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Weekly Report - 22 April 2021 (WR-21-16)

Region undergoes diplomatic realignment

Ecuador’s president-elect Guillermo Lasso wasted little time in heading abroad after his electoral victory on 11 April. His choice of destination was significant: Colombia. Lasso, a former banker who ran for the centre-right Movimiento Creo, shares an ideological affinity with Colombia’s President Iván Duque. Both men agreed to expedite Ecuador’s application to join the Pacific Alliance trade bloc, which comprises Colombia, Mexico, Peru, and Chile. If Lasso’s left-wing rival Andrés Arauz had won election, Ecuador would have headed in a very different foreign policy direction: Arauz favoured rejoining the radical left-wing Venezuela-led movement Alba and reviving the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), the headquarters of which were built in Ecuador during the left-wing presidency of Rafael Correa (2007-2017).

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