Friday, February 3, 2012

Rafael Correa

Rafael Vicente Correa Delgado (born 6 April 1963) is the President of the Republic of Ecuador and was the president pro tempore of the Union of South American Nations. An economist educated in Ecuador, Belgium and the United States, he was elected President in late 2006 and took office in January 2007. In December 2008, he declared Ecuador's national debt illegitimate, based on the argument that it had been contracted by corrupt/despotic prior regimes. He then pledged to fight creditors in international courts, and succeeded in reducing the price of the debt letters and continued paying all the debt. He brought Ecuador into the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas in June 2009.

Correa's first term in office had been due to end on 15 January 2011, but the new approved constitution written by the new National Assembly mandated general elections for 26 April 2009. In that election, Rafael Correa won in the first round with 51.9% of votes counted. It was the first time since 1979 in which a representative was elected without having to face a second round. Consequently, Correa began a new term in office due to end on 10 August 2013, which could be extended by reelection until 2017. To date, Correa’s administration has succeeded in reducing high levels of poverty, indigence, and unemployment.

Correa's policies towards the media have become controversial: actions including lawsuits against journalists and media directors, government expropriation of private media outlets and promotion of new government-owned media, have led critics to charge Correa with a campaign against the independence of the media.

Early Life
A descendant of the Chilean politician Rafael Correa of Saa and Lazón and Delgado and Flaquito, Rafael Correa comes from a working class family in Guayaquil. His father was Rafael Correa Icaza, born in the Province of Los Ríos, Ecuador, 23 March 1934 and deceased 10 June 1995; and his mother is Norma Delgado Rendón, born 1 September 1939.

His parents had three more children: Fabricio Correa, Pierina Correa; Bernardita Correa(+). He is married to Anne Malherbe, a teacher of Belgian nationality born in 1969, whom he met in 1990 at the Catholic University of Louvain. The couple have three children: Sofía, Anne Dominique and Miguel.

He carried out his primary and secondary studies in the Catholic school San José-La Salle, in Guayaquil. During his youth he was part and directed groups of Scouts of the Association of Scouts of Ecuador, as well as a troop of the Group 14 San José-La Salle, and afterwards, Group 17 Christopher Columbus that also helped to create.

During his secondary studies he was President of the Lasallian Student Cultural Association ("ACEL" in Spanish). Afterwards and based on his academic achievements, he obtained a scholarship to study at the Catholic University of Santiago de Guayaquil (UCSG in Spanish), a private higher education institution in Guayaquil, Ecuador, where he obtained an undergraduate degree in economics in 1987.

When attending UCSG, he was elected President of the Association of Students of Economy, Audit and Administration (AEAA) and, later on, President of the Federation of Students (FEUC) of the same education center, a position which in 1986 allowed him to preside over the Private Universities Students Federation of Ecuador (FEUPE in Spanish).

In 1993 he was a director at the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC) in Ecuador, with administrative oversight supervising improvement programs of the national educational system. The improvement programs were funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

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