The brother of former Ecuadorian president Jaime Roldós, assassinated shortly after his election in 1981, has demanded that President Rafael Correa quit using pictures of Roldós for political purposes.
On Saturday, Correa included an image of Roldós during his weekly television broadcast to support allegation of voting fraud during the Feb. 19 election. In a segment of his program titled “The History of Frauds in Ecuador,” Correa claimed that Ecuador’s political right has a history of interference in elections to maintain its power. “They did it with Roldós, they did with (Rodrigo) Borja and they have done it in smaller elections and now they want to do it the citizens revolution,” Correa said.
During Correa’s comments, a picture of Roldós appeared on the television screen behind him.
Correa claims that votes were changed in some voting stations, denying Lenin Moreno a first-round victory. Neither Correa or his party have produced evidence of vote tampering and international election monitors have given the election a clean bill of health. Moreno faces conservative Guillermo Lasso in an April 2 runoff election.
In a letter to Correa, Leon Roldós, told Correa to keep his brother out of Correa’s allegations of election fraud. “You are using him for your selfish political interests and my family resents it. Jaime would have resented it too, ” Leon said.
In the letter, Roldós told Correa that he (Correa) did not represent the values of Jaime Roldós. “My brother was fighting a vicious dictatorship that wanted to return to power and you, Rafael Correa, personify the authoritarianism that he was confronting. To compare your issue with the National Electoral Council in the current campaign with my brother’s situation is obscene,” he said.
Roldós died in 1981, along with his wife and five others, when a bomb exploded on the presidential airplane shortly after take-off from Loja. Documents released by U.S. State department papers released in the 1990s and 2014 show that the CIA was involved in a plot to kill Roldós, although their actual participation in the bombing remains in doubt. At the time of his death, Roldós was on a campaign, along with Panama President Omar Torrijos, to reduce U.S. and European political and business influence in Latin America. Torrijos was assassinated two month after Roldós, also in a plane bombing.
For more about the life and death of Jaime Roldós, click here.