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Ecuador

Capital

Quito

Territory

248,360km²

Population (2020)

17,643,060

GDP Total (2020)

98.81B USD

GDP Per Capita (2020)

5,600 USD

Icome Group

Upper middle income

Convention Implementation

65.1
In progress

Western Hemisphere Ranking

60.7

15th of 31 countries

South America Ranking

63.2

7th of 12 countries

Corruption Resilience

52.0
Moderately Resilient

Western Hemisphere Ranking

54.4

22nd of 31 countries

South America Ranking

53.9

9th of 12 countries

Convention Implementation

Score by thematic sections and measures

Prevention

In progress
55.6

Western Hemisphere 46.3

South America 47.3

Standards of Conduct

Core-deficient
40.6

Western Hemisphere 42.8

South America 48.0

Enforcement of Standards of Conduct

In progress
57.8

Western Hemisphere 50.6

South America 58.7

Training of Public Officials

In progress
62.5

Western Hemisphere 36.8

South America 44.5

Asset and Conflicts of Interests Declarations

In progress
50

Western Hemisphere 42.3

South America 45.8

Transparency in Government Contracting

Core-deficient
42.9

Western Hemisphere 33.1

South America 40.3

Elimination of Favorable Tax Treatment

In progress
50.7

Western Hemisphere 47.1

South America 49.2

Oversight Bodies

In progress
47.6

Western Hemisphere 36.0

South America 37.6

Measures to Deter Domestic and Foreign Bribery

In progress
50.7

Western Hemisphere 36.7

South America 40.6

Encouraging Participation by Civil Society

In progress
53.1

Western Hemisphere 43.0

South America 52.8

Study of Other Prevention Measures

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 44.9

South America 48.1

Criminalization and law enforcement

In progress
60

Western Hemisphere 61.1

South America 64.1

Protection of Those who Report Acts of Corruption

Core-deficient
26.5

Western Hemisphere 30.7

South America 34.8

Scope

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 67.7

South America 75

Jurisdiction: Offense-in-Territory

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 74.6

South America 77.8

Jurisdiction: Offense-by-National

Implemented
82.8

Western Hemisphere 51.9

South America 62.6

Jurisdiction: Offender-in-Territory

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 58.8

South America 79.1

Passive Public Bribery

In progress
50.7

Western Hemisphere 55.8

South America 55.3

Active Public Bribery

In progress
50.7

Western Hemisphere 56.4

South America 55.3

Abuse of Functions

In progress
50.7

Western Hemisphere 47.0

South America 48.4

Money Laundering

Core-deficient
33.5

Western Hemisphere 55.8

South America 54.3

Participation and Attempt

In progress
47.6

Western Hemisphere 58.4

South America 56.4

Active Foreign Bribery

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 39.0

South America 34.4

Illicit Enrichment

In progress
57.8

Western Hemisphere 54.7

South America 59.2

Use of State Property

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 79.5

South America 85.5

Illicit Acquisition of a Benefit

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 52.1

South America 59.5

Public Embezzlement

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 77.6

South America 83.2

Passive Foreign Bribery

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 25.6

South America 22.0

Private Bribery

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 22.7

South America 26.4

Private Embezzlement

Implemented
82.8

Western Hemisphere 64.7

South America 70.4

Obstruction of Justice

In progress
68.7

Western Hemisphere 71.4

South America 79.1

Liability of Legal Persons

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 61.3

South America 60.6

Statute of Limitations

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 79.6

South America 84.3

Prosecution, Adjudication and Sanctions

In progress
43.7

Western Hemisphere 69.5

South America 71.2

Consequences and Compensation

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 70.3

South America 77.4

Cooperation With Law Enforcement

Implemented
74.2

Western Hemisphere 72.2

South America 72.9

Asset Recovery

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 66.4

South America 68.4

International cooperation

Implemented
80.0

Western Hemisphere 68.9

South America 72.5

Assistance Without Criminalization

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 79.8

South America 82.8

Inclusion in Extradition Treaties

In progress
47.6

Western Hemisphere 55.1

South America 55.3

Convention as Legal Basis for Extradition

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 47.5

South America 55.2

Automatic Application Without Treaty

Implemented
82.8

Western Hemisphere 52.7

South America 54.9

Prosecution Without Extradition

Implemented
96.8

Western Hemisphere 57.2

South America 58.7

Custody

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 73.4

South America 70.1

Assistance

In progress
68.7

Western Hemisphere 58.0

South America 64.6

Impossibility of Claiming Bank Secrecy

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 84.0

South America 86.3

Limited Use of Information

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 82.6

South America 89.5

Nature of Act

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 84.3

South America 83.3

Designate Central Authorities

In progress
50

Western Hemisphere 75.9

South America 86.5

Responsibilities of Central Authorities

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 71.5

South America 74.9

Communication Between Central Authorities

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 67.3

South America 78.3

Special Investigative Techniques

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 56.9

South America 52.0

Technical Cooperation

Implemented
82.8

Western Hemisphere 62.8

South America 78.3

Anti-corruption conventions timeline

1996199719981999200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017201820192020

Conventions

  • IACAC - Inter-American Convention Against Corruption
  • UNCAC - United Nations Convention against Corruption
  • OECD Anti-Bribery Convention

Key events

  • Signed
  • Ratifed / acceded
  • Review rounds

Convention Implementation Analysis

Ecuador signed the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (IACAC) on March 29, 1996, and ratified it on May 26, 1997. It is a State Party to the Follow-Up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) since June 4, 2001. The country also signed the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) on December 10, 2003, and subsequently ratified it on September 15, 2005. Accordingly, Ecuador has undergone five rounds of review under MESICIC, and one round of review under the UNCAC review mechanism.

Ecuador’s record in implementing its commitments to IACAC and UNCAC exhibits a number of successes and a few failures. With an overall score of 65.1, the measures adopted place the country at the middle point of compliance with international norms, surrounded by Panama (63.5), Jamaica (65.1), Uruguay (66.1), and Honduras (66.6). Despite achieving higher success in regard to criminalization and international cooperation (as is the case throughout the region) the majority of preventive measures are found to be in progress or implemented while most failures pertain to criminalization and law enforcement. Consequently, a degree of progress is found in all three sections—albeit with an emphasis on international cooperation.

The prevention of corruption is undergoing, classified as “in progress” by its average score and with prominent measures given a score of 50 or above—systems for registering asset and conflict of interests' declarations, the initiatives to encourage the participation of civil society, and the enforcement of standards of conduct, among others. Indeed, almost three quarters of all preventive measures are considered to be in progress, and the study of preventive measures related to equitable compensation is considered to be fully implemented. Within this section, only two measures fail to achieve sufficient progress—the adoption of standards of conduct (40.6) and transparency of government contracting (43.0). These measures represent only one quarter of all “core-deficient” or unimplemented scores given to Ecuador’s implementation of international commitments, again reflecting the generally satisfactory distribution of progress.

In terms of criminalization and law enforcement, Ecuador shows slightly better results than those regarding prevention—yet, significant deficiencies remain, with over a quarter of all measures within this section classified as core-deficient or not implemented. The country is found to have successfully implemented a number of commitments, including significant ones pertaining to embezzlement in the public and private sectors and the liability of legal persons. However, key measures are found completely lacking—the criminalization of active and passive foreign bribery and bribery in the private sector—or found deficient, including the protection of those who report acts of corruption (i.e., whistleblower protection) and the express punishment of money laundering. Regarding the above-mentioned lack of standards on foreign bribery, the third round of MESICIC concluded that “in the absence of provisions related to transnational bribery in Ecuador, the Committee considers that the country under review could benefit from the adoption of a law on international cooperation, in order to comply with [its commitment]”. Other measures, such as active and passive bribery in the public sector and the abuse of function, among several others, are found in progress due to limitations in their legal features and “confusing” results (as reported by MESICIC).

Finally, Ecuador is found mostly compliant in its commitments to establish jurisdiction over the offenses covered by the conventions, including those that have been committed inside its territory, committed by a national, or when the offender is present in its territory, among other required forms. However, the UNCAC review mechanism reports that “Ecuador has not established its jurisdiction over offenses committed against the State”. Furthermore, it is worth highlighting that the country does not recognize UNCAC as a legal basis for extradition and requires dual criminality. That being said, the generally positive evaluation of the country’s implementation of its commitments regarding international cooperation is reflected in over two thirds of all measures within this section receiving an “implemented” score.

Corruption Resilience

Score by indicator

Social Context

Moderately Resilient
58.9

Western Hemisphere 64.8

South America 64.2

Quality of Government

Moderately Resilient
47.5

Western Hemisphere 50.6

South America 52.4

Rule of Law

Moderately Resilient
47.6

Western Hemisphere 51.1

South America 50.7

Business Stability

Vulnerable
39.5

Western Hemisphere 50.5

South America 48.1

Violence & Security

Moderately Resilient
66.7

Western Hemisphere 55.0

South America 54.4

Corruption Resilience score over the time

Analysis

Ecuador's social context score declined by 1.3 points from 2019, resulting in a score of 58.97 which falls 5.92 points below the Western Hemisphere average of 64.89. Despite scoring below the regional average, Ecuador’s score has steadily improved since 2017, following the election of President Moreno. During this period and subsequent years (2018, 2019), the freedom of media indicator began to improve by approximately 5-point increments. In contrast, during the presidency of Rafael Correa (2007-2017), the country’s media—particularly those who were critical of the administration—faced serious challenges.

With respect to the quality of government indicators, in 2020, Ecuador had a marginal increase in its score from the previous year by 1.39 points. Ecuador's quality of government indicator has had substantial improvements from 2010 to 2020, increasing by a total of 3.06 points. However, despite this improvement, Ecuador remains ranked within the lowest percentile of the Western Hemisphere countries. The country's score is attributed to its flawed democracy, which has had democratic backsliding since 2007. In short, the country faces serious challenges concerning representative government, fundamental rights, checks on government, and impartial administration. Corruption continues to pose serious problems for the government.

Since 2010, Ecuador's rule of law has been increasing sustainably and the county has had a 14.93-point increase from 2010 to 2020. Despite Ecuador's improvements, it has yet to reach the threshold for the region's 2020 average (51.15). During President Correa’s administration, the country’s courts faced serious threats to their autonomy. However, since the election of Lenín Moreno in 2017, the court’s autonomy has gradually been restored. In the following year, the 2018 referendum—initiated by President Moreno—reorganized the transitional Council of Citizens Participation and Social Control (CPCCS) to ensure judicial integrity in the country's courts. Since 2018, the CPCCS has dismissed 19 judges.

In 2020, Ecuador's business stability indicator score (39.50) rose by 1.23 points from the preceding year. The country's business stability indicator ranks within the lower percentile for the region, where it's score falls 11.03 points below the regional average for 2020. Ecuador's low score is attributed to years of corruption. Ecuador's violence and security indicators was 66.74, which increased from the preceding year by 7.33 points. Compared to its regional counterparts, Ecuador's score is in the upper percentile.

Transparency Record

Main Reporting NGO

Fundación Ciudadanía y Desarrollo (FCD)

Report date

Nov-2020

Review year

2019-2020

Document reviewed

Full Report

language

Spanish

Did the government make public the contact details before the country focal point? No
Was civil society consulted in preparation for the self-assessment? No
Was civil society invited to provide information to the official reviewers? No
Was the self-assessment published online or provided to CSOs? No

Ecuador’s civil society parallel review report was authored by the Fundación Ciudadanía y Desarrollo (Citizenship and Development Foundation), a partner organization of Transparency International, based on information gathered during the period between 2019 and 2020. The report assessed the country’s compliance with articles in chapters II and V of UNCAC, namely articles 5-14 and 51-59. The lack of available information posed a significant obstacle in preparing the report, as limited information on public policies, reports, statistics, and programs on corruption prevention were published by institutions. The remaining data was solicited through public information requests, 75% of which were either unanswered or denied. Instead, interviews were conducted with state and non-state actors.

In terms of the legal framework, the majority of UNCAC articles assessed remain partially implemented (articles 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 58, 59) while only four categories have been sufficiently integrated (articles 6, 7.1, 9.1, and 9.2). Similarly, the status of enforcement in practice is predominantly poor or moderate. Only articles 9.1 and 9.2 have been reviewed as having good enforcement. The report concluded with several priority recommendations, namely the creation of a national plan to prevent and fight corruption inclusive of government officials and non-state actors, the publication of all public policies and their implementation, the adoption of measures to ensure transparency, the development of regulatory policies for financial technologies, the adoption of regulations to facilitate asset recovery, the improvement of coordination efforts among state bodies, and lastly, the development of minimum standards for public codes of conduct, among others.