Catholic social worker becomes president of Ecuador

 A former Catholic social worker, Rafael Correa, has been sworn in as Ecuador's new president. Correa has pledged to push for a national referendum on rewriting Ecuador's constitution, a measure opposed by much of the nation's political establishment. Speaking at his inauguration, Correa, 43, said that Ecuador has "a perverse system that has destroyed our democracy, our economy and our society". During his election campaign, Correa was critical of the Ecuadorian Congress saying it was corrupt and did not represent anything but the interests of the rich. On Sunday, Correa urged cheering supporters in the remote Andean village of Zumbahua, where he lived 20 years ago as a Catholic social worker, to help him "conquer the majority in the assembly, to control it with 70 percent, 80 percent, 90 percent!" Thousands of people, most of them Indians, jammed Zumbahua's central square for the ceremony, a mix of Catholic and Indian rituals to mark the beginning of Correa's term. He told the crowds: "I will never fail you. Let us make a true democratic revolution, constitutional but still a revolution ... radical, profound and quick changes to the current model of so much exploitation, of so much injustice." Venezuelan President Chavez and Bolivian President Evo Morales, also attended. Correa has a Masters in economics from the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium.

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