Ecuador is Shrinking Anti-Corruption Channels

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Anti-democracy in Equador is strengthened by these actions. (Image Credit: CNN)

The ongoing security crisis in Ecuador has reached unmeasurable damages; where innocent minors and families are continuous collateral victims of gang disputes, international representatives are not secure, and international view does not understand fully the country’s corruption and violence roots.

Direct examples are:

  • December 12th. 4 children murdered as collateral victims; public officials claiming it as a mistake of an organized gang armed attack.
  • December 16th. UK Ex-consul, Colin Armstrong kidnapped in coast region for extortion purposes, and rescued 4 days later at 23:00 PM.
  • The Center of Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) questions in a press release: that the corruption charges to the President of the Council of the Judiciary (CJ) on December 14th may be part of a hidden agenda to control non-corrupt institutional elections managed by the CJ. In this article, we will further explain why it is listed as an example.

Corruption is directly linked to violence in Ecuador. From a recent investigation run by the Prosecutor General’s Office: gangs and judges were found to have extra-judicial conversations over legal cases they are part of, and suggesting techniques to commit and hide fraud.

Contrary to CEPR’s press release, in which procedures administered by the Council of the Judiciary (CJ) are pictured to accomplish transparency and anti-corruption objectives, an analysis article from the Privacy Shield Framework shows that corruption by public officials are often unpunished due to judicial inefficiencies; a procedure that is run and supervised solely by the CJ.

Regardless of Ecuador’s written commitments with the UN Anticorruption Convention and the Transparency and Social Control branch; measurements to fight corruption are lacking. To date, Ecuador anti-corruption measurements are extremely limited, relying solely on internal criminal investigations and citizens reporting trough public attention channels.

From an in-field experience with the current and former government, public channels are becoming less accessible in comparison to the latest presidential mandatary. On December 20th, I called the department of public attention of the Presidency multiple times and received no response regardless of the public official telephone I was assigned to; having to independently research higher positions’ e-mail addresses to push the process held in the institution.

Due to this unexpected change, I researched the precedents from the current government that likely create this inaccessibility barrier between citizens participation and procedural transparency.

Ecuador’s President, Daniel Noboa, declared that he will implement the same counseling employed in El Salvador.  However, El Salvador’s model, lauded for its crime reduction, comes with a heavy price that Ecuador is not ready to handle: censorship laws (including legal authorization against written manifestation), limited public information access, and shrinking democratic space and channels for public participation under the weight of the government plans.

Whenever the criteria behind these examples are deployed soon in Ecuador, citizens’ democratic participation in Ecuador may be in danger; lowering any remaining feasibility to fight the corruption benefiting the drastic progression of Ecuador’s security crisis.

Written by Emily Ulloa

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