National police arrested a woman in north Quito on Wednesday for making death threats against federal prosecutor Diana Salazar and her family. The threats, delivered as text messages and a video, were received on Friday and Saturday.
A judge ordered the suspect, identified as Doris R.C., to be held without bond, on charges of intimidation, hate crimes, and violation of privacy.
Salazar is prosecuting a number of high-profile cases in the Odebrecht corruption scandal, including that of Vice President Jorge Glas who is in jail awaiting trial. She was also the lead prosecutor in 2015 in bribery and money laundering cases against officials of Ecuador’s professional football league which led to a prison sentence for the league president.
A death threat texted Saturday warned Salazar that she was “putting her nose where it didn’t belong” and would be killed if she did not end the investigation against Glas immediately.
A video, sent Friday, called Salazar’s investigation “dangerous, and reckless” and said it put her entire family at risk. The video was attributed to a group called the Popular Liberation Front.
Prosecutors say that, so far, little is known about Doris R.C. beyond the fact that the death threats were sent from her cell phone. They say that the hate crime charge is the result of a “racist” comment included in one of the texts sent to Salazar, who is black.
Ecuador’s head prosecutor, Carlos Baca, has praised Salazar, calling her “fearless and totally devoted to the pursuit of justice.” He said that extra security personnel have been assigned to protecting her and her family.