Second assemblyman, prison administrator among those facing arrest in Metastasis case

Mar 9, 2024 | 0 comments

Former Correista National Assemblyman Ronny Aleaga and 12 others are facing prosecution in the latest phase of the Attorney General’s Metastasis case investigation.

Former National Assemblyman Ronny Aleaga

Prosecutors said Friday there is sufficient evidence to begin proceeding against Aleaga, an alleged collaborated with drug trafficker Leandro Norero, alias El Patrón, and others said to be part of a criminal network. Norero was among 15 prisoners murdered in gang riot October 2022 in the Cotopaxi prison.

In addition to Aleaga, those facing charges are Miriam Delgado, former prison commissioner; Yanina Villagómez, former Guayas Province prosecutor; Katherine Pilar, a former prison guard who allegedly provided weapons and drugs to inmates; and Juan Pablo Jaramilla, identified by assassinated presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio as one of Norero’s “top lieutenants.”

The Attorney General’s office said Friday that the 13 new defendants are “only a small part of a criminal network” and more arrests can be expected. Included in those who may face arrest are five former and current National Assembly members.

In transcripts of telephone conversations with Norero,  Aleaga agreed to conduct a campaign to discredit Villavicencio for the purpose of “taking control of the [National] Assembly.” In the conversations, Aleaga admitted that Villavicencio “is on to us and must be silenced by whatever means necessary.”

Aleaga violated a court summons to appear at a March 7 hearing and is believed to be out of the country, probably in Colombia. He asked to appear at the hearing via internet link but the request was denied.

Aleaga is second Assemblyman to be charged with corruption this week. On Monday, police arrested Social Christian Assemblyman Pablo Muentes in Guayaquil.

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