The arrest warrant against Vinicio Alvarado is still valid. Justice seeks him from Friday May 31, 2019 to respond for a supposed scheme of bribes in which Maria de los Angeles Duarte and Alexis Mera would also have participated.
All are exalted officials of the government of Rafael Correa. Their names are mentioned in the emails of Pamela Martínez, presidential ex-adviser and exjueza constitucional; now prey. In that investigation, the Office of the Prosecutor identified the role of each of the officials and said that Mera and Duarte were in charge of managing contributions from contractor companies for AP.
Alvarado would have authorized disbursements to boost the candidates and coordinated payments through an invoice crossing scheme. That is to say, that the expenses of the campaigns were covered by contractors, who then obtained works with the State.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, in this illegal system Mera, Duarte and Alvarado would have acted through their then advisers. Martinez’s emails detail the actions of these people. One of the names that is repeated is that of a former general coordinator of the Presidency, Alvarado’s right-hand man, and who even managed to take over the National Secretariat of Public Administration, when Alvarado took vacations, according to official records.
The person of confidence of Alvarado is identified with the acronym MAE. She is listed as the recipient of one of the e-mails, now in possession of the Office of the Prosecutor, dated December 17, 2012. It states the following: “Dear MAE, I accompany the scanned deposit made to Vertigo Films, for USD 50,000 … ” Later it is indicated that another USD 50 000 must be invoiced in the name of a construction company.
This last company was awarded works, such as the construction of the Social Rehabilitation Center of the Litoral, the Cuartel Modelo de Guayaquil, Millennium schools and more. In an investigation, Vértigo Films was mentioned in the report on unusual and unjustified operations of the Financial Analysis Unit ROII 2018-003, about the companies linked to Vinicio and his brother Fernando Alvarado.
According to that document, this production company developed the tourism campaign All You Need Is Ecuador, in which the State invested USD 22 million. The campaign was contracted in 2014, when Vinicio Alvarado was Minister of Tourism.
In the hearing of Mera and Duarte, the Prosecutor’s Office said that they abused their positions and that in exchange for the contributions to AP, the companies received contracts with the Government. Mera and Duarte have rejected these accusations. At the hearing, the former legal secretary said he is the “most researched man in the country.”
Alvarado has not spoken. His then adviser is also mentioned in another email dated November 6, 2012, whose subject is: jingle quote. There, an assistant tells you that the invoice must go to the name of a company dedicated to construction and mining services.
In another e-mail, dated February 6, 2013, Martínez’s assistant, Laura Terán, sends a payment scheme for different campaign expenses. In that Excel file it is indicated that a construction company will cancel USD 18 760 for murals and USD 25 240 for platforms, sound and small events.
“By instruction of Dr. Martinez, accompany the following file … It should be noted that it has been covered with all the availability of crossing bills, still remaining outstanding amounts to cover,” says Laura Terán in an e-mail.
The facts related in this case
04/05/2019 Pamela Martínez and her then assistant Laura Terán were arrested and then charged for alleged illicit association, bribery and influence peddling.
05/30/2015 The Prosecutor’s Office paves a department of Pamela Martínez, located in the north of Quito. There, the investigators confiscated a notebook from the presidential ex-adviser.
05/31/2019 Police arrested Alexis Mera and María de los Ángeles Duarte. The agents also had a warrant for Vinicio Alvarado, but he ran away. He is accused of concussion.
06/01/2019 At the hearing of Mera and Duarte, the Prosecutor’s Office mentioned Martínez’s notebook. He said that there are the names of both former officials and that of Vinicio Alvarado. (I)