3 mayors and 1 elected councilor in Ecuador, with alleged links to drug crime
There are at least four candidates indicated for alleged links to criminal organizations that won the elections on February 5, 2023. In some cases there would be a relationship with drug trafficking.
The Anti-Corruption Parliamentary Front of the Assembly submitted a report on January 6, 2023 to the State Attorney General’s Office. In it, he details the alleged links to illegal acts.
Among the candidates observed by the Front are the mayor of Manta (Manabí), who was seeking re-election; candidate for mayor of Tosagua for the Citizen Revolution, also from Manabí.
In the same way, the correísta candidate for Mayor of San Lorenzo (Esmeraldas). Two other candidates for a councilorship from the canton of Las Naves, in Bolívar and, a candidate for the prefecture, from Sucumbíos.
Of this group, the National Electoral Council (CNE) registers as virtual winners the mayor of Manta, who was re-elected with 61.25% of votes; Tosagua 29.07% and San Lorenzo, with 34.33% of the vote. As far as it could be verified, they were not new to the subject.
And the candidate for PK de Las Naves, who is being investigated, heads the list of urban councillors .
The position of the CNE
On January 26, 2023, the president of the CNE, Diana Atamaint, indicated that if there are crimes, they must be tried before the competent institutions.
The official added that the CNE will contribute whatever is required to combat all kinds of activities that could stain democracy.
The next steps will depend on the investigations and verdicts of justice, said Diana Atamaint. For example, one of the results could be the loss of political rights.
The Prosecutor’s Office is in charge of investigating
This newspaper consulted the Prosecutor ‘s Office to find out the status of the investigations. Until the afternoon of this Wednesday, February 8, 2023, the response was still awaiting.
The Pachakutik assemblyman and member of the Anti-Corruption Parliamentary Front, Ricardo Vanegas, assured that the information presented to the Prosecutor’s Office is the result of investigations, documents and technical data.
He clarified that it is up to the holder of the public action to carry out the investigations to determine criminal responsibilities and whether or not there is a crime.
In any case, Vanegas added that the people are the ones who choose the authorities and that as long as a person is not sentenced, their innocence is presumed.
The Pachakutik assemblyman made it clear that the members of the Anti- Corruption Parliamentary Front did their part as inspectors. He assured that they follow up on the complaints and meet with the control authorities. “We can exercise control over the Attorney General and the comptroller.”
The legislator announced that they will continue with the investigations on different fronts. And they are already preparing reports of other data on criminal structures in institutions such as Petroecuador, National Electricity Corporation (CNEL) , etc.
One of the most important issues now, he said, is the impeachment of the former Minister of Health, Ximena Garzón. According to Vanegas, “there is a criminal structure in the medicine business.”
In the same way, he mentioned that you have to be very attentive to how the benches vote . “It is not that they are going to save the ex-minister, but rather those who do the medicine business.”