On the night of March 5, 2013, a dismayed Nicolás Maduro announced on television the death of the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez Frías, the leader of 21st century socialism and one of the political mentors of then-president Rafael Correa. The Ecuadorian State paid for the displacement of 115 people for their funerals.
Officially, the decree 1455 signed by Correa for the trip designated a delegation of 26 people, between March 7 and 8. It included the holders of the National Assembly, Fernando Cordero; of the Constitutional Court, Patricio Pazmiño; of the National Council of Citizen Participation, Fernando Cedeño, as well as the delegate of the National Electoral Council, Roxana Silva. Assembly members, officials and representatives of civil society – such as the Youth of the ALBA, the Bella Zurda Collective, the Women for Life or the electrical trade unionists, among others – completed the list.
However, the Special Air Transport Group (GTAE) reported that hours before the Legacy 600 took off with 10 passengers to Caracas, a Boeing 721 of the Ecuadorian Air Force was also heading towards Venezuela carrying 105 passengers. In total, 115
This is the presidential trip with the largest number of companions in the last 77 months of government, according to the decrees and records of the GTAE.
It is not the only case in which another plane accompanied the delegation, as the capacity of the presidential aircraft does not exceed 14 passengers.
In 2013, two other trips were made with numerous committees. The first was a tour of Europe. Correa formed a delegation of ten people, but another 44 boarded a Hercules C-130 to find the president in the Dominican Republic, where he fulfilled his agenda and from there went to the Old Continent. In total there were 54 travelers, to whom the GTAE registered as part of the “presidential delegation and press.”
The second trip was the one that took him to Paramaribo (Suriname) to attend a Unasur meeting on August 29, 2013. The decree names three people: Ricardo Patiño and two ambassadors. Another Hercules C-130 traveled to that country a day earlier, transporting, according to the registry, 46 people from the “presidential security.” (I)