The ball will go back to the Prosecutor’s Office and theComptroller’s Office. After almost four months of work, the Commission createdin the Assembly to investigate the death of General Jorge Gabela came to aconclusion that, for the military’s family, was obvious from the beginning: theassassination of the ex-commander of the FAE had to do with organized crime andnot, as announced by the Interinstitutional Committee of inquiry formed byRafael Correa’s decree, with common crime.
The final 71-page investigation report was debated and enriched last night and will be put to the vote tomorrow. Most requested changes seek to give greater strength to the document, whose first version disappointed Patricia Ochoa, widow of the murdered general. After the debate, the report included the names of the officials of the Inter-institutional Committee, especially the Ministry of Justice, under whose custody the third part of the report of the Argentine expert Roberto Meza disappeared, mentioning the alleged masterminds of the murder.
The report was also asked to mention more specifically that the second part of that expert report was substantially altered, since its main conclusion was omitted: that the murder involved the purchase of the Dhruv helicopters. The draft talks about manipulation but does not establish responsibilities.
Other names that will be mentioned in the new version that will be voted on tomorrow: those of the members of the Acquisitions Committee of the Armed Forces; those of the National Defense Board that approved the purchase, ignoring the warnings that the Dhruv helicopters lacked the proper certifications; those of the Audit and Sovereignty committees of the Assembly, which filed the impeachment trial against Defense Minister Javier Ponce and covered up the responsibilities in the purchase process of the helicopters, respectively; those in charge of receiving the helicopters, who accepted them despite the shortcomings detected in them.
Another of the omissions of the initial draft, which will be corrected in the final version, has to do with illegal monitoring and harassment of which General Gabela was victim in his last days and, after the murder, his family.
Jeannine Cruz and Ángel Gende asked to mention the words “State crime” as a possibility to which all the indications point. And César Rohón requested to include a request that the Comptroller make a special examination to the purchase of weapons between 2007 and 2017. It will also include new information, presented by César Litardo, president of the Commission: an official of the Senain, Javier Molina Bonilla, maintained relations with the company Sumil, representative of the manufacturer of the helicopters, and provided advice to set up paper companies in tax havens.
The final report of the Commission talks about the irregularities in the acquisition of weapons, questions the investigations made by the Office of the Comptroller General and the Office of the Prosecutor, on the purchase of helicopters and on the murder, and calls for the reconstruction of the missing Meza’s third report.
The institutional errors
The report makes an extensive summary of the acquisition processes of the Dhruv helicopters. And criticizes the management of the same Assembly: according to the draft report, the previous Sovereignty Commission, despite detecting administrative failures and errors, did not establish political responsibility.
The Commission, after analyzing the documentation on the purchase processes of the helicopters, concluded that the Air Force did not perform a neat job in the contracting process, “being them experts in this type of aircraft and knowing first hand all the needs of the institution”.
The work of the Prosecutor’s Office in the investigation of the death of General Jorge Gabela is also being questioned in the Commission. Legislators say that “there are several inconsistencies” that merit being analyzed to determine the responsibility that may exist and the effect on the right to the truth.
1. Purchase of the Dhruv
Evidence of lack of preparation and experience of the FAE in contraction and struggle of interests at the top.
2. Comptroller’s Report
Despite establishing administrative transgressions did not set responsibilities for former Minister Javier Ponce.
On the participation of organized crime in the murder of Jorge Gabela.
Not all the skills were carried out to determine who was responsible for the crime.
5. Political judgment
File of the process against Javier Ponce without sufficient motivation.
6. Dhruv report
The Assembly did not follow up on the report of the Sovereignty Commission.
7. State Committee
It did not guarantee independence and impartiality. Excluded the relatives of the victim and Human Rights organizations.
The Committee, since June 2013, was informal negligent and secretive.
9. Second report
The expert concludes that the murder “would be a consequence of organized crime”
10. Third report
No sustenance was found to deny their existence.
11. Official version
The expert’s version contradicts the former Minister of Justice, Ledy Zúñiga.
12. The conclusions were made public four months after they wereapproved in violation of Executive Decree 131. (I)