The 837 prosecutors working in Ecuador are saturated with files and new complaints . Agents with more workload investigate sexual crimes , robberies , scams and corruption cases.
Only officials who investigate the corruption of public employees accumulate 5 400 cases, since 2014. A prosecutor handles 1080 cases and 30 more arrive every month.
Something similar occurs with the proceedings against high-ranking officials who enjoy court jurisdiction. Six prosecutors handle a total of 669 cases and of this amount 643 continue in the first phase of investigation.
The fiscal deficit is a problem that the Prosecutor’s Office has been carrying for six years. In 2017, for example, 400 investigative agents were needed and by 2020 it is required to hire 541. According to the entity, the general average of the country is five prosecutors per 100,000 inhabitants, while the international standard is 12, therefore fails. On the other hand, the Latin American average is seven investigative agents.
The province that is closest to the external indicator is Zamora Chinchipe with 11 prosecutors per 100,000 people, followed by Carchi , Pastaza and Zamora Chinchipe that have eight each. See interactive map.
The provinces with the highest number of prosecutors are Pichincha (191) and Guayas (174), but they are also the areas of the country with the highest number of inhabitants . In the first there are 3.2 million inhabitants and in the second 4.3 million people. This fact causes a deficit in these places.
One of the goals of the National Development Plan 2017-2021 is precisely to increase the number of employees to eight per 100,000. But this objective has not yet been met in 21 provinces of Ecuador.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office , from April of last year to January this year, 17 agents joined the entity. But in that same month they made a new request to the Judicial Council to increase a similar number for Pichincha , Azuay , Tungurahua , Cotopaxi , Chimborazo and the provinces of the Amazon .
However, Mercy Guzmán , Coordinator of Resource Management of the Prosecutor’s Office , assured that the entity’s budget was reduced 4.7% compared to last year. She indicated that this decrease will have a negative impact on the hiring of new officials . “With the money allocated to us, we can finance the personnel we have, but not increase it.”
The Judiciary told this newspaper that they carry out internal coordination to conduct a contest of merits and opposition to increase the number of prosecutors of the eligible bank.