In the wake of multiple corruption cases, Ecuador faces a moral, political and legal crisis, according to the country’s Catholic bishops. “The government must fairly investigate these cases and the courts must act expediently to regain the trust and faith of the people,” the bishops said.
The bishops sent a letter to the news media following last week’s release of an audio tape in which the the president of Ecuador’s National Assembly and a former energy minister appeared to be plotting to oust the attorney general from office. It was the latest in a year-long series of corruption charges and convictions, most involving bribery, against government officials.
The letter also noted the “political rivalries and jealousies” that have marked the corruption cases, an apparent reference to the fight between supporters of President Lenin Moreno and former president Rafael Correa. Almost all the corruption cases have involved the officials in the Correa government. The Assembly President Jose Serrano, Attorney General Carlos Baca and and former energy minister Carlos Polit were all part of the Correa administration.
In its letter, the Council of the Ecuadorian Episcopal Conference, published in the church newspaper Agenzia Fides said: “The search for truth and justice is urgent. It is our people who demand it. We call on the authorities of state to act forcefully, following paths of truth and transparency.”
The letter continued: “We encourage young Ecuadorians to prepare themselves to build a new and better way of doing politics, understabding the value of collective charity and service to the people. Unless new approaches are found soon, we fear there will be damage to the moral, cultural and social fabric of the country. “