For the third time, the International Criminal Police Agency, better known as Interpol, has refused to issue a red alert for the arrest and extradition of former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa. As it did in the previous cases, the agency said that that the government’s case against the former president was political and not criminal.
The red alert request was made by Criminal Court Judge Walter Macías in May and provided additional information in the so-called Bribery 2012-2016 case, in which Correa was convicted in absentia of extorting political donations from government contractors. Interpol had rejected the first request in 2020.
In an internal memo obtained by the Spanish newspaper El Tiempo, a member of the Interpol committee reviewing Macías’ request called it a “waste of time.” The memo said that the agency’s job is to catch dangerous criminals, not to participate in political intrigue. “Although in this and previous cases submitted by the government of Ecuador there may be wrong-doing on the part of Mr. Correa but the evidence does not suggest crimes requiring international intervention. It appears that revenge is a motivating factor.”
The first red alert request for Correa’s extradition involved a kidnapping attempt of Fernando Balda, a political enemy of the president. The attempt, in Bogota, Colombia in 2012, was stopped by local police. In case testimony, one intelligence agent testified that the kidnapping had been authorized by Correa but another agent said he was unaware of who authorized it. Interpol rejected the request in 2018.
Correa, who lives in Brussels with his Belgian-born wife and two daughters, celebrated the Interpol news and repeated his claim that charges and verdicts agaisnt him amount to “law-fare” by the government of former president Lenin Moreno.