Rafael Correa’s night came. That a judge of the Republic – of that Justice that he said to have modernized – links him in the case of the kidnapping of Fernando Balda, requests preventive detention and that Interpol be notified by means of a red card to capture him, he never figured in the possible worlds that he built before leaving power. From an almighty leader, the former president became part of the list of most wanted and will have to seek asylum in a country to shelter. Surely it will be in Belgium, as he himself said in his twitter account: (…) “such a monstrosity will never prosper in a State of Law like Belgium”.
Correa now has the worst of the worlds ahead. He arrived after a fatal journey climbed on a soapy ramp. In his ideal world, the first he forged, Lenin Moreno kept him in charge and a troop of officials (prosecutor, comptroller, judges …) kept his back. That world was diluted. He imagined another world halfway between popstar and victim: politician betrayed, interviewer on a Russian channel, well-paid speaker in the world, with crowded auditoriums and listeners perplexed by his wisdom. A politician-victim who far from resigning himself to his destiny, conspired with his family against his successor. That shop window has just fallen off.
Daniella Camacho, judge of Criminal Guarantees of the National Court of Justice, has just put him definitively in the real world. He has outstanding accounts that he left during ten years of authoritarianism and justice starts to bill them. The Balda affair is the first. But it is far from being the last. That means Correa, whether or not you face the Justice, knows that the cases in the courts will accumulate, as well as the number of years of imprisonment. Correa has that film clear and that’s why he did not show up in Quito, as the judge requested, but at the consulate in Brussels, where he had nothing to do.
Correa not only has problems here. It will be hard for him to make believe in Europe that him, required by justice as the intellectual author of the kidnapping of a political opponent, is a political persecuted. Since last week, the main newspapers of Belgium (in particular Le Soir) have already made known their connection by the justice to that case. In fact, his theory of political persecution can be sold to the Podemos party in Spain or to ultra-minority groups, such as the one led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, of the communist party in France. Correa can count on those friends and those he already has in Moscow or in Belarus.
Europe is a large continent where the case of a tropical leader will not cause any fever in the newsrooms. And governments are worried about really bulky economic and migration problems. Correa in that context is an epiphenomenon in a country, Belgium, which except for the European bureaucracy that it houses, has no game in the global political dynamic.
The defense strategy indoors can also be described as catastrophic. The thesis of political persecution (or its victimization) portrays, in reality, his inability and that of Alexis Mera to get out of the script written, rehearsed, used and that was practically unbeatable during his government: winning trials outside the courts and use the judges only to give a veneer of supposed legality.
Correa did not know how to defend, perhaps because his cause is indefensible. Or because the evidence against them is overwhelming. To review the film of feints that he did, thinking or wanting to make think that that was enough to deceive the opinion (and of course the Prosecutor and the Judge) give grimace. Say you do not know your accusers. Ironize about the status of protected witnesses. Affirm that it was impossible that ex-agent Chicaiza could have talked to him. Misrepresent the terms of the process pretending to believe that the case had been tried in Colombia … Correa never denied the facts nor contradicted them: he dedicated himself to trying to discredit his accusers and their evidence.
And finally there is Caupolicán Ochoa, his lawyer. To ask him to defend him was to condemn himself in advance. Ochoa is a man who got used to winning cases and charging the State dearly because no judge could ever rule against his defendants.
He was the lawyer of the authoritarian caudillo. But Ochoa does not speak of law in the courts: he arrives with common places, repeats prefabricated sentences, tries to soften the judges and makes recommendations that seem to be taken out of Carr’s urbanity. Oh, and evokes the bad situation that will leave this to the country abroad … To Correa the night came. And his luck no longer depends on how much he tries to intimidate the judges or what is the volume of insults of his trolls in the networks. Simply the night came upon him and enveloped him. (I)