Attorney General Galo Chiriboga announced Monday that the list of Ecuadorian officials bribed by the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht will not be released until June. The decision, by the U.S. Department of Justice which is investigating the case, is a blow to the Guillermo Lasso presidential campaign which had hoped the list would implicate members of Rafael Correa’s government and damage Lenin Moreno’s election chances.
Last week, justice department officials had declined a request from U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to provide names of Ecuadorian officials before the April 2 runoff election between Lasso and Moreno, who represents Correa’s Alianza País party.
Ros-Lehtinen, a Cuban migrant from Miami, admitted that she wanted to embarrass Correa with scandal revelations that might tip the election to Lasso. “It is time for a change in Quito and the Correa regime’s corruption and lack of an independent judiciary are well-documented and it cannot be relied on to investigate itself.”
A fervent anti-Castroite, Ros-Lehtinen did not ask the Justice Department for bribery lists of the dozen other countries in which Odebrecht says it paid bribes, including Colombia, Peru, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama.
Officials at the justice department told Chiriboga and Ros-Lehtinen that its investigation is not complete and that international agreements prohibit the disclosure of information before trial.