Santiago Cafiero in the Annex of the Chamber of Deputies

national deputies of Together for change they claimed that the Chancellor cafe santiago give explanations to Congress on the escape of the former Ecuadorian minister Maria de los Angeles Duarteconvicted of corruption, who was housed in the Argentinian Embassy in Quito.

“The former minister was investigated, tried and convicted by the highest courts in the country. We are facing a very serious situation and the Argentine Foreign Minister must explain himself“, explained the deputy Ricardo Buryaile (UCR Formosa).

María de los Ángeles Duarte had taken refuge in diplomatic headquarters for more than two and a half years to avoid going to prison. On December 1, Alberto Fernández decided to grant him political asylum since the government of Guillermo Lasso had opposed granting him safe passage to leave Ecuador without being detained.

Duarte was sentenced in 2020 to eight years in prison for corruption in the context of the caseBribes 2012-2016″, an irregular financing plot of the then ruling Alianza País movement, led by Rafael Correa, with inappropriate contributions from undeclared companies.

The former official, who held the Public Works portfolio between February 19, 2015 and January 6, 2017considers herself politically persecuted and denies the charges against her, as does Correawhich sets the condition for refugee in Belgium, which blocks an extradition request from Ecuadorian justice. Correa, who has lived in Belgium since 2017, has a close relationship with Alberto Fernández and Cristina Kirchner.

Maria de los Angeles Duarte
Maria de los Angeles Duarte

Last Saturday, Duarte escaped thanks to a perfectly organized operation: she was not detained by the security forces who were monitoring her stay at the diplomatic headquarters, she had time to leave her 11-year-old son – who was with her at the embassy- with her sister who lives in Guayaquil and then boarded a plane that lands in Caracas.

“Duarte had been with his son at our embassy in Ecuador, in the city of Quito, since 2020. The current national government granted him diplomatic asylum at the beginning of December last year, after he entered our headquarters in the figure of ‘invited for humanitarian reasons’. The conventions that regulate diplomatic asylum exclude the possibility of granting asylum to persons convicted of common law offensesnoted Buryaile.

Alberto Fernandez and Guillermo Lasso
Alberto Fernandez and Guillermo Lasso

The request was accompanied by other deputies of Together for change like Karina Banfi, Pedro Galimberti, Roberto Sanchez, Gabriela Lena, Soledad Carrizo, Gerardo Cipolini, Carlos Zapata, Marcela Coli, Juan Martin, Lydia Ascarate and Pablo Torello.

He Argentinian Forum for Democracy in the Region (DISAPPEAR), meanwhile, issued a statement in which he stressed that Argentina’s foreign policy “is a disgrace” in the current management and warned of the diplomatic conflict generated. “The world is divided between those who are with the freedomthere democracy and the transparencyand those who walk by oppressors, corrupt there delinquents“, they affirmed in the letter broadcast on social networks, and warned the government that “” if they have chosen the second camp, know that the Argentine people will always be with the first”.

The FADEA statement bears the signature of its 21 members and was shared by the head of the PRO and current official of the city of Buenos Aires, Waldo Wolf.

From FADEA, Waldo Wolf pointed against Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero and President Alberto Fernández: "Give explanations"
From FADEA, Waldo Wolf pointed to Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero and President Alberto Fernández: “Give explanations”

The episode sparked yesterday a diplomatic crisis between the two countries which ended with the expulsion of the Argentine ambassador, Gabriel Fuks. In response, shortly after Ecuador’s decision, Argentina decided deport Lasso’s ambassador to Buenos Aires, Xavier Monge Yoder.

“Ecuador’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has concluded that the mutual trust and good faith that should prevail in relations between states have been violated,” a statement read. In this sense, the Foreign Minister said that the Lasso government hopes that this “moment of tension caused by an external factor” will be overcome.

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Scandal around the escape of the former correista official: Ecuador and Argentina expel ambassadors to Quito and Buenos Aires
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