Correa denies knowledge of Air Force general’s murder in National Assembly testimony

Aug 16, 2018

In a Tuesday video link from Belgium to Ecuador’s National Assembly, former president Rafael Correa denied receiving the missing third report on the murder of former Air Force General Jorge Gabela. In his testimony, the former president also questioned the role of special Argentinian investigator Roberto Meza, saying his findings were “only inputs” into the investigation.

Former president Rafael Correa

Gabela, an outspoken critic of the government’s decision to buy Indian-made Dhruv helicopters in 2008, was murdered in December 2010. A special commission established to investigate the murder, concluded that the crime was committed by “common criminals,” and was not linked to the general’s position on the helicopters purchase. Meza, however, claimed he had evidence that Gabela’s murder was an “inside job” and provided his findings in a third report to the commission that has since disappeared from public records.

Two former government ministers have testified that Correa received the report and discussed its findings with them.

During his comments, Correa agreed that Gabela’s concerns about the quality of the helicopters may have been justified. “I do not know if he was right, but the helicopters were not good,” Correa said. Of the seven Dhruv helicopters purchased by the government, four crashed, killing four military personnel.

Correa’s contention that he did not receive the third report on the murder  and that he was unaware of evidence that Gabela was murdered because of his opinion on the Dhruvs purchase, resulted in an angry exchange with three assembly members. At one point, Correa threatened to end his testimony because of “the intervention of politics” into his testimony.

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