QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Ecuador's Rafael Correa began his third term as president on Friday under seemingly ideal conditions: extremely high popularity, a more than two-thirds majority in Congress, a stable economy and a badly splintered opposition.
The combative leftist economist used the opportunity to bash a few of his favorite targets: The Organization of American States, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the news media.
He said the commission, an independent watchdog of governments in the region excluding the United States, has become "an instrument of persecution of progressive governments."
The commission has been highly critical of Correa and Venezuela's leftist government for allegedly trampling on free speech and human rights.
Latin America's news media, meanwhile, "daily violates the most elemental notions of objectivity and journalistic ethic," Correa said in remarks before visiting dignitaries including the presidents of Chile, Colombia, Haiti, Costa Rica, Georgia, Bolivia and Venezuela.
Correa, 50, was re-elected in February with three times the votes of his closest challenger. Under the constitution, he cannot run again.