-04/1-million
Further data on Europe and the world: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/geographical-distribution-2019-ncov-cases
BBC news article about the 18 countries who don’t have Covid-19 at the time of writing: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-52120439
Pray: Lord God, the One who has Almighty power, we agree according to your promise in Matthew 18:18-20 that this virus will be stopped in its tracks. That the medical researchers will get a download from Heaven on how to quickly develop a vaccine to counteract COVID-19 and a cure for those who have become infected.
We also agree in prayer, asking that the Body of Christ worldwide will rise up in love and boldness, trusting in your blood to cover and protect us and throwing off fear, so that we can be available to serve, bless, and bear witness to those around us who are terrified and depressed at being infected.
Let us seize this unprecedented opportunity to make you known to those without hope in Christ!
Thank you for your promise that surely, you will be with us "always, even to the very end of the age” so that we can carry on with the mission you have given us for our world (Matthew 28:20).
Join in Online Prayers:
Additional Prayer Resources for Coronavirus
A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE ON COVID-19 By Dr Ruth Valerio and Gideon Heugh (Tear Fund)
A coronavirus prayer from Pete Greig
19 Things to Do in response to Coronavirus
Prophecy Today UK’s Responses to Coronavirus
PrayerCast Video and Prayer Briefing
Operation World's Covid-19 Prayers for the Nations and Prayer Calendar
Many geopolitical media watchers and prayer warriors believe the growing wave of anti-government protests ravaging the streets of Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Colombia hasn’t been seen since the old Cold War, which is why the increase in protests and tensions might be called Cold War 2.0 in Latin America. This time, at least as yet, there aren’t armed proxy groups in play but Moscow has weaponised social unrest to sabotage Western power in the region. Earlier this decade we saw similar issues on Russia’s strategic periphery, notably in Ukraine in the wake of the 2014 Maidan protests and the 2005 Orange Revolution. These protesters aren’t necessarily armed Marxists, but anti-government and armed with anti-US rhetoric. Much the same approach is evident in Moscow’s support for Nicholas Maduro’s failing regime in Venezuela, with the help of Cuban operatives. Russia has become increasingly adept at using social media to disperse disinformation on the Internet.