Pablo Romero, former secretary of Ecuador’s national intelligence service, has been arrested in Spain for his alleged role in a 2012 kidnapping of a political opponent of former president Rafael Correa. According to Interior Minister Mauro Toscanini, Romero was picked up on an Interpol arrest warrant near his home in Madrid early Sunday morning.
According to Ecuador Attorney General Paul Perez, Romero could play a crucial role in linking Correa to the kidnapping of Fernando Balda, a former national assemblyman and critic of Correa. Correa is being charged in connection to the kidnapping based on the testimony of agents of the intelligence service, with an arraignment scheduled for today.
The kidnapping, which was stopped by Colombian police, occurred in Bogota.
Romero headed Correa’s intelligence service from 2012 to 2014 and, according to employees who participated in the kidnapping, directed the crime on orders from Correa. One intelligence officer claims that he spoke directly to Correa about the kidnapping.
In a Sunday press conference, Toscanini said the government is preparing documents to have Romero extradited to Ecuador. “Based on an order from Criminal Court Judge Daniela Camacho, we issued a red alert for the arrest over the Interpol network,” he said. “We hope to have Romero in custody in Ecuador within a matter of days so prosecutors can conduct an investigation of the Bogota kidnapping.”