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Jorge Glas, constitutional vice president of Ecuador, in the line of fire of Lenín Moreno

On Monday 30th of September 2019, at nine in the morning, the hearing of the constitutional vice president Jorge Glas, who has been detained for almost two years, will be held in Quito.

The case has been plagued by all kinds of irregularities, showing a total bias and an evident political manipulation, in the face of the astonishment of numerous national and international jurists and experts when dealing with the Glas case. However, the Ecuadorian society, as well as several instances abroad, is still silent in the case of lawfare that is lived in the South American country.

It is important to remember the background that has occurred around the Odebrecht case, which determines the situation of the constitutional vice president of the Republic of Ecuador, Jorge Glas Espinel, as well as that of other political figures in Latin America:

Glas, an electrical engineer, was part of the government of the Citizen Revolution chaired by former President Rafael Correa Delgado, where he held some positions within the executive before becoming Vice President of the Republic of Ecuador.
Among the positions he held are the Presidency of the Solidarity Fund, the Ministry of Telecommunications and Information Society and the Coordinating Ministry of Strategic Sectors. Likewise, he was elected as Vice President forming a binomial with Correa for the years 2013 to 2017, launching himself for re-election in binomial with Lenin Moreno in 2017 and winning once more the vice presidency along with the new president.

In 2017, a few months after winning the elections, Glas began to receive attacks from the media in Ecuador, without the support of his binomial, Lenín Moreno. That is how a persecution and media lynching against Jorge Glas started, because of the refusal of the constitutional vice president to support anti-progressive and anti-social decisions taken by Moreno. Faced with all this, Glas published a letter addressed to President Moreno and the country, denouncing this distortion, published on Twitter.
After the publication of said letter, Glas began to suffer further harassment by the private media of Ecuador, the Government, the Judiciary and certain political actors of the PAIS Alliance, as well as the opposition.

Within the framework of the investigative process, the second mandatary and his family were subjected to audits of all kinds, without being able to find anything illegal. Despite the smear campaign organized against Glas, he asked his bench in the National Assembly to give way to the request to withdraw his immunity, to investigate the case of illegal association, to be carried out by the National Court.

During the short period of the investigation, Moreno revokes his duties as Constitutional Vice President of Ecuador, and the media initiate a media lynching in the context of the withdrawal of functions, ignoring or overlooking that Article 149 of the Ecuadorian Constitution establishes the next:

“The Vice President of the Republic, when he is not replacing the president, will exercise the functions assigned by him. The replacement is possible in case of temporary absence of the president – due to illness or other situations of major force – or definitive, in case of resignation, physical or mental disability declared by the National Assembly, abandonment of office or revocation of the mandate”. Constitution of Ecuador, Montecristi, 2007. Approved by popular referendum.

Finally, Glas is taken to prison on October 2, 2017, through his act of voluntary presence. There is a video, published the same night of his imprisonment, in which he states:

“I do not know when I will be able to address you again, I am a few minutes away from surrendering to justice, as I always said the innocent do not have to run away, I did not do it, I will not do it, I abide to protest a resolution of the unconstitutional justice system, illegal, in a process full of failures which cannot be hidden ”. Jorge Glas.

A few hours after delivery, the second mandatary is taken to Jail 4, located in the city of Quito, capital of the Republic. There he begins to serve preventive detention, still with the title of Constitutional Vice President of the Republic of Ecuador, and therefore accompanied by the Presidential Protection Service.

It should be noted that pretrial detention is ruled to ensure the appearance of the person prosecuted at trial under the criterion of proportionality (danger of escape). Now, how could the vice president of a country escape, having a security composed of several military and police?

Initiated the investigation of the Glas case, and after three months of being in prison, said stay is used as a strategy to be able to remove the vice president, through the technical figure of “absence of office”, and thus be able to set aside the one who bothered them to be able to make their turn and total delivery to the right.

Finally, the second mandatary was charged in the first instance with 6 years of imprisonment, through a process that had a series of irregularities, such as having applied a repealed criminal code, not verifying the accusation for which he was accused, and the fact that the accuser was the corrupter of Odebrecht, who has not been prosecuted (the corrupted would be as criminal as the corrupter). In addition, the then Attorney General, Carlos Baca Mancheño, in one of his many interviews, confirmed that no illicit money was found in Glas’s accounts.

During all this time in which Jorge Glas has been in prison, there has been evidence of the violation of his human rights. Hence, the transfer from Jail 4, located in Quito, to the Latacunga prison, located in the province of Cotopaxi, approximately two hours from the capital of Ecuador.

Said transfer is carried out without any procedure or personal reason. In the new penitentiary, the second mandatary suffers psychological attacks and humiliations of all kinds. This leads him to make the decision to go on a 52-day hunger strike, leading to putting his life at risk.

In the context of this strike, Glas writes a statement that is published on social networks, which tells all the shifting circumstances that led him to make this decision that went through endangering his life. In that statement, Glas describes the humiliations that both he and his family have suffered.

In addition to all the abuses and humiliations suffered by the former second mandatary, he receives death threats from other prisoners, endangering his physical integrity and his life. In fact, there is at least one threat posted to Glas’s account.

With all these precedents, plagued by humiliations, threats and irregularities, no body related to Human Rights, national or international, has set its sights on this case that evidences in all its forms the lawfare committed by ecuadorian justice and other political actors of the Ecuador, against the being of Jorge Glas, whom, we repeat, has not been found having even one penny corruptly, but he dared to denounce the right-wing drift of the new president.

We must urge public opinion in general and human rights organizations specifically to review and analyse the Glas case. And where appropriate, act accordingly, to correct this injustice against an honest man who spoke when everyone was silent and stood firm when others betrayed his ideals. For this honesty he is paying its price. And, as Silvio Rodríguez sings, “he who has a song will have a storm, / he who has company, loneliness”.

This article was translated by Johanna M Paez Morillo of @NHorizontes_UK.