A corruption scandal in Ecuador hits the inner circle of President Laso | international

A corruption scandal in Ecuador hits the inner circle of President Laso |  international
Guillermo Lasso, last week in Davos.Marcus Schreiber (AP)

The departure of the Minister of Anti-Corruption from Guillermo Laso’s government It was a surprise. It happened minutes before he left with reporters standing and an empty chair at the called press conference in which his representative, Luis Verdisoto, will detail a report prepared by the organization laying out seven hypotheses about how it was formed. Corruption in four state oil, telecommunications and electricity companies that would affect many Ecuadorean government officials.

One of them is Hernán Luque, who was appointed by the President himself as his delegate to manage EMCO, the coordinator of public companies, who left his position in October 2022. Luque is not an unknown figure for Lasso, since he held several senior positions. He held positions at Banco de Guayaquil, where the president was the main shareholder.

The first indications of wrongdoing became known on January 6 with the release of some audio recordings that would reveal an alleged network of corruption in state corporations that places Hernan Luque at the center of the network. But after 14 days, the prosecutor’s office opened an investigation, which called a case interviewpointing to Logo The one used by the government which I have now changed to just Government of Ecuador.

In the audio recordings, Locke spoke with Leonardo Cortazar – who will be the informant for the recordings – and confessed to him in an interview with Digital Media. the post who plays the role of operator and lobbyist for contracts and irregular fee administration in the state electricity company (Cnel). In one of the leaks, a conversation between the two about how to run the other public company responsible for shipping oil (Flopec) was revealed. Locke demands that his share be “150,000 dollars a month, deposited in an account in Andorra”. The President of the Republic admitted in an interview that the voice corresponds to that of Hernán Luque.

In these audio recordings, Danilo Carrera, Laso’s brother-in-law, is also mentioned as the head of the alleged corruption plot in public companies, who denied any involvement and announced a lawsuit against the journalist who revealed the information. “He has never been, has not been and never will be in this government position of the President’s son-in-law “He is handling his responsibilities,” the president said on a national television channel, referring to his son-in-law. “My duty is to defend the integrity of my government.” A few days ago, Laso defended him, saying: “Danilo Carrera is an honest and blameless man.”

to the government It was difficult for him to maintain a clear reaction about it. Luckey resigned as Director of Public Companies in October 2022; However, in December, when the boss was asked why the official left the administration, he answered curtly: “People quit, want to leave, want to change their position, what should I do?” However, in his last intervention on January 22, he said that he “left the government because he did not feel confident in it.”

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The president ordered the anti-corruption secretary appointed by the executive branch to investigate the alleged corruption plot, but he resigned minutes before the report was exposed, the conclusions of which were rejected by the government. the case interview Eight raids by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, were left behind by an earthquake Resignations in 13 public companiesa new front with the opposition in the assembly that set up a committee to investigate the alleged corruption network and the main suspect, Hernán Luque, whose whereabouts are unknown.

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