They were three days of evasive and unanswered questions. Seven government authorities, including three state ministers, the attorney general, the police commander and those responsible for intelligence and security services ECU 911, appeared before the Assembly to explain the circumstances surrounding the ex-secretary’s flight of Communication Fernando Alvarado and were unable to provide a single relevant piece of information. Nobody knows anything, nobody answers for nothing. The appearances ended yesterday and brushed the zero degree of political responsibility. The plenary, indignant, will meet next week to make a decision on what many assembly members consider, of course, a joke. The ghost of the political judgment plans on the horizon.
The charges on the Secretary of Communication, Andrés Michelena, was the highlight of a day that also had as protagonists the director of the Strategic Intelligence Center (formerly Senain), Jorge Costa, and the owner of the Integrated Security Service ECU 911, Rubén Robayo The latter painted an intricate regulatory landscape in which neither of them has any responsibility for the monitoring of the electronic surveillance system that Fernando Alvarado violated.
For a moment the Alvarado case was in the background and the opposition members of the assembly devoted themselves to rubbing Michelena all his mistakes. Their participation in the past government, their erratic handling of the problem with the unpaid workers of the seized media and, above all, their unfortunate statements on Sunday 21 about the prohibition of the former government’s ex-officers from leaving the country, the internal purge and the list of the 31 correístas that, asked several times about it, the official could not or did not want to name.
“We are worried about that purge because maybe this government is left without officials”, ironized Homero Castanier (CREO), and baptized “the new zoological species” discovered by Michelena: “Topus infiltratus correatum”. More than one asked him if he had put himself on that list. And the president? Did you also put it to the president? “You are fulfilling research functions and not communication secretary!”, Attacked the correísta Marcela Aguiñaga and enumerated what she considers are its main characteristics: “His hatred, his mediocrity, his inefficiency”.
Back to the case Alvarado, the assemblymen were no less angry to check that the three days of appearances did not make anything clear. Not even Rubén Robayo, the director of the ECU 911, where the monitoring of the electronic surveillance system is executed, was able to provide a valid data. His, he said, is limited to providing the physical space for the lords of the Ministry of Justice to put their consoles. And Jorge Costa, director of Intelligence: “On the operation of the shackles at no time Intelligence was informed.”
“It has been a total loss of time,” summarized Wilma Andrade. “I do not believe anything,” said Cruz, and Lourdes Cuesta was even more specific: “The authorities have lied to us here,” said. Ana Galarza returned to the formula coined the day before by Mae Montaño (“the fault is the shackle”) and slipped a reckless variant: “Will it be the fault of the shackle or the ticket?”. María José Carrión was the only official who spoke in timid defense of the Government.
In short: this is a political disaster without political leaders. What can be said is that all the balls fell into the field of the Ministry of Justice. But Paúl Granda, owner of that portfolio, which by delegating delegates to the non-delegable (political responsibility), continued to take refuge behind his subordinates. By the way, who are those subordinates? The Assembly was left without knowing it.
The looks of impeachment
The motion was by Luis Pachala (CREO) and was approved with the favorable vote of 78 of the 83 assembly members present. It was decided to ask the appearing authorities to send their versions in writing, with all the information they can attach, within 72 hours. The Plenary will meet (probably on Tuesday, November 6) to make a decision. (I)