Ecuador 2008 Constitution (reviewed 2021)

Table of Contents


We women and men, the sovereign people of Ecuador

RECOGNIZING our age-old roots, wrought by women and men from various peoples,

CELEBRATING nature, the Pacha Mama (Mother Earth), of which we are a part and which is vital to our existence,

INVOKING the name of God and recognizing our diverse forms of religion and spirituality,

CALLING UPON the wisdom of all the cultures that enrich us as a society,

AS HEIRS to social liberation struggles against all forms of domination and colonialism

AND with a profound commitment to the present and to the future,

Hereby decide to build

A new form of public coexistence, in diversity and in harmony with nature, to achieve the good way of living, the sumak kawsay;

A society that respects, in all its dimensions, the dignity of individuals and community groups;

A democratic country, committed to Latin American integration-the dream of Simon Bolivar and Eloy Alfaro-peace and solidarity with all peoples of the Earth;

And, exercising our sovereign powers, in Ciudad Alfaro, Montecristi, province of Manabi, we bestow upon ourselves the present:

Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador

Title I. Constituent elements of the State

CHAPTER 1. Basic principles

Article 1

Ecuador is a constitutional State of rights and justice, a social, democratic, sovereign, independent, unitary, intercultural, multinational and secular State. It is organized as a republic and is governed using a decentralized approach.

Sovereignty lies with the people, whose will is the basis of all authority, and it is exercised through public bodies using direct participatory forms of government as provided for by the Constitution.

Nonrenewable natural resources of the State’s territory belong to its inalienable and absolute assets, which are not subject to a statute of limitations.

Article 2

The flag, coat of arms and national anthem, as provided for by law, are the symbols of the nation.

Spanish is Ecuador’s official language; Spanish, Kichwa and Shuar are official languages for intercultural ties. The other ancestral languages are in official use by indigenous peoples in the areas where they live and in accordance with the terms set forth by law. The State shall respect and encourage their preservation and use.

Article 3

The State’s prime duties are:

  1. Guaranteeing without any discrimination whatsoever the true possession of the rights set forth in the Constitution and in international instruments, especially the rights to education, health, food, social security and water for its inhabitants.
  2. Guaranteeing and defending national sovereignty.
  3. Building up national unity in diversity.
  4. Guaranteeing secular ethics as the basis for public service and the legal regulatory system.
  5. Planning national development, eliminating poverty, and promoting sustainable development and the equitable redistribution of resources and wealth to enable access to the good way of living.
  6. Promoting equitable and mutually supportive development throughout the territory by building up the process of autonomies and decentralization.
  7. Protecting the country’s natural and cultural assets.
  8. Guaranteeing its inhabitants the right to a culture of peace, to integral security and to live in a democratic society free of corruption.

Article 4

The territory of Ecuador constitutes a single geographical and historical whole, with natural, social, and cultural dimensions, which has been passed on to us by our ancestors and ancestral peoples. This territory includes the mainland and maritime space, adjacent islands, the territorial sea, the archipelago of the Galapagos Islands, the land, the undersea continental shelf, the ground under the land and the space over our mainland, island, and maritime territory. Its boundaries are those determined by treaties currently in force.

The territory of Ecuador is unalienable, irreducible and inviolable. No one shall jeopardize its territorial unity or foment secession.

The capital of Ecuador is Quito.

The Ecuadorian State shall exercise its rights over those segments pertaining to the geosynchronous orbit, the maritime space and the Antarctic.

Article 5

Ecuador is a territory of peace. The establishment of foreign military bases or foreign facilities for military purposes shall not be allowed. It is forbidden to transfer national military bases to foreign armed or security forces.

CHAPTER 2. Female and male citizens

Article 6

All female and male Ecuadorians are citizens and shall enjoy the rights set forth in the Constitution.

Ecuadorian nationality is a political and legal bond between individuals and the State, without detriment to their belonging to any of the other indigenous nations that coexist in plurinational Ecuador.

Ecuadorian nationality is obtained by birth or naturalization and shall not be forfeited because of marriage or its dissolution or by acquiring another nationality.

Article 7

The following persons are Ecuadorians by birth:

  1. Persons born in Ecuador.
  2. Persons born abroad of a mother or father born in Ecuador and their descendants up to the third degree of consanguinity.
  3. Persons belonging to communities, peoples or nations recognized by the State living in border areas.

Article 8

The following persons are Ecuadorians by naturalization:

  1. Those who obtain the naturalization card.
  2. Under-age foreigners adopted by a female or male Ecuadorian, who shall keep their Ecuadorian nationality as long as they do not express their wish to the contrary.
  3. Those born abroad of a mother or father who is Ecuadorian by naturalization, while they are minors, shall keep their Ecuadorian nationality, as long as they do not express their wish to the contrary.
  4. Those who marry, or have a common-law marriage with, an Ecuadorian female or male, in accordance with the law.
  5. Those who obtain Ecuadorian nationality for having provided important services to the country on the basis of their talent or individual effort.

Those who acquire the Ecuadorian nationality shall not be obligated to forfeit their nationality of origin.

Ecuadorian nationality acquired by naturalization shall be forfeited by express renunciation.

Article 9

Foreign persons in Ecuadorian territory shall have the same rights and duties as those of Ecuadorians, in accordance with the Constitution.

Get more fascinating contents like this on Facebook, Twitter and Telegram