Thesystem works badly. The faults of the controversial electronic shackles were(and, surely, still are) a problem with which the operators of the Ministry ofJustice had to deal with on a daily basis. The monitoring system, as theComptroller’s Office warned, is not reliable either. And, in that scenario, thebracelet worn by the fugitive Fernando Alvarado was no exception.
Theex-secretary of Communication of the government of Rafael Correa is prosecutedfor alleged embezzlement, but he escaped from the country on October 20.
The shackle that was applied to Alvarado was, according to Vanessa Mejía, ex-supervisor of operators, was used (he was the fourth user who carried it), had the damaged charging cable and issued constant bracelet alerts even when it had been verified that he carried the device. They were made, she said, at least three technical reviews in which no problems were detected. She said that was the reason why 245 alerts were generated, in a range of one minute. Mejía said she reported those problems to her superiors and to the supplier of the equipment, the Chinese company CEIEC. There was no answer.
The surprising thing was that this device, which issued constant alerts, did not generate any on the day of the leak. In the system, the user appeared ‘online and loading’.
Another surprising fact? The monitoring of Alvarado, who resided in Guayaquil, was done from Quito. Something unusual, according to Mejía who was fired along with the team of operators by order of the Minister of Justice, Paúl Granda.
Eliana Pacheco, ex-supervisor national, who resigned her position for considering such dismissals unjustified, added that the Intelligence Police never asked them for a report on the location or tracking of Alvarado, as it did, for example, in the case of former Minister Ivan Espinel.
Although that information, if requested, perhaps it would not have been very reliable either: the location, confirmed Mejía, throws errors. And she told the case of a user of the shackle that appeared in the system in China when in fact it was in Ibarra, as system operators could verify. The operators also raised an alert that ended in the canton Mejía, in Pichincha, when the case was from the north of Quito.
Whatelse? There are recurring failures in the system that does not allow to releasealerts, constant alarms of bracelet removed, users who cannot access the facialrecognition system or damage to the charging cables. There were also no people(although more staff were hired now) to monitor all users: on average, eachoperator controls more than 300 people. And to top it off, when the system goesdown, reports are made one hour late. (I)