The Attorney General’s Office maintains a preliminary inquiry into the alleged bribes received by the former legal secretary of the Presidency. There are 24 criminal files on this corruption network. Alexis Mera preferred a low profile, but his voice was crucial in the government of Rafael Correa. No legal decision was made without his consent.
For that reason, it was not strange that Odebrecht was looking for his contact to ensure his return and the restart of his operations in the country. The then head of the company in Ecuador, José Conceição Santos, revealed that this link began in 2010. At the beginning of that year, the lawyer Carlos Pareja Cordero (Capaco), went to his office to offer himself as an intermediary with the former legal secretary of the Presidency.
He told him about his influence in the Government, even told him that Mera drafted the executive decree that determined the expulsion of Odebrecht in 2008 and that his support was key. By that contact, Santos deposited $ 1.3 million in the accounts of the offshore Dramiston.
The payments were made since August 2010 (a month before the return of Odebrecht was made official) until September 2011. In October 2011, Odebrecht returned to the list of eligible companies to have contracts with the State, despite having legal conflicts for his failed works. Santos thought he had a direct contact in Carondelet and that informed his boss Luiz Mameri, who was vice president of Odebrecht for Latin America and Angola.
Mameri in his collaboration with the Brazilian Prosecutor’s Office ratified the version of the alleged payments to Mera. In addition, he said that months later another $ 4 million was disbursed to him. That allegedly occurred in the first quarter of 2012.
Santos confessed to the National Court of Justice that Carlos Pareja Cordero again went to his office to warn him that he must maintain a good relationship with Mera. By then, Odebrecht had begun to operate normally.
In April of that year, the construction of the Daule-Vinces transfer, for $ 190 million, and the preparation of the Pacific Refinery, for $ 229 million. In addition, it had the Manduriacu hydroelectric plant, for $ 124 million. Carlos Pareja asked for a “toll” of $ 5 million, but they ended up negotiating the payment in $ 3.2 million.
They used the same offshore company, with transfers from April 2012 until February 2013. However, Santos could not assure that this money had ended up in the hands of Mera, but he suspected that he could go to the accounts of Pareja Cordero. “He was a very clever person, so he did not feel confident in what he said (…) He had several connections with bank accounts abroad, it may even be that these accounts are Carlos Pareja’s own,” Santos said. The Prosecutor General’s Office knew about these testimonies since 2017. In that year, it opened a preliminary inquiry to verify the data provided by the Odebrecht exejecutives. Until last August, the Office of the Prosecutor has 24 criminal proceedings for the corruption network of the Brazilian in Ecuador.
Paulina Araujo lamented the slowness of the Prosecutor’s Office in the case. “It was public knowledge that the name of Alexis Mera came out in the 2017 statements and the problem is that they have not done anything.” She also recalled that when the sentence was handed down to former Vice President, Jorge Glas, the National Court ordered the Prosecutor’s Office to initiate proceedings for the other crimes, but there are no results. “Has the Prosecutor’s Office moved a finger? No and it will not move. ”
The jurist Aurelio Garófalo also questioned the Prosecutor’s Office. “We have had a justice handled by the Executive. Everything has managed to cover it and little by little it reopens “. Therefore, he asked the Prosecutor’s Office to take urgent action before those involved evade justice and leave the country.
Alexis Mera Giler occupied for ten years the Legal Secretariat of the Presidency of the Republic, in the government of Rafael Correa. However, his public trajectory goes back to years ago when he was legal advisor to the Municipality of Guayaquil, during the administration of León Febres-Cordero.
15 / January 2007
The President of the Republic, Rafael Correa, appoints Alexis Mera Giler as legal secretary of the Presidency, a position he holds until 2017.
30 / June 2017
The President Lenín Moreno considers Alexis Mera as Ecuador’s ambassador, the government of the United States. The approval is not given.
27 / September 2017
Former Legal Secretary Alexis Mera refuses to mention his name in the testimony of José Santos, a former Odebrecht official.
27 / November 2017
Alexis Mera expresses in the Attorney General’s Office that former Vice President Jorge Glas knew about the expulsion of Odebrecht, as well as about his return to the country.
1 / February 2019
A version of the former president of the Odebrecht company, Luiz Mameri, is revealed, who talks about the supposed delivery of $ 4.5 million to the then Legal Secretary, Alexis Mera.
2 / February 2019
Alexis Mera denies accusations of having received money from the Odebrecht company and says that in the future he is willing to follow a legal complaint against the declarant, Luiz Mameri. (I)