Ecuadorian Freddy Ehlers is elected CAN Secretary General

Lima, Jan. 18, 2007. Former Andean Parliamentarian and former Ecuadorian Presidential candidate, Freddy Ehlers Zurita, today, in Rio de Janeiro, was unanimously elected Secretary General of the Andean Community for a five-year term. 

The election of the highest-level authority of the executive integration body took place through the adoption of Decision 662 at the meeting of the Andean Council of Foreign Ministers in enlarged session with the Andean Community Commission, in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, during the MERCOSUR Summit. 

Colombian Alfredo Fuentes Hernández has been temporarily performing the functions of Secretary General of the Andean Community since July 28, 2006, when they were entrusted to him by mandate of the Andean Council of Foreign Ministers, meeting in enlarged session with the CAN Commission. 

Freddy Ehlers, who will assume the position of Secretary General in 15 or 20 days’ time, is a journalist with studies in Jurisprudence at the Universidad Central del Ecuador, and in Television, in Holland and the United States.  He has been associated with the Andean integration process during several stages of his professional career.   

For eight years --from 1980 to 1988--, he directed the Board of the Cartagena Agreement’s Andean Television Program, one of the most significant efforts to televise the cultural, historical and geographic heritage of the Andean countries, which produced three special programs under the name "Nuestra América: "the series "Nuestra América para Niños I y II" (50 microprograms each)"; "Por los caminos de Nuestra América" (26 programs showing images of a trip through the five countries) and "Testimonio Andino de Nuestra América" (60 microprograms classified by subject matter).

Furthermore, he was as an Andean Parliamentarian from 2002 to 2006, representing Ecuador and elected by popular vote.  He served on the Education, Culture, Science, Technology and Communication Committee and was Vice-President of the Andean Parliament and from that position promoted the defense of the biodiversity; inter-parliamentary and South American convergence; the revaluing of Andean products and food security, among other actions. 

Ehlers ran for President of the Republic of Ecuador on two occasions, in 1996 and 1998. He has been a journalist for over thirty years.  Since 1990, he has been the Director and presenter of “La Televisión,” one of Ecuador’s most important news and opinion programs.  He has over 1,000 reports and documentaries to his credit.  In 1995, he received the Global 500 award from the United Nations for his defense of the environment.