Rafael Correa will go to a criminal trial and the Assembly has nothing to do with the matter. The request for authorization to link him to the Balda case, sent to the Legislature by Judge Daniella Camacho of the National Court, was declared inadmissible by the Plenary and returned to its sender: the Assembly does not have to authorize or disavow the prosecution of a former official. In other words: continue with it. This was decided in a session as short as confusing: 25 minutes of surprises, shouts, bars and scenes of collective hysteria.
But before, pitched battle on the corner of December 6 and Juan Montalvo. Because while in Moscow Rafael Correa enjoys the inauguration of the World Cup, in Quito there are those who play the physical for him. In the demonstration of no more than 200 correístas that the police keeps at bay a block from the entrance of the legislative seat, a group of assemblymen takes the leadership and struggles to the front while the former minister Ricardo Patiño pushes from behind.
Gabriela Rivadeneira throws herself with the substance of an otavaleña Joan of Arc (they filmed her) and distributes punches among the uniformed. She ends up being the most affected by the jet of tear gas that emerges from behind the shields. In tears, she is led to the interior of the building where, apparently, she seeks relief by throwing water on herself and worsens things even more: it is seen that in street demonstrations she lacks experience. It ends with the face swollen and red. Before the session, the whole bloc shouts its indignation in a press conference: after ten years in the government they have just discovered what the police do.
Four twenty in the afternoon: the Plenary is installed with 120 assembly members present. The Correistas are not prepared for what is coming. The fact is that, minutes before the session begins, President Elizabeth Cabezas learns that someone, in a court in Junín, province of Manabí, has filed an action for protection with precautionary measures to prevent the session from being held. That and the street commotion convince her to take the most expeditious route. Start the session by giving the floor to Fernando Burbano (Juntos Podemos), who the day before wanted to submit a motion to return as inappropriate the request of Judge Camacho. On that occasion they did not let him. Now, it does it freely.
“Does the motion have support?” Asks the president. Eighty hands stand up in unison: Chaj! “Take a vote.” The Correistas stand up: “Debate, debate!” They shout. Ninety-eight assembly members register to vote. By the time Gabriela Rivadeneira, reddened and wrinkled, shouts “I appeal to the presidency!”, It is already too late: a voting process cannot be interrupted once it has begun. Runners run to the chair of the Presidency. The secretary continues, undaunted, the process. Those who remain in their seats vote: 83 for the Yes, 2 for the No, 13 abstentions. The ayes have it. Scandal, ovations, tricolor flag, euphoria. Amid the uproar, Fabricio Villamar (CREO) proposes reconsidering the vote, a parliamentary trick to leave the issues tied and they cannot be voted again. Similar result. The session is closed.
The Correistas cannot believe it. That being a minority does not go with them. They meet in their sector of the hemicycle and leave together and disciplined to face the press. Gabriela Rivadeneira speaks. The tear gas, the water and the defeat have turned his face into a “plañidera”. “We’re going to ask for the absolute nullity of the session!” She yells hoarsely. According to her, the appeal of the presidency should have been given and the judge’s request should have been discussed. The “correístas” are already shouting “Rafael, Rafael!” To merge in an embrace with the masses waiting for them in the corner. Rain rains eggs on journalists. Rain insults. The curtain falls.
Arellano does not care
The former coordinator of Security, Homero Arellano, confirmed the chain of command that existed for the kidnapping of politician Fernando Balda. He was assured by Balda himself, who attended the version without oath that Arellano gave via videoconference from the United States.
According to the politician who was kidnapped in Bogotá, Colombia, in August 2012, the testimony of the current ambassador in Chile is another element that serves to link former President Rafael Correa to the case being investigated by the Prosecutor’s Office. According to Balda, the former minister assured that he was in charge of administrative matters, of agendas, not of technical or operational provisions. In addition, he would have added in his version that Correa was the one who ordered and in the chain of command was about the Secretary of Intelligence and the Minister of the Interior. Today the former minister José Serrano will expand his version. (I)