Fernando Villavicencio is a legislator and investigates Correísmo-related corruption cases.

The President of the Control Commission of the Ecuadorian Congress, Fernando Villavicenzasummoned the Ecuadorian foreign minister to appear before the assembly committee, Juan Carlos Holguinto the Minister of the Interior, Juan Zapata, and the police commander, Faust Salinas, on the case of former minister María de los Ángeles Duarte, who left the Argentine embassy in Quito last weekend. In this diplomatic seat, the former government official had been in asylum since 2020 when she was convicted of corruption.

Villavicencio was persecuted during the government of Raphael Correa and denounced the case green ricewhich later became the case Bribes 2012-2016which condemned Correa and other members of this government for crimes against the public administration, in particular Maria de los Angeles Duarte. Since becoming a lawmaker, Villavicencio has been tasked with investigating Corruption during the correato and its links with organized crime.

The appearance before the Control Commission will take place in the afternoon of Wednesday, March 15. Villavicencio spoke with GlobeLiveMedia and called “suspicious and surprising” when Duarte left the Argentine Embassy. According to Villavicencio, the facts surrounding the case would demonstrate a pact between the government of Guillermo Lasso and the correísmo. Regarding politicians linked to former President Rafael Correa, the legislator said: “Correísmo is capable of anything, from selling its mother, to obtaining the freedom of its leaders who have been prosecuted.

Guillermo Lasso's opposition promotes a political trial against him in congress.
Guillermo Lasso’s opposition promotes a political trial against him in congress.

This would be one of the government’s strategies, according to the legislator, to deal with the political trials against the president Lasso and the chancellor Juan Carlos Holguinboth promoted by the opposition linked to Rafael Correa: “(It is) a leak to the taste of an alleged political agreement because it occurs in very particular conditions while two political trials are underway: the political trial aimed at the dismissal of President Guillermo Lasso, precisely led by the correísta bloc, and also a political trial against the Minister of Foreign Affairs Juan Carlos Holguín, (promoted by ) by the correista bank”.

For Villavicencio, law enforcement must explain how Duarte left the embassy without being held in diplomatic custody and how she left the country. According to information from GlobeLiveMedia, Duarte allegedly traveled on a clandestine flight to Venezuela. The lawmaker believes that Duarte could have crossed the common border between Ecuador and Colombia and assures that the Colombian government also owes an explanation.

Given the possibility that Duarte traveled in a clandestine planewhich could only have started from an unauthorized track, Villavicencio recalls that it would not be the first time that someone escaped Ecuador like this and recalled the case of Daniel Salcedo, convicted of corruption in hospitals during the pandemic, who left the country on a plane that crashed in Peru.

Gabriel Fuks, Argentine Ambassador to Ecuador, was summoned twice to provide information on the escape of María de los Ángeles Duarte.
Gabriel Fuks, Argentine Ambassador to Ecuador, was summoned twice to provide information on the escape of María de los Ángeles Duarte.

He Minister of the Interior of Ecuador confirmed to the press that former Minister Duarte “He was not taken into custody because he was in an embassy”. This, for Villavicencio, would confirm that there was an agreement because “at the time the police said that there was no custody, they were not complying with the sentence of the National Court because they knew that the lady was at the home of the Argentine ambassador.”

The legislator insisted that “The first thing that the government of President Lasso should have done was to ask for the departure of the ambassador because it’s obvious there is a complicity of the Argentinian ambassador (Gabriel Fuks) in Quito for the escape of Mrs María de los Ángeles Duarte”.

For his part, the legislator Ricardo Vanegas reported that “two weeks ago there was a mega party” at the Argentine Embassy in Ecuador and that “now from Caracas, Mrs. Duarte makes it known that she is there and that she left in danger”.

María de los Ángeles Duarte met Rafael Correa at university and has since had a good relationship with the former Ecuadorian president (AFP)
María de los Ángeles Duarte met Rafael Correa at university and has since had a good relationship with the former Ecuadorian president (AFP)

In addition, Villavicencio pointed out that there are other precedents that would confirm the links between the Lasso government and correísmo. The congressman referred to a meeting with former minister in Lasso’s government, Francisco Jimenez“he confirmed to me, in his office, when I asked him to explain to me what had happened with the habeas corupus granted in favor of Jorge Glas (former vice-president of Ecuador), that ‘Effectively there was a deal and that deal was to do nothing let go let go”. Villavicencio is referring to the court decision that allowed Glas, also convicted of corruption, to be released from prison in November 2022.

Added to this is the fact that, according to Villavicencio, “it is confirmed by the president’s own version of the government authorities that there was a meeting with Marcela Aguiñaga and Fausto Jarrín, representatives of correísmo, in which the question of the legal status of these condemned and among them, as was the request for safe conduct for Mrs. María de los Ángeles Duarte, to leave Ecuador for Argentina”.

Duarte posted a message on Twitter thanking Argentina for hosting her and said she took a risk leaving the embassy, ​​but had to do so due to the Ecuadorian government’s refusal to grant her a grant. a safe-conduct.

Continue reading:

The former Ecuadorian minister who fled the Argentine embassy in Quito spoke: “I had to leave at risk”
Ecuador has warned that relations with Argentina could ‘weaken’ due to the escape of the former minister convicted of corruption

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