Ecuador's former President Rafael Correa writing in an editorial published in local media condemned efforts by opposition media to use the anti-corruption struggle for their own political interests and to undermine the "institutionality of the State."
The former President who belongs to the leftist Alianza PAIS party, of which current President Lenin Moreno is a part, emphasized that “there is no longer the institutionalized corruption of years past, when customs were blatantly divided” which he said was a consequence of “a political power which was totally captured by private interests.”
“We promised an ethical revolution and we fulfilled this,” Correa said.
Last week, five individuals were arrested and offices raided following a lengthy investigation into Odebrecht corruption ties.
Correa explained that the arrests, among other efforts, are the result of an ongoing coordinated effort between executive and legal entities.
“The Executive Government and the Prosecutor's office were looking to have everything ready in order that justice could be carried out with force,” Correa said about the investigations.
“The suspects were kept under surveillance and their homes and offices were located, so that prosecutors could act immediately with the arrests and searches,” he continued.
The former President also called for the continued development of anti-corruption efforts within the institutionality of the State and Citizen's Revolution.
“The politicization of the anti-corruption struggle and the responses outside the institutionality of the State, do not strengthen us, but rather weaken us. Let us trust the new country we now have. In this way we will overcome corruption,” Correa said.
The Ecuadorean Government, under the leadership of Correa's successor and former Vice President Lenin Moreno, announced Tuesday a series of actions to counter corruption and strengthen punitive measures against officials who engage in such acts, Agencia Andes reported.
Correa expressed frustration toward those who have attempted to allege that his government was actively concealing a list of those involved in the scandal. He alleged that the right-wing opposition and their allied media were attempting to twist the truth in order to progress their political agenda against the Citizen's Revolution. His government, he said, has been subjected to a “media bombing” attempting to convince the public that they wanted to hide something.
He emphasized that it had been impossible to act until after June 1st due to information that the Brazilian authorities had not made available until then, in accordance with a confidentiality agreement as part of plea bargain deals.
“To believe that the arrests and raids that took place the morning of June 2nd are the result of only a week of work – with holiday included – is extreme naivety or open bad faith...The lack of mention of months of work bothers and offends me, playing into the opposition's game that something was hidden,” Correa said.
Correa went on to condemn the “politicization” of the anti-corruption struggle, arguing that interests opposed to Ecuador's Citizen's Revolution try to twist the truth of the corruption scandal in order to “attack the very institutionality of the State.”
“Even though the the Odebrecht Case extends to twelve countries, in Ecuador the politicking around it has attacked the very institutionality of the State, acting, as always, to make us believe that we are the worst and that here nothing functions properly,” he said.
He went on to condemn the alliance of opposition interests with media and international “aid” organizations.
“In democracy, we have to endure illustrious strangers who are full of vanity and hatred of the Citizen's Revolution, calling themseves the 'National Anti-Corruption Commission.'” he said. “Of course, given media pressure, any ad hoc commission, in order to be considered 'autonomous' and 'credible' must necessarily be against the Citizens Revolution."