By Esteban Cordero Balarezo
Ex-president Rafael Correa faces up to 150 law suits and more may be on the way.
The cases that have been filed and processed by the Judicial Function of Ecuador (www.funcionjudicial.gob.ec) deal primarily with claims for financial losses and damages, and civil rights breaches.
Fifty-four of the lawsuits have been filed by those who claim that their constitutional rights have been violated. Next in number, are 20 cases claiming financial losses and damages due to presidential actions, while 16 cite damages to moral character or slander.
Other cases claim lack of access to public information, violation of injunction petitions, and six are before dispute tribunals, filed by citizens who claim the government infringed on their personal rights.
Among the remaining cases are ones that name Correa with other government officials, including the ex-president of the National Assembly, Fernando Cordero.
One of the most high-profile cases pending involves a defamation of character suit from 2009. In one his weekly television broadcasts, Correa accused newspaper columnist Miguel Palacios of committing crimes. In 2010, Palacios sued Correa for defamation of character. In response, Correa and his legal team counter-sued, claiming that Palacios lied about Correa in 20 columns. Correa asked for $400 million in damages.
In 2015, the National Court of Justice denied Palacios’ case and, instead, ordered him to pay Correa $40,000 on the counter charges. The case remains in process.
In addition to cases that involve him directly, Correa has also been ordered to testify in the money laundering case of former energy minister Alecksey Mosquera. Last year, Correa claimed that the million dollars Mosquera received from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht was a loan, not a bribe.