A group of Republican senators sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to hold Ecuador's former president, Rafael Correa, accountable for engaging in acts of corruption and violating internationally recognized human rights.
This Monday, Jim Risch (R-ID), a prominent member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, sent a letter to the president with the support of Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Rick Scott (R-FL), Tim Scott (R-SC) and John Cornyn (R-TX), emphasizing the need for Correa to answer for his crimes.
The senators explained that Congress is already carrying out bipartisan legislative efforts to “deepen bilateral relations with Ecuador, which has made significant progress since 2017 to strengthen its democratic institutions and promote economic growth.” However, they pointed out that these measures should be accompanied by actions that immediately hold the former Ecuadorian president responsible.
“In 2018, Mr. Correa was indicted in a criminal case for ordering the kidnapping of an opposition leader. Despite Ecuador’s extradition request of Mr. Correa to face these charges, he continues to travel freely between Europe and Latin America, including frequent trips to meet with U.S.-sanctioned officials of the narco-terrorist regime in Venezuela," the text indicates.
It's in the US' interest for #Ecuador to preserve its democratic institutions & strengthen its economic prosperity. The Biden Admin should hold Pres. Correa accountable for his acts of significant corruption & violations of int'lly recognized human rights. https://t.co/spxMVz9W0e
— Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member (@SenateForeign) October 2, 2023
The letter also mentions that in 2020, the National Court of Justice of Ecuador sentenced the former president to eight years in prison for leading a criminal structure that accepted millions of dollars in illicit payments. Likewise, a report from the Government Control Commission of the National Assembly of Ecuador together with the US government stands out, which reveals the international corruption scheme between the Correa government and PetroChina.
Regarding the history of human rights violations by Correa, the senators recalled another report from 2015 in which the State Department confirmed the sanctions and censorship of journalists and media outlets, as well as the closure of independent civil society organizations and other restrictions on freedom of expression.
“Congress has demonstrated it is in the interest of the United States for Ecuador to preserve its independent democratic institutions and strengthen its economic prosperity. We recommend you support such interest by using the tools available,” the Republicans insisted in their letter.