By Javier Otazu |

United Nations, Sep 19 (EFE).- The President of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, has said that his predecessor Rafael Correa’s alliance with the indigenous groups that staged an uprising and serious unrest last summer will not can be explained only because the former president “uses his image” with “a single objective: to obtain impunity for him and his acolytes”, but warned that “we cannot negotiate with impunity”.

Questioned by Efe a few hours before the start of the session of the UN General Assembly, Lasso had very harsh words with Correa, “a citizen convicted of corruption who does not live in Ecuador because he is afraid of ‘go to prison’, ‘an anti-democratic character’ who during his government ‘has abused and vilified the indigenous sector’.

“With Correa we cannot dialogue, he has only one objective: impunity for him and his acolytes (but) those who have committed acts of corruption and who are punished must serve their sentence and the Government cannot not negotiate with Justice,” he said. categorically excluding any idea of ​​grace.

However, he acknowledged that there is a “correista” social and political tendency that he considers “an important sector” in the country -in fact, they have a parliamentary majority- and that “he is not responsible for the attitudes of its president carried out in the past “leader”, and these masses “we must understand what their aspirations are and try to respond to them”.

Law on revolt and prior consultation

The President of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, talks with Efe, in New York (NY, USA). EFE/Carlos Lemos

Regarding the indigenous revolts of last summer, he said that they caused the country losses of 1,000 million dollars, half due to an interruption of oil production and the other half due to the stoppage of private activity, in addition to increasing the “country risk” by 800 double points, “which represents a very high prejudice for society”.

The government’s promise to prepare a “prior consultation law” before embarking on new mining or oil development has largely put a stop to these protests, but has opened up other new questions or concerns.

One of them is the possibility of the army intervening in the event of unrest, to which Lasso wanted to be frank and made it clear that the Armed Forces would only intervene in the fight against drug trafficking: “Here, we let’s talk about major transnational threats, illegal trafficking in people and arms, this has nothing to do with public order.

“The popular consultation – which is not binding – has to do with this fight against organized crime, which we must pursue but in a much stronger way as a society (…) The people, aware of these risks, supports this popular consultation,” he said. .

And what if a popular consultation results in a negative outcome for the government and there is a high-value oil project at stake? “My democratic spirit will be to respect this consultation,” said Lasso, who also said the consultations he promotes “will be democratic, not like those of the Correa government,” which led military pickets hours before the vote for influence the vote. ., assured.

The prison crisis

A recurring problem in Ecuador are prison riots and violence within prisons, which have claimed more than 400 lives since 2020. For Lasso, this phenomenon is explained by “disgust with the mafias, which is expressed with violence ” in front of the records of drug seizures. of his government (300 tons in the first year, which made Ecuador the third country with the most seizures, according to the latest list of the United Nations Office on Drugs).

The President of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, during an interview with Efe, in New York (United States). . EFE/Carlos Lemos

But he did not deny that there are other structural reasons for the seriousness of the prison situation, which translates into three problems: the absence of a census of the prison population throughout the history of the republic , a prison overcrowding of 20% and a deficit of 50% of prison guards.

In this regard, Lasso promised to prepare in December the first census of detainees in the country, with their identities and sentences, to recruit new prison guards who are already instructed by the national police and to start with a rehabilitation policy. which has been translated to date. moment in a thousand pardons.

Web editor: Jorge Rincon

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