Ecuador’s office of police intelligence says extra agents have been assigned to protect prosecutor Diana Salazar and her family following new death threats.
A police spokesman said the threats were delivered on the social media WhatsApp platform on Friday and Saturday.
Salazar has been at the forefront of the Odebrecht corruption investigation, delivering indictments against Vice President Jorge Glas and wealthy Cuenca businessman Juan Pablo Eljuri. She has been personally criticized by former president Rafael Correa and attorneys representing at least two of the defendants accused of receiving bribes.
One threat received Saturday insisted she choose between her “legal work and the lives of your family members.” The threat, delivered in a video, was attributed to the Popular Liberation Front.
In another WhatsApp message, an unidentified sender wrote, “We are watching every step you take Diana and will eliminate you if you continue to pursue your cases.”
Salazar received two other death threats in September following the indictment of Glas.
Interior Minister César Navas said Sunday that the threats are under investigation and that additional security agents will remain assigned to Salazar and her family as long as necessary. “We take the threats as an attack on the integrity of the country’s justice system and will spare no effort to finding and arresting those responsible,” Navas said.
Attorney General Carlos Baca has called Salazar “fearless” and “totally dedicated to pursuing justice no matter where it leads.”
According to Human Rights Watch, Ecuador has one of the lowest rates of attacks on judges and prosecutors in Latin America. Since 2005, one judge has been killed and one prosecutor has been injured in crimes related to legal cases. By contrast, 38 judges and 19 prosecutors have been murdered in neighboring Colombia during the same period.