The impeachment trial against President Guillermo Lasso could bring the Government of Ecuador to vice president Alfredo Borrero, a renowned neurosurgeon who jumped into politics at the hand of the current president.
With few public appearances, Borrero emphasizes his loyalty to Lasso and rejects attempts of “destabilization”.
A doctor by profession, the 65-year-old vice president has 40 years of experience in the health field and the administration of medical institutions.
He is a native of Cuenca, a city in the south of the country, and studied medicine at the local university, where he graduated with honors.
After completing his studies, he moved to Quito, where he was chief resident at the Vozandes Hospital.
According to his official biographical file, he continued his academic training abroad: he studied neurosurgery at the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS).
In the United States, he completed a sub-specialization in spinal surgery at the Ochsner Clinic-Health System in New Orleans and studied Health Administration at Harvard University.
Back in Ecuador, he founded the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Universidad de las Américas.
He was the dean and created a master’s degree that gave Ecuadorians the tools to manage health institutions.
A POLITICAL CAREER MARKED BY “LOYALTY” TO LASSO
His knowledge led him to the political field: he approached Lasso in the face of his first presidential candidacy in 2013 when he was one of those in charge of working on the health proposals of the then-candidate.
He also supported the current president as one of the board members of the “Save Lives” trust, a private initiative with which Lasso, before becoming president, sought to raise funds to make donations to health centers in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
That initiative managed to raise US$12 million, used to acquire respirators of different complexity and cardiac monitors, among other medical implements, which were distributed throughout the country and which had been chosen, among others, by Borrero.
He was confirmed as Lasso’s running mate in August 2020.
At that time, the choice of the renowned neurosurgeon was interpreted as a way to add a more social side to the candidacy, marked by the candidate’s status as a businessman and banker.
Borrero assumed the vice-presidency of the South American country to emphasize the importance of healthy living and address problems such as access to drinking water.
He assumed the coordination of public policies of the National Health System and the representation of Ecuador before international health organizations.
So far in his administration, his scarce public appearances and the lack of information about his work agendas have been criticized.
Part of his work as vice president focused on returning to work and boosting the work of several hospitals in the country affected by the pandemic.
His few political comments were focused on marking his “loyalty” to Lasso.
He did so in June 2022, when the possibility of removing the president from office was discussed in the National Assembly, and Borrero’s name appeared as a possible replacement.
“I have something that is imprinted in me, which is called loyalty. I am loyal to a person, to concepts and principles.”
“Some people did feel like it; they said: ‘let’s see, let the vice president become president’,” he said in interviews with the newspaper La Hora in December 2022.
In that journalistic conversation, Borrero assured that he slept 18 nights in his office of the vice presidency for security reasons due to the protests in Quito within the framework of a national strike called by social organizations.
The vice president said he refused to listen to opposition leaders who wanted to convince him to displace Lasso and take over the Government.
“I have a lot of respect and admiration for the President and am loyal.”
“Sometimes, from what I have seen in politics, they look like kittens and, after a while, they become what they really were: tigers”, he added.
In line with that position, Borrero released a statement in February 2023 in which he reiterated his “loyalty to President Guillermo Lasso” and his refusal to resign, something that had been speculated after the defeat of the ruling party in the regional elections of February 5.
The vice-president qualified the versions that spoke of a possible resignation as “unfounded rumors” and pointed against what he considered “clear destabilization intentions that put democracy at risk”.
SNAPCHAT MANAGER, THE SON WITH THE HIGHEST PROFILE
According to a recent survey by Perfiles de Opinión and in line with the loss of popularity of President Guillermo Lasso, only 10.31% of Ecuadorians consider good the management of Vice President Borrero.
The sworn statement he submitted upon taking office indicates that Borrero has a total patrimony valued at US$71,334.
While he has no real estate in his name, he manages a checking account with US$12,000 and two vehicles: a Citroen acquired in 2015 for US$43,990 and a Hyundai purchased in 2018 for US$34,850.
His patrimonial statement indicated that he maintained liabilities of US$19,550, which included a debt of US$4,000 with a credit card and two loans processed in 2019.
In his third marriage, Borrero is currently with Lucía Pazmiño.
He has four children from his previous couples: José Alfredo, Juan David, Daniel, and Juliana.
They all keep a low profile and have dedicated themselves to the business world, law, and health.
The most prominent is Juan David, who lives in the United States and works as a manager of the Snapchat platform.
The vice president’s descendant made the tabloids’ covers when, in 2021, he married the American Victoria’s Secret model Jasmine Tookes.
With information from Sputnik