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Saturday, May 1, 2021

Guillermo .... ... , the new President-elect of Ecuador

The name Guillermo means ‘with Gilded Helmet’ and is of Spanish origin. Remember there was a famous Tennis player - Guillermo Vilas – from Argentina   who won four Grand Slam tournaments, one year-end Masters, nine Grand Prix Super Series titles and 62 total ATP titles.  In the ATP computer rankings, he peaked at No. 2 in April 1975, a position that he held for a total of 83 weeks. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1991.   In 2016, The Daily Telegraph ranked him as the 3rd best male clay-court player of all time, behind Rafael Nadal and Björn Borg.  Historical and statistical studies presented in 2015 by Argentinian journalist Eduardo Puppo and Romanian mathematician Marian Ciulpan concluded that Vilas should have been No. 1 in the old ATP ranking system for seven weeks between 1975 and 1976. The ATP Tour and its chief executive at that time, Chris Kermode, although not refuting the data, decided not to officially recognize Vilas.   In Oct 2020, Netflix released a documentary film about the Vilas case titled "Guillermo Vilas: Settling the Score".


This is no post on the Tennis legend but on a man with the same surname - during the 1990s, this man  was named the head of operations in Ecuador for Coca-Cola, following the local bankruptcy of the company in that region. In this role, he was tasked with restructuring the company and bringing it back to financial health. He has since sat on the boards of directors for both Coca-Cola, and Mavesa, and also served as Chairman of the board of directors of the Guayas Transit Commission as well as being a member of the Board of Directors of the Andean Development Corporation.  Now he is in news ! becoming the President-elect.

Those who visit the Middle of the World, a government-owned park that pays tribute to the Equator, are not drawn by the trinket shops or cafes offering roasted guinea pig. They want to stand on a yellow line painted on the ground here that is said to be precisely at Earth’s midpoint — 0 degrees latitude, 0 minutes, 0 seconds.  Except that it is not. The Equator is hundreds of feet to the north. For tourists reveling in the notion of being, for once, at the very center of things, the truth can be a bit of a letdown.

Ecuador is a country in northwestern South America, bordered by Colombi, Peru, & Pacific Ocean.   Ecuador also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometres (621 mi) west of the mainland. The capital is Quito. The territories of modern-day Ecuador were once home to a variety of Amerindian groups that were gradually incorporated into the Inca Empire during the 15th century. The territory was colonized by Spain during the 16th century, achieving independence in 1820 as part of Gran Colombia, from which it emerged as its own sovereign state in 1830.   Spanish is the official language and is spoken by a majority of the population, though 13 Native languages are also recognized, including Quechua and Shuar.  The sovereign state of Ecuador is a middle-income representative democratic republic and a developing country that is highly dependent on commodities, namely petroleum and agricultural products. It is governed as a democratic presidential republic.   

The man mentioned at the start (of cocacola &) - Guillermo Alberto Santiago Lasso Mendoza  is an Ecuadorian businessman and politician who is the president-elect of Ecuador.  He was a candidate in the 2021 general election, defeating Andrés Arauz in an upset victory. He previously ran for president in the 2013 and 2017 elections. In 2013, Lasso came in a distant second place behind President Rafael Correa by a landslide margin.  In the 2017 election, he advanced to the run-off running against Vice President Lenin Moreno but narrowly lost the election. Lasso served as Superminister of Economy during the Jamil Mahuad presidency briefly in 1999. He previously served as Governor of Guayas from 1998 until 1999. Aside from his political career, Lasso is also a banker and previously served as CEO of Banco Guayaquil.   


In the first round of 2021 elections, Lasso was slightly behind indigenous rights activist Yaku Pérez Guartambel, but eventually garnered enough votes to secure a narrow second place finish.  Lasso's victory was also seen as a win for free-market advocates in the country.  In 2011, Lasso published the book Cartas a Mis Hijos, which translates to Letters to my Children, which contains lessons he developed from his time working in business and highlights recommendations for the economic development of Ecuador.  Among his ideas, Lasso discusses the need for greater sovereignty over parts of the national economy.  The book advocates for the Ecuadorian government to develop policies that create more economic opportunities for its citizens. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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