13 de junho de 2013

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva arrived Thursday (June 6) in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, where he met with President Rafael Correa. Lula was awarded the National Order of San Lorenzo, the country’s oldest decoration instituted on the occasion of the Independence of Ecuador in 1809, in a ceremony at the official site of government. Subsequently, Lula spoke to an audience of more than 2,000 Ecuadorians in the National Theatre at Casa de La Cultura about the challenges of Latin American integration, one of the keystone issues of the Lula Institute. That evening, Lula and Rafael Correa dined together.

To view more images and to download high-resolution photos, please visit Picasa do Instituto Lula.

During the award ceremony honoring Lula, Rafael Correa emphasized the importance of Brazil for Latin America, “a country where everything is counted in six or even seven digits and Lula knew how to count on his own heart to change the lives of millions of people.” Correa said that because of his work in promoting democracy, reducing inequalities and bringing Latin American peoples closer together, the former Brazilian president “is one of the major modern architects of the great homeland of which we all dream.”

“It is a privilege for me to award him the National Order of San Lorenzo as a demonstration of the profound respect, admiration and affection that our people feel towards President Lula,” he concluded.

Before arriving in Quito, Lula visited Bogotá, Colombia and Lima, Peru. The former Brazilian president will remain in Quito through Friday, to deliver a lecture before the Ecuador-Brazil Chamber of Commerce and to receive two honorary doctorates in the afternoon.

Below, you can listen to Rafael Correa’s remarks in full (audio in Spanish).