Third term begins for Ecuador's President Correa

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 24, 2013 at 5:53 pm •  Published: May 24, 2013
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He has built his popularity on generous social spending in the small, oil-producing nation that exported $16 billion worth of crude last year. He has built roads, dispensed regular monthly payments to single mothers and the elderly poor and gained respect for an efficient public administration.

Correa could face trouble, however, if oil prices fall amid flagging global demand, as some economists predict, and if he does not attract more foreign investment, especially in the mining sector, which he is only beginning to develop amid resistance from indigenous groups.

Under Correa, Ecuador has become increasingly dependent on China as its main creditor and purchaser of oil.

It obtained $364 million in foreign investment in 2012 compared to $12.2 billion for neighboring Peru and $15.8 billion for Colombia.

Correa has been constantly at war with opposition news media. Press freedom activists worry a new media law now before congress will further restrict free expression.