On January 15, Ecuador's new president, Rafael Correa Delgado, was sworn in, promising to build "socialism of the 21st century" to overcome the poverty and instability of the small Andean country.
The previous day, Correa attended an indigenous inauguration ceremony
in Zumbahua, the small Andean town where he did volunteer social work
in his twenties. The presidents of Venezuela and Bolivia — Hugo Chavez
and Evo Morales — were present as special guests.
Correa, a 43-year-old economist, used his inauguration to call for a
"citizens' revolution", using wealth to meet social and environmental
needs, rather than maintaining the current "perverse system" that has
led to over 60% of Ecuador's 13 million people living in poverty and
forced more than 3 million to emigrate in search of jobs.
"The long night of neoliberalism is coming to an end", said Correa,
"A sovereign, dignified, just and socialist Latin America is beginning