Ecuador: Government Implicated in Public Works Corruption

Posted on January 28, 2017 • Filed under: Crime, Culture, Ecuador, Politics Delgado reported the Nuevo Herald recently interviewed journalist Fernando Villavicencio, who is in hiding after revealing confidential information that uncovered an important network of corruption, through a website called Focus.

After the journalist’s information came to light, Rafael Correa asked the Attorney General of Ecuador to investigate him, and soon after an arrest warrant was issued.

Villavicencio notes that “We have uncovered the most serious corruption case in the past ten years, in April 2016. It involves massive corruption in the contracts made for modernizing the state-owned Esmeraldas refinery. A project that began 10 years ago, in 2007, with an estimated cost of USD $187 million, and almost a decade later, has reached a staggering cost of USD $2.2 billion.”

According to reports, there are around 20 people who are involved in the scheme. Among them: Carlos Pareja, the former Minister of Hydrocarbons, who has an arrest warrant, but is fugitive in Peru, and Ramiro Luque and Marianela Meza, who are “fugitives in Miami” and were private contractors who are linked to companies such as Odebrecht.

He referred to the two billion dollars that was discovered through wire transfers of small amounts to banks in Panama and other offshore bank accounts of Carlos Pareja and Álex Bravo. He also mentioned that contractors from Ecuador’s state oil company Petroecuador were involved.


The journalist said that “In Ecuador there is no bidding. All major projects are contracted directly by the authorities. In this case, the central responsibility rests on President Rafael Correa and on the candidate for the vice-presidency Jorge Glas Espinel, who manages strategic natural resource sectors, mainly the petroleum sector.”

The lack of bidding was brought to light through Villavicencio’s analysis of the approval of said contracts, in which authority ultimately rested with President Correa. Read Article

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