Constitution of Ecuador 2008
WE, the sovereign people of Ecuador
RECOGNIZING our millenary roots, wrought by women and men of distinct cultures,
CELEBRATING nature, the Pachamama (Earth Mother), of which we are part and which is vital to our existence,
INVOKING the name of God and recognizing our diverse forms of religion and spirituality,
APPEALING to the wisdom of all the cultures that enrich us as a society,
AS HEIRS to the social struggle for liberation against all the forms of domination and colonialism, and with profound commitment to the present and to the future,
We have decided to construct
A new form of coexistent citizenship, in diversity and in harmony with nature, to achieve the good life, the sumak kawsay;
A society that respects, in all its dimensions, the dignity of individuals and collective groups;
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF ECUADOR
CONSTITUENT ELEMENTS OF THE STATE
Chapter One: Fundamental Principles
Art. 1.- Ecuador is a constitutional state of laws and justice, that is social, democratic, sovereign, independent, singular, intercultural, plurinational and secular. It is organized as a republic and governed in a decentralized manner. Sovereignty lies with the people, whose will is the basis of authority which, is exercised through the organs of public power and through the forms of direct participation set forth by the Constitution. The non-renewable natural resources of the state’s territory are property of the state, inalienable, unrenounceable and imprescriptible.
Art. 2.- The flag, the emblem and the national anthem, established by law, are the symbols of the country. Castilian is the official language of Ecuador; Castilian, Kichwa and Shuar are official languages of intercultural relations. The remaining ancestral languages are in official use by the indigenous peoples in the areas that they inhabit according to the terms established by law. The state will respect and encourage their use.
Art. 3.- Fundamental Duties of The State:
1. To guarantee without discrimination of any kind the true enjoyment of the rights established by the Constitution, and in international instruments, in particular education, health, nutrition, social security and water for its inhabitants.
2. To guarantee and defend national sovereignty.
3. To fortify national unity and diversity.
4. To guarantee that lay ethics are to be maintained in public service and judicial ordinance.
5. To plan the development of the state, eradicate poverty, promote sustainable development and the equitable redistribution of resources and wealth, to accede to the good life (sumak kawsay).
6. To promote the equitable and supportive development of the entire territory, by means of fortification of the process of autonomies and decentralization.
7. To protect the natural assets of the country.
8. To guarantee to its inhabitants the right to a culture of peace, to integral security and to live in a democratic society and free of corruption.
Art. 4.- The territory of Ecuador, a geographic and historical unity of natural, social and cultural dimensions, is the legacy of our ancestors and ancestral peoples. This territory includes the continental and maritime spaces, the adjacent islands, the territorial sea, the Galapagos Archipelago, the soil, the continental shelf, the continental subsoil and the superjacent space, insular and maritime. Its limits are determined by those treaties that are in force. The territory of Ecuador is inalienable, unrenounceable and inviolable. No one shall assault the territorial unity nor encourage secession. The capital of Ecuador is Quito. The Ecuadorian state shall exercise rights over the corresponding segments of the synchronous geostationary orbit, the maritime spaces and the Antarctic.
Art. 5.- Ecuador is a territory of peace. It does not permit the establishment of foreign military bases, or foreign installations with military purposes. It prohibits the cession of national military bases to foreign armed forces or security forces.
Chapter Two: Citizens
Art. 6.- All Ecuadorians are citizens and enjoy the rights established in the constitution. The Ecuadorian nationality is the lawful political link between individuals and the state, without prejudice in regard to one’s belonging to one of the indigenous nationalities that coexist in plurinational Ecuador. The Ecuadorian nationality is obtained by birth or by naturalization and cannot be lost by marriage or its dissolution, nor by the acquisition of another nationality.
Art. 7.- Ecuadorians by birth are:
1. Individuals born in Ecuador.
2. Individuals born abroad whose mother or father was born in Ecuador; and their descendants until the third generation of blood relationship.
3. Individuals belonging to communities, peoples or nationalities, recognized by Ecuador, with a presence in the border zones.
Art. 8.- The following individuals are Ecuadorians by naturalization:
1. Those that obtain a naturalization card.
2. Those foreigners adopted by an Ecuadorian; they shall maintain the Ecuadorian nationality so long as they do not express contrary will.
3. Those born abroad whose mother or father is Ecuadorian by naturalization, while such persons are minors; They will maintain the Ecuadorian nationality so long as they do not express contrary will.
4. Those who contract a marriage or maintain a union made with an Ecuadorian, in accordance with the law.
5. Those who obtain Ecuadorian nationality for having provided relevant services to the country with their talent and individual effort. Persons who acquire Ecuadorian nationality are not required to renounce their original nationality. The acquired Ecuadorian nationality is lost by express renunciation.
Art. 9.- Foreigners who find themselves in Ecuadorian territory shall have the same rights and responsibilities as Ecuadorians, in accordance with the constitution.
Chapter Three: Rights for Nature
Art. 1. Nature or Pachamama, where life is reproduced and exists, has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution.
Every person, people, community or nationality, will be able to demand the recognition of rights for nature before public institutions. The application and interpretation of these rights will follow the related principles established in the Constitution.
Art. 2. Nature has the right to an integral restoration. This integral restoration is independent of the obligation of natural and juridical persons or the State to indemnify the people and the collectives that depend on the natural systems.
In case of severe or permanent environmental impact, including that caused by the exploitation of non renewable natural resources, the State will establish the most efficient mechanisms for restoration, and will adopt adequate measures to eliminate or mitigate the harmful environmental consequences.
Art. 3. The State will motivate natural and juridical persons as well as collectives to protect nature; it will promote respect towards all the elements that form an ecosystem.
Art. 4. The State will apply precaution and restriction measures in all the activities that can lead to the extinction of species, the destruction of the ecosystems or the permanent alteration of the natural cycles.
The introduction of organisms and organic and inorganic material that can alter the national genetic heritage in a definitive way is prohibited.
Art. 5. The persons, people, communities and nationalities will have the right to benefit from the environment and from natural wealth that will allow wellbeing.
The environmental services cannot be appropriated; their production, provision, use and exploitation, will be regulated by the State.