Feature

Former coup leader elected

The week's news at a glance.

Quito, Ecuador

Ecuadoreans this week elected a former army colonel who once led a coup as their next president. The victory of Lucio Gutierrez, the darling of radical leftist groups, sent shivers through the business community. Gutierrez, 45, beat out billionaire banana magnate Alvaro Noboa, who warned that Gutierrez would ruin the economy, and compared him to embattled Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Gutierrez deflected the criticism, promising to fight corruption and woo investors. He even shed his trademark army fatigues, donned a business suit, and traveled to Wall Street to assure financiers that Ecuador would honor its foreign debt. “I am not a communist,” Gutierrez said. “I am a profoundly Christian man who respects private property and human rights.”

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