Executive Director of Fundación Ecuador Libre
Ecuador is experiencing an attempt, a destabilization strategy by opposition groups to the Government. On February 5, the OAS itself expressed its concern in a communiqué, where it called on “Ecuadorian political and social actors to frame the resolution of their differences within the constitutional context”. And the fact is that members of the National Assembly who supported the report of the Commission – captured by acolytes of former President Rafael Correa, supported by Social Christianity and radical indigenism – have obtained 104 votes to approve a report that suggests the impeachment of President Lasso, based on illogical premises, false data and illegal pretensions.
The report defies the most essential logic when it accuses the president of succumbing to pressure from relatives in public office. However, the evidence they use proves the exact opposite. The report talks about the efforts of a police general, through the president’s brother-in-law, to be promoted to general commander. However, the President dismissed the General twice, first by Decree No. 146 and then by Decree No. 407. Where is the family management? Moreover, the budding officer has repeatedly confirmed in interviews that his attempts at rapprochement had no effect.
And then come the unreal situations. To begin with, perhaps most striking and frightening, is that the Commission’s report is based on fake news, literally. One of the most compelling pieces of supposed evidence of the link to drug trafficking was a direct Twitter message from, in theory, Leonardo Cortázar, published by the portal @LaHistoriaEC. This publication turned out to be absolutely false, as clarified by the same portal.
On the other hand, the Commission’s report says that Guillermo Lasso changed the powers of the Presidency of Empresa Coordinadora de Empresas Públicas to allow shady dealings, which is false. That happened through a legal reform published on May 19, 2017, during Rafael Correa’s regime. It is also said that Guillermo Lasso established the conformation of the Board of Directors of such entity in a political manner. False again: those who made those reforms were Rafael Correa, by Decree 842 of December 11, 2015, and Lenin Moreno, by Decree 1051 of May 14, 2020. The truth is that during the entire Lasso Government there has been only one isolated case of corruption in state-owned companies, before which the Government acted immediately after learning of the evidence. This is just to mention the most striking falsehoods, which are by far not the only ones.
Then comes the absolute illegality of suggesting, without any evidentiary support, that crimes of embezzlement, bribery and extortion were committed by omission. They missed the detail that our criminal legislation expressly states that such crimes cannot be committed by omission. In this regard, the famous local chronicler, Roberto Aguilar, has pointed out: “The accusation of crimes against public administration (embezzlement, bribery, extortion) in the modality of commission by omission was also raised, a legal impossibility, since the only crimes for which the Organic Integral Penal Code recognizes the possibility of commission by omission are those that threaten the life, health, freedom and integrity of persons. Thus, the opposition has two alternatives ahead: to resign itself to make a fool of itself before the Constitutional Court, which must qualify the admissibility of the grounds for impeachment, or to throw the report of the commission in the trash and invent new grounds”.
And with this it is very clear that there was not even an attempt to give a veneer of intellectual credibility to these accusations, which are nothing more than a coup attempt, sponsored by the opposition, embodied by a surreal orchestra of the Correista left, the radical indigenism and the Social-Christian right, in an unprecedented recital of populist demagogy.
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