It is expected that this week will be formalized two more complaints for alleged extortion on the part of assembly members to their collaborators.
Allegations of extortion to parliamentary assistants arise every day. The victims send their testimonies against assembly members who charge them “tolls” or “tithes” in exchange for work.
In the office of the architect Fabricio Villamar, of CREO, they received 10 complaints, including chat texts, copies of deposits, videos, even a letter addressed to former President Rafael Correa. Villamar will present tomorrow a resolution to ask the Comptroller to investigate the accounts of the assembly members and verify whether or not they received the “tithes” from their collaborators.
If the plenary session does not address that resolution, Villamar will go directly to the Comptroller’s Office. One of the testimonies presented to the legislator of CREO reads as follows: “My son Juan Pablo Soto worked as an assistant to a legislator who asked for $ 1,000 a month of his salary. He paid for almost 10 years to that parliamentarian, who is president of a legislative commission. A month ago he resigned and today he works with another legislator who also asks for $ 800.”
Yesterday there were 13 new cases in this legislative period that add to the 10 registered at the beginning; in total there are 23. Among them there are parliamentarians of PAIS Alliance (AP), of the Citizen Revolution, of the PSC-MG, of the National Integration Bank (BIN), independent and of CREO.
In addition, four other cases of ex-legislators from the previous Legislative. They are PAIS and independent. But of all these cases only two have been reported in the Office of the Prosecutor and one in the Ministry of Labor. “Cannot generalize. We must investigate and respect due process, “said Jaime Olivo, from Pachakutik.
Three other victims of these blackmails will present their complaints in the Office of the Prosecutor this week. This was advanced by Andrea Utreras, former adviser to Assemblywoman Karina Arteaga, of AP, for Manabí.
The ex-advisor accused Arteaga of charging “tithes” to her four collaborators, who paid her for her food, mobilization, purchases at the supermarket and even the installments of her new car. The prosecutor in charge Paúl Pérez, who appeared yesterday at the Occasional Commission that deals with the issue of the disappeared, said that the assembly members will be investigated for alleged bribery and concussion.
These crimes are typified in the Comprehensive Organic Criminal Code (COIP) and stipulate sanctions of three to five years. He recalled that authorization from the Assembly will be needed for criminal prosecution.
Those unethical practices have been rejected by legislators. Lourdes Cuesta, of CREO, described the extortion facts and asked the Prosecutor’s Office to act. (I)