The Politics of Exclusion:
Ecuador's Glorious May Revolution of 1944

Marc Becker
Assistant Professor of History
Division of Social Science
Truman State University
Kirksville, Missouri


The "Glorious May Revolution" of 1944 and the subsequent constituent assembly which drafted a progressive constitution promised openings for popular organizations in Ecuador. Much like the recent January 21, 2000 coup, however, this "revolution" attempted and failed to force much needed changes in concepts of citizenship rights and state structures so that they would respond to the needs of the entire country. This essay addresses the question of why Ecuador's popular movement, although large and strong, continues to be frustrated in achieving its goals.

Prepared for delivery at the 2000 meeting of the Latin American Studies Association, Hyatt Regency Miami, March 16-18, 2000.

Draft--please do not cite without author's permission. Comments welcome.

In the small South American country of Ecuador, a coalition of workers, Indians, peasants, students, and certain sectors of the military joined forces in an effort to overthrow a president who had become increasingly unpopular. In Quito, protestors encircled governmental buildings thereby paralyzing their operations. Similar protests occurred in the coastal port city of Guayaquil, and spread to other smaller towns throughout the country. Refusing to play a stereotypical role of using repression to defend the interests of the oligarchy, the military declined to come to the aid of the embattled government, and some lower-level officers and soldiers even provided overt support to the revolutionary movement. After a brief period of euphoria which seemed to usher in a new period of social relations and optimistic expectations of increased Indigenous and popular participation in political power, the country's elite reestablished their control and the lower classes were once again marginalized and excluded from political processes.

While this may seem to describe the recent events of January 21, 2000, in which popular uprisings forced president Jamil Mahaud from power, I am actually describing the so-called Glorious May Revolution which took place 56 years earlier. I am struck by the strong parallels between the events of January 21, 2000 and May 28, 1944. In both incidents, popular sectors were on the verge of redefining state power in order to respond to their class interests. Both times, the elite managed to reassert their control over the country's economic and political structures. Both movements resulted in frustrated attempts at seizing state power and a continued marginalization for the country's poor rural and urban population.

In this essay, I will describe the events of May 1944, the openings for popular organizing efforts it created, and the 1944-1945 constituent assembly which drafted the most progressive constitution Ecuador has ever enjoyed. My goal is to explain how this revolution attempted and failed to force changes in concepts of citizenship rights and build state structures which responded to the needs of the entire country. My hope is that examining the outcome of May 1944 will shed light on the events of January 2000.

The Glorious May Revolution

The "Glorious May Revolution" of May 28, 1944, represented a significant break in the political history of the Ecuadorian republic and an end to the hegemony that liberals had enjoyed over the country since Eloy Alfaro's 1895 Liberal Revolution. The 1944 revolution began with the military garrison in the coastal port city of Guayaquil revolting against Carlos Arroyo del Río's government at 10 p.m. on the evening of May 28. The military, claiming "the support of all the people, principally students, workers, and intellectuals," had "risen to put an end to the hateful tyranny of traitors whom we can no longer tolerate." The military denied that it desired to take over the government. Rather, power "will be placed in the hands of civilians who will guarantee an immediate return to normality." (1)

In a three-way race against the archaeologist and historian Jacinto Jijón y Caamaño who represented the conservative party and José María Velasco Ibarra as an independent candidate, Arroyo del Río had won the 1940 election among charges of electoral fraud. This represented victory for "the most reactionary wing of the Liberal party." (2) The credibility of Arroyo's government suffered after losing a war with Peru in 1941 and half of Ecuador's territory in the subsequent Río Protocol. Given the option of defending national security or maintaining internal order, Arroyo del Río decided to preserve his political fortunes. Disillusioned with the increasingly dictatorial and anti-democratic nature of Arroyo del Río's government, both conservative and leftist parties refused to participate in May 1941 elections for the national congress. Recognizing the inevitability of a fraudulent electoral process and with their base of support largely excluded from the exercise of the franchise, the socialist and communist parties had chosen to sit out this election. As a result, voter participation, which slowly had been rising throughout the 1930s, dropped noticeably. (3) With increased repression and a rising cost of living, diverse political parties including conservatives, Catholics, socialists, communists and independent liberals joined forces in a coalition called the Alianza Democrática Ecuatoriana (ADE, Ecuadorian Democratic Alliance) in July of 1943 to support Velasco Ibarra against the liberal regime in elections planned for June 2 and 3 of 1944. (4) Arroyo del Río refused to allow Velasco Ibarra, who had gone into exile after losing the 1940 elections, to return to Ecuador to campaign for the presidency.

Convinced that the liberals would not respect the 1944 election any more than the one in 1940, the ADE organized the May 28 revolt with the support of workers, students, Indians, women, and lower sectors of the military. Popular uprisings in Guayaquil, which resulted in the deaths of several hundred people, spread the following morning to the highland towns of Quito, Cuenca, and Riobamba. In Quito, street demonstrations congregated on the Plaza de la Independencia where people sang the national anthem, cheered Velasco Ibarra, and speakers made impassioned calls for social change. By the evening of the 29th about half of Quito's population was in the streets in support of the uprising. Women's committees played an important role in these protests, including helping organize a human enclosure around the Government Palace and gained the surrender of the men stationed there. In the northern highland town of Cayambe, long-time Indian rights leader Dolores Cacuango led Indigenous forces in an attack on the local army barracks. Ecuador, one author observed, finally "was in the hands of its legitimate owners." (5)

Having lost virtually all of his support, Arroyo del Río resigned from the presidency on May 31. The military leaders who participated in the uprising asserted that "we, the men of the people, captured the government, and we set up a popular regime, the most democratic in this America." (6) They handed power to the ADE which established a provisional ruling junta in Guayaquil that would rule until Velasco Ibarra could return to the country. A wide variety of people served in this junta, including Gustavo Becerra for the Communist Party, Luis Larrea Alba for the Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard Party, Manuel Agustín Aguirre for the Socialist Party, as well as liberal and conservative delegates. (7) The junta announced a six-point political program which included agricultural, industrial, labor, and other reforms. (8)

On June 1, this junta proclaimed José María Velasco Ibarra as Supreme Chief of the Republic. Velasco Ibarra entered power with wide and diverse support which crossed all social classes, political persuasions, and sectors of society. This was a period of high expectations for deep changes. Women, children, Indians and others "from all stations in life" met and gave Velasco Ibarra a very warm welcome as he slowly made his way to Quito from where he had been waiting in the wings in exile in Colombia on Ecuador's northern border. (9) Arriving in the capital, he pledged to struggle for social justice and a national transformation. His victory brought an end to the political hegemony which liberals had enjoyed since 1895. A small but growing literate middle class brought more people into the electorate, but elites continued to exclude the large rural Indian masses from political discourse.

Leftists had seen May 28 as the beginning of a Marxist revolution. A socialist was named Minister of Social Welfare and Labor before he tragically drowned. In July, more than a thousand workers, artisans, peasants, intellectuals, and political leaders met in Quito to found the Confederación de Trabajadores del Ecuador (CTE, Confederation of Ecuadorian Workers). This was the first successful effort to establish a national leftist labor confederation and subsequently became a major force in popular organizing efforts in Ecuador. Communist and socialist party leaders as well as people from an anarcho-syndicalist political persuasion played a large role in defining its ideology which sought to "better workers' economic and social situation and defend their class interests." (10) Their demands included better salaries, a shorter work week, a guaranteed right to strike, the elimination of feudal trappings in agriculture, defense of democracy, and other elements which favored the proletariat within the framework of an international working-class struggle. (11)

In August of 1944, Indigenous leaders with the support of labor leaders and members of the Socialist and Communist parties gathered in Quito to form the Federación Ecuatoriana de Indios (FEI, Ecuadorian Federation of Indians). The FEI was conceptualized as a peasant wing of the CTE in order to agitate for peasant and Indigenous concerns from a class-based perspective. Although it emerged out of leftist political party and labor union organizing efforts, the FEI was the first successful attempt in Ecuador to establish a national organization for and by Indigenous peoples. From the 1940s through the 1960s, the FEI flourished as the main national organizational expression of highland Indigenous and peasant groups, and it stands out as a milestone in the history of Ecuador's popular movements.

These organizations struggled to extend social security benefits to peasants and included as one of its founding principles a demand for agrarian reform. It called for land and water to be returned to Indigenous and peasant communities from which they had been snatched. It also called for the implementation of modern forms of cultivation (in particular cooperatives), the creation of an effective system of credit which would benefit the peasants, the expansion of irrigation systems, and the improvement of living conditions for salaried agricultural workers. (12) Over the next several decades, the organizations worked to develop a worker-peasant alliance to struggle for a democratic agrarian reform and a defense of Indians in the face of state and employer violence. (13)

The 1944-1945 Constituent Assembly

On July 23, 1944, the Ecuadorian electorate (literate males and females, perhaps about 5 percent of the population) picked delegates for the constituent assembly which would draft a new constitution for the country. The assembly convened on August 10 (the anniversary of Ecuadorian independence from Spain), named Velasco Ibarra president of the republic, and began work on a new constitution which would govern the country. In one of the longest constitutional deliberations in the country's history, it took seven months to complete work on Ecuador's fifteenth constitution which was formally promulgated on March 6, 1945.

All of the delegates who gathered in Quito to draft the constitution were men from Ecuador's privileged elite white-mestizo class. The leftist ADE coalition which led the May Revolution and was responsible for bringing Velasco Ibarra back into power, emerged victorious in the July election and held a dominant position in drafting the constitution. The 1930s had been a time of growing electoral strength for the left, and, together with their significant participation in the events of May, this was reflected in the composition of the assembly. Communists filled fifteen of the 89 seats, one-sixth of the total, and members of the Socialist and Revolutionary Socialist Vanguard parties held another XX seats. It was one of the leftist's highest points of electoral strength in the country's history. Communist leaders such as Enríque Gil Gilbert and Neptalí Pacheco León played active roles in the assembly and helped push through reforms that benefitted the rural and urban working classes. This large and significant leftist presence resulted in one of the most progressive constitutions that Ecuador has ever enjoyed.

Since the 1929 constitution, special interest groups were guaranteed representation in congress, and this provision carried over to this constituent assembly. The 1929 electoral law stipulated that various national bodies would select fifteen "functional" senators to represent the interests of the universities, secondary schools, primary schools, the press, agriculture, merchants, industry, workers, peasants, and the military. Finally, Article 92 of this law specified that the Council of State would elect a senator "for the guidance and defense of the Indian race." (14) Whereas the other groups had the right to select their own representation, the Indigenous peoples, by far the single largest group of those named in the law, had no such privilege. Indians and their sympathetic supporters fought for years with little success to gain control over this position. Rather than supporting Indigenous struggles, the politicians who filled this post were often antagonistic toward the very people they were to guide and defend.

This functional presence was expanded in the 1944-1945 constituent assembly in a democratic effort to increase representation for historically under-represented groups. (15) While most of the delegates continued to represent one of the country's 18 provinces, 38 (over a third) of the members served in the capacity of functional representatives, a notable increase over the previous constitution. While many of these represented elite commercial and agricultural interests, ten served a variety of educational interests, nine represented workers, and two were delegated for Indigenous peoples. Leftist politicians controlled many of these seats, including Pedro Saad, the Secretary General of the Communist Party, representing workers; Manuel Agustín Aguirre, the Secretary General of the Socialist Party, representing educational interests; and Ricardo Paredes, the founder of the Communist Party, representing the "Indigenous race." Paredes made effective use of his post to advocate for the interests of the Indigenous peoples, including proposing the formation of a Ministry of Indigenous Affairs. (16)

Notably absent from this assembly was the direct participation of Indians, women, and other members of marginalized sectors that had played leading roles in the Glorious May Revolution. Since the Indians legally were not citizens, the government denied them access to the national congress. Elites who benefitted from this status quo held political power, and there were very few sympathetic voices who had access to the halls of power who could argue for legislative changes. This has been true not only in marginalized countries like Ecuador but throughout the world. It is only through the ability of popular organizations to mobilize their resources that concepts of democracy and citizenship can be expanded, and a more just and egalitarian society can emerge.

The role of Indians and women in the conceptualization of Ecuadorian citizenship became a common topic of debate in this constituent assembly. Conservative members denounced universal suffrage as an undesirable and unattainable utopia. (17) Critical observers noted that denying the vote to illiterate Indians was a throwback to (or, perhaps more accurately, a continuation of) debates within the Catholic church after the conquest as to whether the Indians could be considered human beings. (18) Paredes insisted that not only more acculturated highland Indians but also isolated Indians in the eastern Amazonian rainforest must be included as part of the body polity. (19) The resulting 1945 constitution still failed to extend citizenship rights or the vote to the Indigenous peoples, although it continued to claim that the Ecuadorian government was "republican, elected, responsible."

Nevertheless, the 1945 constitution did yield on some items to popular organizations. For example, while for the first time Article 5 declared Spanish to be the official language it also recognized "Quichua and other aboriginal languages as elements of the national culture." (20) This concession only came after heated and lengthy debates. Reflecting common liberal assimilationist attitudes, Carlos Zambrano, functional representative for Sierra Agricultural interests, maintained that the Indian language Quichua should be used only as a vehicle to educate and incorporate Indians into a national culture. (21) Without the Indians being present, it was difficult for them to defend their own ethnic interests. It was largely through the efforts of sympathetic and dedicated advocates such as Ricardo Paredes who consistently pressed for universal citizenship and suffrage rights for women and illiterate peasants, Indians, and urban workers that the constitution included some of these concerns.

This constitution extended the system of functional representatives which guaranteed congressional representation for minority interests (although Indians who comprised almost half of the country's population in 1944 could hardly be properly termed a minority group). Twenty-five of the deputies in the single-chamber congress would represent special interests. Unlike the 1929 electoral law which gave the Council of State the right to select the representative of the Indigenous race, in the 1944 constitution this office lay with Indigenous organizations giving Indians significantly more control over their representative. Article 161 of the 1945 electoral law stipulates that the president of the Cantonal Electoral Tribunal would assemble the leaders of legally recognized Indian communities (comunas) and similar associations which had operated for at least a year. These meetings would select delegates which would then elect a deputy to the national congress. (22) An inherent limitation of this system was that the comuna structure often functioned to undermine leftist organizing strategies and many of the more politicized Indigenous communities rejected these structures. Their true representation of Indigenous concerns was thus limited, and the Ecuadorian Federation of Indians fought without success to claim for itself the right to name this person. (23)

The 1945 constitution contained extensive checks against executive power and ensured permanent leftist representation in the government, provisions which led political scientist George Blanksten to declare the document to be utopian, unworkable, and "divorced from reality." (24) It extended legal guarantees defending freedom of assembly and political organizations, while at the same time restricting military and religious participation in political activities. It incorporated elements of the 1938 labor code, including outlawing child labor and preserving the right to strike. It declared the state educational system to be free and secular, and dedicated to eliminating illiteracy. The extent of leftist influence in this assembly is reflected in a November resolution to send greetings to the Soviet Union on the anniversary of the 1917 revolution.


In overthrowing Arroyo del Río, all Ecuadorians, "the red with the conservative, the priest with the soldier, the woman and the man, the student and worker" could momentarily unify forces to make the Glorious May Revolution. (25) But it became impossible to solidify these diverse forces into a common front to transform the country after the ouster of the former president. Many of the apparent gains of the May 1944 "Revolution" were limited and short lived. Although women and Indians had played a significant role in this political transformation, after the victory they were soon forgotten, marginalized, and excluded from participation in governmental affairs. Meanwhile, the economic situation in the country continued to decline. From 1943 to 1947 the cost of living in Ecuador more than doubled (see Appendix I). Rather than solving the country's problems, the change in government only proved to exacerbate a worsening situation.

Velasco Ibarra, who never embraced socialist ideals, saw this victory as his own personal triumph, and his honeymoon with popular forces soon ended. He found the 1945 constitution too radical, and later he described it as "barbaric, absurd, utopian, and impossible, a typical example of the idiotic criollo Communism that congratulates itself for filling theaters and lecture halls with illiterate Indians." (26) Even before the constituent assembly was done with its work, Velasco Ibarra vocally expressed his opposition to the direction that the drafting of the constitution was taking. He opposed the system of functional representation and restrictions on executive power as limiting "the sovereignty of the people." (27) These divisions in the chambers of the constituent assembly were also played out in street battles. In January 1945, leftist and velasquist forces clashed in Quito and Guayaquil. The government mobilized two army units, thirteen tanks, and two planes to Cayambe under the pretext of suppressing an alleged Indigenous uprising. (28) The Glorious May Revolution appeared not to have solved any of the country's problems.

Accompanying a rise in literacy rates only about 10 percent of the population now participated in elections. But this uprising failed to result in any profound or long-lasting changes. It did not redefine citizenship to include Indians, peasants, or the urban poor. It did not create a fundamental or conceptual shift that would address the underlying structural problems that gave rise to reoccurring problems which continued to haunt the country in January of 2000.

Within the space of two years, Velasco Ibarra turned his back on his previous supporters, most of the socialists and communists had left the government, and he repressed labor movements, began to persecute "bolsheviks" and "terrorists," and for the first time in its history forced the Communist Party underground. Velasco Ibarra proceeded to build a prison on Isla Isabela in the Galápagos archipelago far off the Ecuadorian coast where he exiled his most bitter political enemies. Despite his populist rhetoric, Velasco Ibarra remained clearly and deliberately allied with the conservative oligarchy. His reforms never fundamentally altered political and economic relations in Ecuador.

On March 30, 1946, Velasco Ibarra declared himself dictator, abrogated the progressive 1945 constitution (which had been in effect only a little more than a year) and reinstated the 1906 constitution. This represented a definitive break between his government and popular forces. In August of 1946, Velasco Ibarra convened a constitutional assembly with the task of writing a new magna carte more to his liking. Leftists refused to participate in this affair, favoring instead to adhere to the constitution which they had implemented the previous year. The result was that the conservatives held the upper hand in writing a document which would govern the country for the next twenty years. This new magna carta provided a legal basis for the continuation of the latifundio as the primary mode of agricultural production. The limited functional representation which Indians and peasants enjoyed in the 1929 and 1945 constitutions was struck from this constitution. It also failed to acknowledge the importance of ethnicity, removing the reference from the previous constitution to Quichua and other Indigenous languages. This indicates the determined effort on the part of the conservatives who drafted that constitution to exclude from political discourse those whom they felt were unworthy of this activity. There was little effort to meet the general demands which the Indians and peasants had been pressing with the national government.

Velasco Ibarra promulgated the new constitution on December 31, 1946, but he did not remain in power long to enjoy its advantages. Velasco Ibarra's conservative populism alienated both the left and right. With charges of economic mismanagement, on August 23, 1947 the military arrested Velasco Ibarra, forced him to resign, and expelled him from the country. Unlike the popular acclaim which had placed him in power in May of 1944, few people now came to his defense. An extraordinary session of congress named Carlos Julio Arosemena Tola to serve the final year of Velasco Ibarra's term, and this ushered in a 12-year period of unusual political stability. Velasco Ibarra's second period in office, much like the other four times he was the chief executive, resulted in a re-entrenchment of the exclusionary nature of Ecuadorian politics and a denial of a voice to the Indigenous peoples and popular movements in general.


José María Velasco Ibarra once observed that "Ecuador is a very difficult country to govern." (29) Ecuador has also been known as a country with highly unstable governments and frequent changes in chief executives and ministerial posts. Only during three periods throughout its history (1912-1924, 1948-1960, and 1979-1996) has Ecuador experienced a series of peaceful, legal, and constitutional changes of government. The switch in the 1950s from one of Latin America's most volatile to one of the most stable political systems led many political observers to conclude that the country "had achieved a degree of political 'maturity.'" (30) Two periods of military rule in the 1960s and 1970s and the events of the last several years, however, cast doubt on this interpretation. Furthermore, although constitutional reforms after the 1944 revolution and the 1979 return to civilian rule opened up the political process a bit, electoral politics continue to remain overwhelmingly a minority and elitist affair in Ecuador. Although broader serious political issues were hotly debated during 1944, governmental stability on a national level responded more to economic issues. A growing export economy in the late 1940s, particularly in a rising international demand for bananas, led to a reduction of tensions among the elite. In this more relaxed political atmosphere, the elites felt less of a need to contest for political power. Instability is not an inherent component of Ecuadorian culture but an artificially created feature of a small elite determined to run the country according to its own interests to the exclusion of the rest of the populous. Regional and economic divisions with the elite class further leads to political breakdowns.

The left's failure to capsize on the upheaval emerging out of the May Revolution caused it to reflect on its strategies. As in 1938 when they snatched electoral defeat from the jaws of victory, rather than consolidating their hold on power leftists once again entered into alliances with moderate forces which quickly betrayed their interests. Socialist intellectual Manuel Agustín Aguirre asked whether a bourgeois or a proletariat revolution would bring the needed changes to Ecuador. He concluded that building such popular fronts with the bourgeoisie would hinder a democratic revolution, and in fact the bourgeoisie played a counterrevolutionary and reactionary role in Ecuadorian politics. (31) Years later, René Maugé, the Secretary General of the Communist Party, lamented the strategic error of allowing Velasco Ibarra to disarm the masses after the May Revolution. (32) Even outside observers noted that after struggling so hard for victory, it was a mistake for the left to trust their fortunes to a populist leader such as Velasco Ibarra. (33) This seems to be a lesson that popular organizations painfully have still not been able to learn. Repeatedly, Indians and others place their political hopes in the hands of opportunistic populist leaders who manipulate Indians to gain power but then implement policies which run directly counter to their class interests.

Although Indians had their own organizations, understood, and were able to articulate their own demands, until they gained full citizenship rights they could not use formal political channels to press for the legal and structural changes such as raising the level of minimum salaries and enacting a program of agrarian reform. They faced what O'Donnell termed conditions of "low-intensity citizenship" in which a notable gap continued to exist between the liberal principal of equality and the practice of political exclusion. (34) In The Rights Revolution, Charles Epp noted the necessity of mobilizing significant material resources to command changes in constitutional law, which has normally left these concerns under the domain of powerful business interests to the exclusion of ordinary individuals. (35)

A variety of leftists who were acutely aware of this lack of democracy and citizenship rights stepped into this vacuum and fought for the rights and interests of the Indigenous peoples, including political and electoral rights. (36) While the Indians worked from the outside, sympathetic leftists struggled from within the system to create political spaces for the dispossessed. As Foweraker and Landman noted, labor movements became "the vanguard of the citizenship struggle." (37) This political context led to a situation of partial democracy which continued to exclude the rural majority from the full exercise of their citizenship rights. Only through popular mobilizations would it be possible "to close the gap between the rhetoric and reality of citizenship, between the promise and the practice of democratic rights." (38) Without a doubt, citizenship has always been highly exclusionary in Ecuador, and changes come only as a result of fierce popular struggles. It was this pressure from below which defined the nature of Indian politics and citizenship rights in Ecuador.

Appendix I

Cost of Living Index

Source: Marco A. Bustamante Y. and Victor Manuel Madrid A., Monografia de la provincia de Pichincha ([Quito: 1952), 188-89, 194.

Appendix II

Members of the 1944-1945 Constituent Assembly

Francisco Arízaga Luque President of the Congress
Manuel Elicio Flor Vicepresident of the Congress
Octavio Chacón Azuay
Gonazalo Cordero Crespo Azuay
Gabriel Cevallos Azuay
Alejandro Malo Azuay
Rafael Galarza Azuay
Rafael Cordero Tamaríz Azuay
Angel León Carvajal Bolívar
Humberto del Pozo Bolívar
Alfredo Silva del Pozo Bolívar
Alfonso Veintimilla Cañar
Ezequiel Cárdenas Cañar
Ricardo García Cañar
Manuel María Borrero Cañar
César Guerra Casares Carchi
Luis Rosero C. Carchi
Alberto Acosta Soberón Carchi
David Altamirano Chimborazo
Alfredo Chiriboga Chimborazo
Daniel León Borja Chimborazo
Humberto Gallegos Chimborazo
Vicente Haro Chimborazo
Sixto Lanas Cotopaxi
Eduardo Vásconez Cuvi Cotopaxi
Juan José León Cotopaxi
Rafael Terán Coronel Cotopaxi
Manuel Romero S. El Oro
Eduardo Guzmán M. El Oro
José A. Gómez G. El Oro
César Estupiñán Esmeraldas
Gustavo Becerra Esmeraldas PCE
Simón Plata Torres Esmeraldas
Enríque Gil Gilbert Guayas PCE
Alejandro Herrería Guayas
Antonio Parra Velasco Guayas
Alfonso Larrea Alba Guayas PVRS
Ernesto Monge Imbabura
Alberto Moreno Imbabura
Luis F. Madera Imbabura
Manuel Quintana Los Ríos
Guillermo Baquerizo Los Ríos
Marco Tulio Guerra Los Ríos
Gilberto Miranda Los Ríos
Eduardo Ludeña Loja
Máximo Rodríguez Loja
Miguel Angel Aguirre Loja
Ernesto Rodríguez Loja
Aquíles Valencia Manabí
Agustín Vera Loor Manabí
Sergio Plaza A. Manabí
Armando Espinel Manabí
José Santos Rodríguez Manabí
José María Plaza Pichincha
Alfonso Zambrano Pichincha Frente Democrático
Gustavo Buendía Pichincha PVRS
Héctor Vásconez Tungurahua
Nicolás Dueñas Ibarra Tungurahua
Alfredo Coloma Tungurahua
Nicolas Kingman Napo Pastaza
José Morales Morona Santiago
Cornelio Izquierdo Galápagos
Luis A. Avilés R. Coastal Agriculture
Guillermo Bustamante Sierra Agriculture
Juan Rocha Agriculture
Marcos Espinel Agriculture
Jaime Chávez Ramírez Agriculture
Carlos Zambrano O. Sierra Agriculture
Justiniano Espinosa Agriculture
Abel Romeo Castillo Coastal Industry
Gregorio Ormaza Sierra Industry
Francisco Calderón Coastal Commerce
Rafael A. Lasso Commerce
Pedro Saad Workers PCE
Manuel Augustín Aguirre Workers PSE
Juan Isaac Lovato Workers PSE
Neptalí Pacheco León Workers PCE
Miguel Angel Guzmán Workers
Víctor Hugo Briones Workers
Carlos Ayala Cabanilla Workers
César Coronel Catholic Workers
Emilio Cárdenas Catholic Laborers
Carlos Pinto Army
Pedro Concha Army
Luis Eloy Jarrín Navy
Edmundo Carvajal Air Force
Julio Enrique Paredes Universidad Central
Joffre Lara Universidad del Guayas
Carlos Cueva Tamariz Universidad de Cuenca PSE
José Miguel Carrión Universidad de Loja
Gustavo Vallejo Larrea Sierra Press
Leopoldo Benitez V. Coastal Press
José María Roura Sierra Students
Alejandro Idrobo Coastal Students
Jaime Chávez Granja Secondary Schools
Efraín Camacho S. Private Schools
Eloy Velásquez Cevallos Primary Schools
Emilio Uzcátegui Primary Schools
Ricardo Paredes Indigenous PCE
Luis Alvaro Indigenous

Political Parties

Partido Vanguardia Revolucionaria Socialista (PVRS)
Frente Democrático
Partido Comunista del Ecuador (PCE)
Partido Socialista del Ecuador (PSE)

1. "People of Guayaquil," quoted in George I. Blanksten, Ecuador: Constitutions and Caudillos (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1951), 45. A large body of literature exists on the May 1944 revolution in Ecuador. In particular, see Sergio Enrique Girón, La revolución de mayo (Quito: Editorial Atahualpa, 1945) and Silvia Vega Ugalde, La Gloriosa: de la revolución del 28 de mayo de 1944 a la contrarrevolución velasquista, Colección Ecuador/Historia (Quito, Ecuador: Editorial El Conejo, 1987).

2. Agustín Cueva, The Process of Political Domination in Ecuador, trans. Danielle Salti (New Brunswick: Transaction Books, 1982), 24.

3. A. Aguilar Vazquez, Informe a la nación, 1943 (Quito: Imprenta del Ministerio de Gobierno, 1943), 21.

4. Carlos de la Torre, "Velasco Ibarra and 'La Revolucion Gloriosa': The Social Production of a Populist Leader in Ecuador in the 1940s," Journal of Latin American Studies 26:3 (October 1994): 683-712; Carlos de la Torre, La seducción velasquista (Quito, Ecuador: Ediciones Libri Mundi, Enrique Grosse-Luemern. Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales FLACSO-Sede Ecuador, 1993), 24.

5. Raquel Rodas, Nosotras que del amor hicimos... (Quito: Raquel Rodas, 1992), 60.

6. Girón, 122.

7. Humberto Oña Villarreal, Presidentes del Ecuador, 3a ed (Quito: Multigráficas Sur, 1994), 53.

8. Blanksten, 46.

9. Vega Ugalde, 96; Girón, 355.

10. Confederación de Trabajadores del Ecuador (CTE), "Estatutos de la Confederación de Trabajadores del Ecuador (C.T.E.)," in Osvaldo Albornoz, Vladímir Albornoz, César Endara and others, 28 de mayo y fundación de la C.T.E., Colección Popular 15 de Noviembre, No. 4 (Quito: Corporación Editora Nacional, 1984), 194.

11. Ibid., 194-95.

12. Ibid., 195.

13. Elías Muñoz Vicuña and Leonardo Vicuña Izquierdo, Historia del movimiento obrero del Ecuador (resúmen) ([Guayaquil]: Dept. de Publicaciones de la Facultad de Ciencias Economicas, 1978), 56, 59.

14. Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE), Elecciones y democracia en el Ecuador, Volumen 3, Legislación electoral ecuatoriana (Quito: Tribunal Supremo Electoral. Corporacion Editora Nacional, 1990), 187.

15. This type of functional representation is not a historical anomaly in Latin America. After their 1979 victory in Nicaragua, the Sandinistas similarly granted a variety of special interest groups automatic representation in their governing Council of State. See John A. Booth, The End and the Beginning: The Nicaraguan Revolution, 2d ed. (Boulder: Westview Press, 1985), 191.

16. Ricardo Paredes in "Actas de la Asamblea Constituyente de 1944," t. 3, 325-30 (September 21, 1944), Archivo Palacio Legislativo (hereafter APL), Quito, Ecuador; Vega Ugalde, 117. Also see Cueva, 37, Leonardo J. Muñoz, Testimonio de lucha: memorias sobre la historia del socialismo en el Ecuador (Quito: Corporación Editora Nacional, 1988), 86-88f.

17. "Actas de la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente de 1944," t. 5, 3, APL.

18. "El voto verbal para analfabetos," Atahualpa (Quito, Boletín del Instituto Indigenista del Ecuador) 1:4 (January 1945), 3, reprinted from América Indígena, 4 (October 1944).

19. Ricardo Paredes in "Actas de la Asamblea Constituyente de 1944," t. 3, 329 (September 21, 1944), APL.

20. "Constitución de 1945," in Federico E. Trabucco, Constituciones de la República del Ecuador (Quito: Universidad Central, Editorial Universitaria, 1975), 356.

21. "Actas de la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente de 1944," t. 1, 741, APL.

22. TSE, 210. Pedro Saad was one of those who fought to expand these rights for Indians. See "Actas de la Asamblea Constituyente de 1944," August 24, 1944, t. 1, 868.

23. Federación Ecuatoriana de Indios (FEI), Estatutos de la Federación Ecuatoriana de Indios (Guayaquil: Editorial Claridad, 1945), 10.

24. Blanksten, 51-52. Also see Lilo Linke, Ecuador: Country of Contrasts, 2d ed. ed. (London: Oxford University Press, 1955), 47-49.

25. Agustín Cueva, "El Ecuador de 1925 a 1960," in Nueva Historia del Ecuador, Volumen 10: Epoca republicana III: El Ecuador entre los años veinte y los sesenta, ed. Enrique Ayala Mora, ed. (Quito: Corporación Editora Nacional, 1990), 110.

26. John Gerassi, The Great Fear in Latin America, New, revised edition (New York: Collier Books, 1965), 143.

27. Linke, 49.

28. Vega Ugalde, 117; Cueva, Process of Political Domination, 37; Muñoz, Testimonio, 86-88f.

29. Blanksten, vi.

30. John Samuel Fitch, The Military Coup d'Etat as a Political Process: Ecuador, 1948-1966, The Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science; 95th ser., 1 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977), 150.

31. Manuel Agustín Aguirre, Marx ante América Latina: Homenaje a Carlos Marx por el centenario de su muerte (Quito: Instituto de Investigaciones Economicas, Universidad Central, 1985), 116.

32. René Maugé, "Las tareas actuales de nuestro movimiento," in Los comunistas en la historia nacional, ed. Domingo Paredes (Guayaquil: Editorial Claridad, S.A., 1987), 232.

33. Blanksten, 69.

34. Guillermo O'Donnell, "On the State, Democratization and Some Conceptual Problems: A Latin American View with Glances at Some Postcommunist Countries," World Development21:8 (1993): 1361.

35. Charles R. Epp, The rights revolution: lawyers, activists, and supreme courts in comparative perspective (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998).

36. Pedro Saad, "Sobre la alianza obrero campesina," Bandera Roja (Guayaquil) 1:3 (May-December 1961): 38.

37. Joe Foweraker and Todd Landman, Citizenship rights and social movements : a comparative and statistical analysis (Oxford. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 31.

38. Joe Foweraker, Theorizing Social Movements, Critical studies on Latin America (Boulder: Pluto Press, 1995), 114.