Alerts have been available for months, even years. The Government said, without specifying names or the state of the investigations, that there are 31 officials of the previous government who should be banned from leaving the country due to their alleged participation in acts of corruption. It was his reaction to the escape of Fernando Alvarado, former Secretary of Communication and investigated for embezzlement in the production of “citizen links”.
Despite the journalists’ questions, those names have not been revealed. There is, however, a track that is born in the General Comptroller’s Office: up to now there are at least 17 officials of the Rafael Correa government who could be involved in possible crimes. The control entity, between 2016 and 2018, sent 35 reports with indications of criminal responsibility to the Office of the Prosecutor to initiate the investigation.
In the list there is a bit of everything. There is: Rafael Correa, who lives in Belgium, or his vice president Jorge Glas, who already has a sentence for illicit association and detained since Monday in the prison of Latacunga. There are also Ministers of Finance, Oil, Housing, Tourism, two ex-presidents of Petroecuador or Agua who also have accounts pending with the justice system.
Heading the top ten of the ‘suspects’ is the now fugitive Fernando Alvarado; as published newspaper EXPRESO last week, he has 11 reports that reached the Prosecutor’s Office on April 20 and 25, 2018. In his defense, he assures that the Comptroller’s Office “reopened” the cases. In a brief he delivered to the National Court of Justice, he said that the purpose of the new reports was to “make him responsible for everything that was done in the Communication Secretariat”, that the entity reached “empty conclusions and without support”.
According to Carlos Xavier Zavala, judicial attorney of Alvarado, “the message was clear, what my client had to do is to silence and give way to one side of the militant ranks of the previous government”.
His brother Vinicio Alvarado, who was secretary general of the administration and minister of tourism, also has a file pending in the Office of the Prosecutor. The report that came from the Comptroller’s Office is related to possible irregularities in the tourism marketing plan: consultancy and consulting services contracts in image programs, financial valuation, inventory, valuation and coding of fixed assets, for which it was not found complete information.
His case is supposed to be under investigation. The Comptroller’s alert was sent two days before his brother’s: on April 18. Until yesterday, however, it did not appear in the search system of the Prosecutor’s Office.
And that is one of the processes that the government is interested in expediting: to try to reduce the impact of Fernando’s escape, the Executive said he will ask the court to order the sale of property for Vinicio and Carlos Alvarado.
Now that the preliminary list of the Comptroller also serves as a tool to measure the effectiveness of the Government’s announcements: of the 17 appointed by the Comptroller’s Office, four are already in custody: Jorge Glas, Carlos Pareja Yannuzzelli, Alex Bravo and Alecksey Mosquera (all for their participation in the Odebrecht corruption plot).
Two others are outside the country: Rafael Correa, in Belgium, and Fernando Alvarado (the latter even said that he processes political asylum in a friendly country). And there are others whose last traces are also abroad: Patricio Rivera and Fausto Herrera, former finance ministers, who appeared a few months ago in Venezuela as advisors to the Government; as well as the former ministers of Hydrocarbons, Wilson Pástor and Pedro Merizalde.
The others have already received a state warning that, in the future, justice may prohibit them from leaving the country.
Yánez is already a protected witness
He was the second in command in the Communication Department and now offers to collaborate with the Prosecutor’s Office in the investigation of alleged embezzlement in the hiring of citizen links. Pablo Yánez, former Secretary of Communication, joined the National System of Protection and Assistance to Victims, Witnesses last Thursday, the Prosecutor’s Office informed. The former official has said, through his lawyer Lorena Grillo that he has information that will contribute to the clarification of the facts and to determine the role played by Fernando Alvarado in the decision-making processes.
Moreno has the resignation of Granda
The secretary of Management of the Policy and Minister of Justice, Paúl Granda, presented his resignation yesterday. He himself informed journalists at the Palacio de Carondelet. Until the close of this edition, however, the first president had not spoken.
Granda also announced that in the next few days the executive decree will be signed with which a specialized and autonomous entity will be created to take charge of the social rehabilitation system. That was a decision that was made after the elimination of the Ministry of Justice. (I)