Ahead of the second round of presidential elections on April 2, #NoTeCreoLasso, or #IDon’tBelieveYouLasso — a play on the far-right opposition candidate Guillermo Lasso’s CREO party — was trending in Ecuador.
The trend was propelled by new tweets on the account @NoTeCreoLasso, launched in 2014 “to refute the fables of the banker candidate," according to its account description, which includes a photo of the candidate with a Mickey Mouse hat.
Lasso's CREO party, an acronym for “Creating Opportunities,” proposes privatizing everything that the ruling Alianza Pais nationalized, slashing taxes and protecting the interests of political and financial figures who Ecuadoreans accuse of colluding in the 1999 banking holiday that crippled the country's economy and led to the forced migration of almost 3 million Ecuadoreans.
On Wednesday the account tweeted photos showing a series of racist and classist graffiti in Ecuador promoting Lasso’s presidency.
"These are the classist expressions that the loan shark brings to the table. For that, the citizens will tell you #IDon'tBELIEVEYouLasso”
The graffiti reads: "Provincials, Out," "Private Education," and "No more Indigenous (slur word) from the South in the Cato (Catholic University)."
Others pointed out his financial interests and the danger of privatizing the country. Many of the tweets came from young supporters of Alianza Pais' candidate Lenin Moreno.
"When you went to ask for the migrant vote, they told you: #IDon'tBelieveYouLasso."
"This is how the banker deceives the gullible. We must not fall for his trick."
The meme reads: "Let's assume that I create one million jobs ... I said let's assume because what I'll do is raise the price of basic services."
"We already know who you represent, banker."
Pictured is the logo of the Banco del Progreso, which participated in the banking holiday that led to Ecuadoreans losing their savings.
"#NeverMyPresident because you're synonymous with poverty and misery for the people. Because it's only a victory for the rich of the country."
Lasso has been one of the most powerful figures in Ecuador's finance sector as president and majority shareholder of the Bank of Guayaquil for 18 years before his stint in politics.
Despite overseeing Ecuador's economy in the lead-up to the country's worst ever economic crisis, Lasso himself was never charged in connection to the banking scandal.
In fact, then-President Jamil Mahuad's decision to freeze all bank accounts in the country for a year eventually meant millions of dollars in profits for Lasso, Mahuad’s former finance minister, and his bank, as people were forced to withdraw their savings at half their value.
Lasso is also named in confidential reports published by WikiLeaks as a key contact for the U.S. government, which often sought out Lasso's opinions about the political situation in Ecuador and the rise of current President Rafael Correa's left-wing Citizens' Revolution.