The former president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa. Photo: .
(Juan_Ignacio_Roncoroni /)

The justice of Ecuador confirmed this Monday the conviction for corruption against the former president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, permanently disqualifying him from participating in the presidential elections of 2021.

Correa harshly criticized the measure as soon as it became public: “They finally succeeded. In record time they issued a « final » sentence to disqualify me as a candidate. They don’t understand that all they do is increase popular support. I’ll be fine. Give all your solidarity to the persecuted there. Remember: the only thing they condemn us to is to win, « he said on his Twitter account.

The Ecuadorian National Court of Justice (CNJ) rejected with its verdict the last legal instance to which Correa could appeal to have the sentence against him, handed down in April, annulled.

In this way, he confirmed that the former president, prosecuted in absentia when he was in Belgium, received, like several of his collaborators, bribes from different companies in exchange for public contracts. Among them is the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, investigated in numerous Latin American countries for having engaged in practices of this nature.

The 57-year-old former president, who ruled Ecuador between 2007-2017, was linked to the case for $ 6,000 that entered his bank account and which, according to him, was a loan from a fund of his political party, the leftist Alianza País. “I have never allowed a bribe. It is a political persecution, they are destroying families for persecuting me, ”Correa said Friday during the hearing, via videoconference.

The conviction brings with it the disqualification from running for public office. This effectively prevents Correa from continuing his candidacy for vice president for the National Union for Hope (UNES) coalition, in which he would have been the running mate of economist Andrés Arauz.

News in development …