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Montevideo, June 17th 2019 - 14:52 UTC

Crisis brewing in Ecuador.

Monday, November 24th 2003 - 20:00 UTC
Full article

This Monday the Ecuadorian cabinet will be resigning in an effort to ease the pressure on beleaguered President Lucio Gutierrez because of the alleged link of some high officials of his administration with narcotics gangsters.

President Gutierrez who took office last January, anticipated that even if this proves to be true, "I will not resign", as the opposition is demanding.

"Someone could, behind my back, receive some small amount of money", admitted Mr, Gutierrez who nevertheless added that the possibility of that happening "was very small".

Just in case Mr. Gutierrez sacked his Tourism Minister Hernán Plaza, who admitted having used an aircraft belonging to a notorious international narcotics gangster from Sinaloa, México César Fernandez. The aircraft was later detained and found to be transporting 486 kilos of pure high grade cocaine.

Mr. Fernandez is a well known businessman in Ecuador who apparently donated 30,000 US dollars to President Gutierrez' party Sociedad Patriótica.

Napoleon Villa, president of Sociedad Patriotica and brother in law of Mr. Gutiérrez, who allegedly was the link for the contribution, has also gone on holidays for two months.

The main opposition party has demanded Mr. Gutierrez's resignation claiming his "evident ineptitude" to rule. President Gutierrez replied accusing the opposition of "conspirators". The Gutierrez administration support had plummeted and now stands at a mere 15%.

Categories: Mercosur.

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