In the last three years – for the Panama Papers, the corruption plot in Petroecuador, the Odebrecht bribery network or cases of irregularities in the previous government – hearing about the red notification to Interpol has become common for Ecuadorians.
Interpol is the International Police, for its acronym in English, and the red notification is used to request the location and detention of a person sought by the judicial authorities with a view to their extradition.
In April, the case against former Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño was one of the last in which a judge asked the Central National Office of Interpol (OCNI) Quito to issue a red notice to be arrested in any of the 194 member countries of Interpol. .
Ricardo Patiño expects Interpol to discard red broadcast request against him
The order is still pending and it is known that Patiño went by land to Peru, a day before charges were filed for alleged offense of instigation.
In the list of those who have red notification of Interpol there are 288 people (until the 25 of last April), issued from the OCNI-Quito. Among them: Ramiro González, former president of the Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security; former Comptroller Carlos Pólit; Fernando Alvarado, former Secretary of Communication; Pedro Delgado, former director of the Central Bank; Pablo Romero, former national secretary of intelligence, and others.
The director of the OCNI in Ecuador, Colonel Galo Muñoz, qualifies the red notification as one of the most important and sensitive instruments that Interpol manages. Therefore, he clarifies, this “technical body” has clear protocols that must be met strictly to request it.
It recognizes that if it is an official, the analysis process takes more time if one compares the speed with which requests for common crimes (murders, drug trafficking) and persons not related to the public sector are given.
Follow up to Ramiro González lasted about six months
In cases with public servants in between, which the officer says are the least amount, the General Secretariat, the Office of Legal Affairs and even the Interpol Files Commission may request more information to ensure that the case does not violate rights or falls into any of the express prohibitions of the institution.
An example of the time that Interpol analysis can take of a case in which a former public official is required is that of former President Rafael Correa. In the trial for the plagiarism of Fernando Balda he received an order of preventive detention and an international red alert was requested for his capture. He lives in Belgium since he left office in 2017.
Interpol denied red diffusion for Rafael Correa
In July 2018 the judge in the case, Daniela Camacho, asked Interpol to issue a red notice against Correa, and five months later Interpol notified the refusal to include the ex -mandante on the list. The reason: the retention of Correa’s data in the Interpol Information System “was not compatible with Interpol’s obligation to ensure effective cooperation between police authorities, within the framework of respect for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
Finally, in April, the Interpol File Control Commission denied the request of the National Court of Justice to review the decision that benefited Correa.
Another case in which Interpol rejected the red notification requested by the Ecuadorian justice was that of Carlos Ochoa, exsuperintendent of Communication who is in Bolivia. Interpol considered that what was analyzed in the case was a crime of “administrative nature” and in less than a month denied the request.
Six fugitives from justice have the belt
Meanwhile, the request for a red alert against the striker Sofía Espín, accused of procedural fraud in the tentative stage, is still under analysis, although it was requested in January. Both Ochoa and Espín have sought refuge in Bolivia on the grounds that they are being persecuted politically.
Among the 288 red notifications made from Ecuador, through the OCNI-Quito, there are Ecuadorians and foreigners required. The oldest is from a case in 2002, from which no details were given and the application is updated every five years.
And there are 106 Ecuadorians who keep red notification requested by other countries such as the US, Spain, Argentina, Peru and Finland. (I)
Procedure – red notifications
Among the requirements for drafting the notification is the current court order with the arrest request and the establishment of the identity of the person and the crime committed. The draft is uploaded to the Interpol I24 / 7 system and passed on to the General Secretariat, in France, which qualifies the notification or not.
All procedures are handled in the police and legal sphere, must be framed in the respect of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the prohibition onto carry out any activity or intervention in matters of a political, military, religious or racial nature. (I)