The Cuban writer Armando Valladares, former Ambassador of the United States in the UN Human Rights Commission, said today that the former Ecuadorian Galo Lara is in prison for a “personal revenge” of Rafael Correa and urged to release him after reporting derogatory conditions of imprisonment.
“It is an incredible, criminal persecution that covers absolutely all spheres,” the human rights activist said at a press conference in Guayaquil, where he visited Lara on Monday at the Regional Prison of Liberty Center
President of the Human Rights Commission of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy (IID), Valladares affirmed that “the hell of Dante must be a political walk through the French Riviera if we compare it with the odyssey, with what they have been for him (Lara) , these years of jail. ”
Ex-assembly member in the province of Los Ríos, as representative of the opposition Patriotic Society, Lara was sentenced to ten years in prison, after the indictment of then Minister of the Interior, José Serrano, to be the mastermind of a triple murder in 2011 Lara was prosecuted by Attorney General Galo Chiriboga, in the midst of a media campaign led by the Communications Department, which pointed him to be guilty.
Lara was acquitted by the National Court of the accusation of intellectual authorship, but a court room, before which the appeal of Prosecutor Chiriboga, condemned him as an accomplice, and applied him ten years in prison.
Galo Lara claims to be a political persecutor of the government of former President Rafael Correa (2007-2017) for revealing the corruption of the Brazilian company Odebrecht in Ecuador in those years.
Valladares appeared before the media at the head of a delegation of the IID, after verifying the accusations of violation of rights in prison made by the former ruler.
“During these years he suffered a cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, he was denied (basic rights),” said the Cuban activist and author, and mentioned the case, for example, that they had “a year without shoes” or removed “The blood sugar meter”.
He also said that he had verified that each time the doctors requested his transfer to medical centers, when the papers “arrived at the jail, they broke (the petitions) and threw them in the garbage basket”.
“I never saw such a cruelty,” said Valladares, who was accompanied at the press conference by lawyer Marcel Feraud, director of the IID; Attorney Mauricio Alarcón, Human Rights Foundation, and other representatives of that NGO, the Andean Foundation for the Observation and Study of Media (Fundamedios) and the Ecuadorian Committee of Human and Trade Union Rights (CEDHUS).
Also attended by Lara’s lawyer, Juan Vizueta, and former Ecuadorian President Lucio Gutiérrez (2003-2005), from his own party, Sociedad Patriótica, who asked the current president, Lenín Moreno, to pardon him.
“Ask the president to sign the decree immediately, giving Galo Lara a pardon,” Gutiérrez said, “but not because it is a humanitarian cause, but because it is a just cause.”
“Ecuadorians know that Galo Lara is in prison for having denounced the corruption of Rafael Correa, which is now becoming evident,” he said, referring to the various processes that have been opened in the country over those years.
Valladares affirmed in that sense that the judicial process that condemned him was ordered by Correa and was “an act of revenge of the previous Administration”.
“The people chose him (Lara) to investigate how government monies were used and document the results of these investigations, and to document (…) that they harmed President Correa went to jail,” he insisted.
The case of Lara has reached several international instances and last year was treated during the session of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (CIDH), in Lima, although the Ecuadorian government did not come forward to give its position.
Valladares is a Cuban writer and former US ambassador who became a figure and human rights activist following his 22 years in prison in his native country and his opposition to the Cuban Revolution. (I)