In 2000, Estupinan Quintero was elected mayor of Esmeraldas in northwestern Ecuador. He is the first self-identifying black person to hold this position. He was reelected in 2005 and in 2010.
Quintero is also the spokesperson for the Board of the Association of Ecuadorian Municipalities (AME), an elected member of parliament for the Popular Democratic Movement (MDP), and provincial director of the party as well. As mayor of Esmeraldas, the capital of the only province where Afro-Ecuadorians are the racial majority, he has worked to improve much needed social services and infrastructure in addition to providing support for the International Afro Music and Dance Festival. These initiatives, along with commissioned murals and statues, are promoting positive images of Afro-Ecuadorians and their communities throughout the city.