The salute to the flag was wrecked. To the celebration of the Day of the Girl in the Plenary Assembly (with flower arrangements, special guests, moving children’s speeches and rhetoric occasion) joined the news that Augusto Espinosa, the former Minister of Education responsible for a chain of omissions in the scandal of sexual abuse in schools and colleges, is chairing a sub-commission charged, precisely, to organize a system of protection of children and adolescents in the education system. It was confirmed on October 11 by Dayllana Passailaigue (PSC, member of the Education Commission) at a press conference called to present her project of reforms to the Organic Law of Intercultural Education (LOEI). How did such a thing happen?
Wednesday, September 5: In the debate on the LOEI in the Education Commission, a representative of Unesco speaks of the need to create a protection system. Silvia Salgado, president of the Commission, suggests forming a subcommittee to prepare a proposal. Augusto Espinosa offers: “I would like to participate,” says the former minister, “because you can move a lot of the experience that we had during my term of office.” Management period during which sexually abused children in schools were unprotected due to ministerial negligence, according to the report of the Aampetra Commission, chaired by Salgado herself. The official Noralma Zambrano joins. Passailaigue does not attend the session and there is no opposition. Without voting or debate, the sub-commission is approved with Espinosa as president.
Silvia Salgado does not show signs of perceiving the contradiction. Yesterday, in one of the most important points of the session in tribute to the Day of the Girl, she presented the report of the Commission Aampetra, constituted to investigate cases of sexual abuse in schools. Without naming Espinosa, he painted the bleak panorama of “negligent behavior”, “omissions in the application of norms” and “naturalization of sexual violence in the educational space” during the investigated period, which coincides with that of Espinosa in charge of the Ministry. He spoke of the “breach of the principle of integral reparation of victims” and of the inexistence of “a reliable information system”, a “single record of cases”, an “early warning system”, in short, everything that Espinosa boasted of having created.
A few seats away, the former minister listened as if it were not with him. And, from then on, the session developed as if neither. Vibrant of good intentions and rhetorical statements. “Resolution to ratify the commitment to continue legislating for the benefit of children and adolescents”: approved unanimously. Signature of the ‘Guardianship Pact for the rights of children and adolescents’, with the participation of three ministers and other officials: smiles and family photos. Speeches by the girls, seven in all, eloquent and touching: closed ovation.
An occasional commission of nine members (another) was also created to address “issues and norms” related to childhood. As in this Legislature with the occasional commissions, this seems to have been created to move those issues away from the permanent commissions chaired by correístas, especially the one of Justice, directed by Marcela Aguiñaga and where the proposal to regulate the shared tenure did not have good fortune. Nobody thought to propose Augusto Espinosa for that Commission.
Meanwhile, the former minister who was deposed from the presidency of the Commission of Education for his negligence in the treatment of cases of sexual abuse in schools, continues to have an appearance before the Prosecutor’s Office, where he had to appear on August 2 to submit his version of the scandal. Never was, but is ready to create, with the consent of Silvia Salgado, the system of protection of children and girls, whose classic day yesterday celebrated with plenty of substance.
The third time’s the charm
Finally there was white smoke. The triad of the ruling party for the Council of the Judiciary was approved yesterday in the third attempt and in the deadline with 66 votes in favor of 118 present. This time it was Gabriela Larreátegui (SUMA) who moved the three names: Fausto Murillo, Elsy Celi and Gustavo Benalcázar. This third name seems to be the one that pleases his party, because in the first vote, when he was not on the short list, he had opposed. Apparently, nobody knew them: it was necessary to read their resumes before taking the vote. (I)