Carlos Pérez, leader of the Ecuarunari indigenous movement, has filed a request with the attorney general’s office to prevent former president Rafael Correa from leaving the country. Correa is currently in Ecuador leading the “no” campaign against President Lenin Moreno’s February 4 referendum.
Pérez claims that Correa committed financial and human rights crimes during his presidency that should be investigated and legally resolved before he is allowed to leave Ecuador for his home in Belgium.
In a separate action, the Pichincha Bar Association is also requesting that Correa not be allowed to leave the country based on alleged acts of corruption.
Bar association president Ramiro García held a press conference Wednesday, to lay out the corruption charges. “The Correa presidency was rife with acts of bribery and influence peddling and we are asking the attorney general to look into these matters before Mr. Correa is allowed to return home.”
Also attending the press conference was political activist Fernando Villavicencio who joined the bar association petition.
According to Pérez, Correa should be investigated for lying about the public debt and making secret deals with the Chinese government. “He publicly stated that the public debt was $37.8 billion when he left office,” Pérez said. “The fact was, when Lenin Moreno took became president he discovered the debt was actually $58 billion. We are also requesting that the prosecutor look in to the movement of government funds between Ecuador and Belgium, Hong Kong, Singapore, Qatar and other tax havens.”
Perez and Ecuarunari are also claiming that Correa committed crimes against indigenous people during political protests in 2015.