At 87, the president of the Council for Citizen Participation, Julio Cesar Trujillo, calmly takes the series of criticisms he received this week from certain sectors. With short and deliberate answers, he told EXPRESO that what has been found in cases of corruption, up to now, is worrisome.
– Do you feel that the organism that you direct is under surveillance?
– I would not say that we are under surveillance, but there are voices that come from specific sectors that try to delegitimize our work. I am not giving any importance to these noises because they are insignificant in the face of the support we receive for the work we are doing and the resolutions we have taken.
– Specific sectors with what type of interest?
– I do not know what interests are being played by certain sectors, but there are people who want to press to limit our faculties or stop acting in accordance with the will of the Ecuadorian people that was expressed at the polls on February 4.
– But the criticisms are not only of politicians, social actors question the way in which they appointed, for example, the replacement of the general prosecutor, do they have competence to set aside the surrogate?
– Once we cease the owner obviously we have the power to appoint a substitute. Of course we should call a contest, but since that will take a few weeks, we decided to entrust, and this is important, to entrust, the Attorney General’s office to Dr. Edwin Pérez because we found that, from the resumes reviewed here, it was one of the best candidates. If we have the power to name the owner, how can we not appoint the one that replaces the ceased owner?
In the case of the Ombudsman’s Office it is even said that the order was chosen by hand, what responds to that accusation?
– Resumes were analyzed and the most suitable and notable were chosen. Thus, Dr. Gina Benavides was in charge of the Ombudsman and Sofia Hernandez of the Superintendence of Popular and Solidarity Economy.
– Meanwhile the time goes by and the contests are not called, for when is the call scheduled?
– As of next week, we started the process to designate the holders of those functions. I am almost sure that this will be the case because we have yet to analyze and approve one or two norms of the mandate for the call for tenders. Until Tuesday this would be resolved and on Wednesday will be made public for all citizens.
– The Judicial Council brought them dozens of boxes as part of their accountability. Do you reach the time to analyze all those documents?
– We are analyzing carefully what they sent us, advantageously we are used to working in those circumstances. When we joined the Truth Commission something similar happened to us; we asked a policeman to inform us of what they had done in certain cases and one day he gave us a file with more than 300 thousand pages. Fortunately, there are technical and technological methods that facilitate this reading, however lively and clever those who want to deceive the authorities are created.
– By when will there be a resolution on the Judiciary Council?
– I estimate that in about 10 or 15 days because the deadline for the evaluation has passed and now what remains is the preparation of the final report that is in our charge. The draft is already being analyzed.
– Are the decisions of the Council deinstitutionalizing the country as they say the affinities of the previous government?
– Absolutely, there was institutionality. No institution in the country enjoyed credibility because during this time the only will that was fulfilled is that of former President Rafael Correa, to the point that the Assembly itself, as Raúl Patiño said, did not supervise by higher orders. To obey the will of a single person is democratic institutionality?
– The accusation now is that all the power is concentrated in you.
– That’s not true, we are not acting for revenge and the orders we have made are not personal sympathies and antipathies. Each of the decisions that have been issued by the Council is the product of serious work and not because someone likes us or not.
– On the issue of corruption, the Council declared a crusade to combat it. What results have you obtained so far?
– We established several cases to which we consider emblematic and the relevant area that is in charge of the fight against corruption and transparency is processing each case. That will be analyzed by the full Board and decisions will be made, but for now they are reserved cases and you cannot give many details.
– Does the evidence make you think that corruption was isolated or generalized in the past decade?
– Unfortunately I have the impression that the second thing happened, there is no institution in which no strong irregularity has been committed. There may also be mid- and low-level officials, but they received orders from high-level officials that fostered or allowed impunity in the face of corruption.
– What obstacles have you encountered since assuming the presidency of the Transitory Council?
– One of the most striking is that it is not easy to find people who want to collaborate and take responsibility for a transition. We almost have to pray to people we consider valuable to accept responsibility functions. There has been a lot of resistance.
– It announces the opening of processes for the decisions that the agency in charge has taken, do you fear the consequences that these may have?
– We cannot prevent people who feel affected from exercising their right to defend themselves and resort to the instances provided by law. In my case, I have already gone through legal actions such as the one brought to us by Mr. Carlos Pólit, who is now a fugitive and those ordered by former Vice President Jorge Glas, who is in prison, while we remain free in carrying out our work.
– It is also said that all the decisions of the Board are made by you and your collaborators, relegating the other directors. Is it true?
– Those who make such statements is because they do not know the type of people that make up this Council of Transitional Participation. Here there are intelligent people who have a name and a prestige to care for and defend. They agree on many proposals that I make, but not all the things that come out of here are my proposals. (I)