The brother of Captain Santiago Zurita, who died in December 2011 when the parachute he was carrying was not opened, in a paragliding practice held in Portoviejo, has revealed the UdlaChannel, in news channel of journalism students of the University of the Americas, in Quito, that the parachute disappeared while the investigations were being carried out and before it could be analyzed.
Santiago Zurita, who at the time of his death was 34 years old, was a captain of the Ecuadorian Air Force, and that day he had gone to work at the Private Club Garrapateros, in Portoviejo, accompanied by Captain Diego Peñaherrera, who had been aide a short time before of the First Lady, Anne Malherbe, wife of the then President Rafael Correa.
On April 2, President Lenin Moreno said, in an interview with the Ecuadorian Broadcasting Association, that it was a crime.
“The crime of the parachutist Zurita, it was also said, that it was a causality that the parachute had not been opened that was casually destined to Diego Peñaherrera, that due to the coincidences of life that parachute was not put on that day. And that previously also, what a coincidence, to a captain so expert in jumping, so expert that they even confided in him the fact that he jumps along with the President’s wife. I understand that he had a lot of expertise in the jumps, then the first time he did not open the parachute and had one of the partners to do a very special maneuver to save him. So many things are said. It says, well, they say so many things really. “
“In the investigations it was never discovered who was the person who put together the parachute, what we did request was that an expert come to do the tests of the case, but there was no way to do it because they had launched the parachute,” he said to UdlaChannel, Pablo Zurita, brother of the victim.
“I had the prolixity to get the original documents (from the accident report) after seeing my brother in the Portoviejo amphitheater. If you review today those documents that I have (with those that were filed later in the investigation) are not the same. I do not know if they disappeared, what I can say is that those who appear there are not the ones I have, “Zurita adds.
“My brother liked this kind of adventures in the air, fifteen days before he was in Baños making a jump over there, he liked it a lot and that is why he was at the disposition of his superiors. He was very much in touch with Captain Peñaherrera”, he says.
“From the information we have collected, he jumped the day before, on Saturday. My brother did not have to jump that Sunday. My brother and Captain Peñaherrera came in the car. He said: “come on, I’m going to buy some food, I’m coming”. Captain Peñaherrera disappeared. And the airport gentlemen said “until Captain Peñaherrera comes, why do not you make another leap”. That was the last jump my brother made, “says Zurita.
Captain Santiago Zurita crashed into the pavement and died in instantly.
“Both were members of the FAE, Captain Peñaherrera was older than my brother, my brother was working in Intelligence. My brother jumped the day before, that day he did not have to jump and was not with his parachute, “he concludes. (I)