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Ecuador News

Moreno removes investigator’s confidentiality requirement in murder of Air Force general

President Lenin Moreno has rescinded a confidentiality order in the murder investigation of Air Force General Jorge Gabela. The move allows Argentinian forensics expert Roberto Meza to give public testimony about the 2010 murder before the National Assembly, which also plans to call former president Rafael Correa later this month.

Forensics expert Roberto Meza testified about the Jorge Gabela murder in June.

Gabela’s murder was determined to be the work of “common criminals” following a 2012 government investigation but later information suggests that the crime may have been the result of his objection to the purchase of Indian-made helicopters, which he claimed were unsafe. In testimony before the federal prosecutor and in public statements in June, Meza said the crime was likely an “inside hit job” but said he could not reveal details due to the confidentiality agreement he signed when he began his investigation in 2011.

Meza provided three reports on the investigation, the third of which has disappeared from public records. Meza said that report contained details of the crime and information about who might have committed the murder. Former members of the investigating committee have testified that Correa received the third report and was aware of Meza’s findings.

Some legal experts say that the Gabela murder investigation could implicate Correa. “Correa was not involved in the murder itself, but he may have known about the cover-up and may have even ordered it,” says Catholic University-Quito law professor Lanner Zamora. “His own former ministers say he received Meza’s report and that they talked to him about it.  We will know much more later this month.”