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Montevideo, February 7th 2023 - 08:02 UTC

 

 

Ecuador: Anticorruption secretary resigns amid growing scandal

Wednesday, January 25th 2023 - 08:51 UTC
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The fact that a former official has fallen “into the temptation of earning ill-gotten money” cannot be generalized, Lasso insisted The fact that a former official has fallen “into the temptation of earning ill-gotten money” cannot be generalized, Lasso insisted

Luis Verdesoto Monday turned in his resignation as Secretary of Anticorruption Public Policy amid growing allegations of corruption in Ecuador President Guillermo Lasso's entourage.

The Anti-Corruption Secretariat was created in order to design and implement public policies in the fight against corruption, according to a statement from Lasso's office. The secretariat's work “must be reinforced more than ever with greater depth, sustenance, and agility both in the diagnoses and in the suggested solutions,” the statement also pointed out.
“We have decided to accept the resignation presented by Luis Verdesoto from his position,” the communiqué went on. Verdesoto's name allegedly came up in a probe by the Attorney General's Office into a possible corruption scheme in state-run energy companies.

A report drafted by the Secretariat under Verdesoto mentioned alleged acts of corruption committed in state-owned companies such as the Ecuadorian Oil Fleet (Flopec) and the National Electricity Corporation (CoN), among others.

“Although throughout the report, in several paragraphs, it is emphasized that the information provided is not in itself evidence, it details the alleged 'modus operandi' that would have been used particularly in Coln and Flopec,” reported Teleamazonas. The document also points out that corrupt groups would have accessed Cnel privileged information for their own benefit. The group includes technical and support areas teams, their area managers, and the general manager.

Regarding Flopec, the report highlights the existence of possible corruption patterns that would be configured from the existence of the monopoly in transportation, in addition to an alleged discretional management and operation of the company, and the apparent lack of control over its finances. The report points out that Flopec incurs high rental costs for vessels leased above market values.

Following a press report by the website La Posta involving Lasso's brother-in-law Danilo Carrera, the president has denied corruption has filtered into his government. The fact that a former official has fallen “into the temptation of earning ill-gotten money” cannot be generalized, Lasso insisted.

“At most what exists is an alleged act of corruption by a former government official,” he said about the former president of the Empresa Coordinadora de Empresas Públicas (EMCO) Hernán Luque, whose voice is featured in audio of a conversation about illegal transactions with another corruption suspect. Lasso said he requested Luque's departure at the end of last year, “because he did not feel confident.”

While Luque is currently at large, Carrera has rejected La Posta's allegations and sued journalist Andersson Boscán for US$ 500,000 in damages.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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