Metastasis case: Prosecutors charge more judicial officials in Ecuador’s largest corruption and drug trafficking case

Military guards at Cotopaxi prison (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)

Prosecutor’s Office filed charges Organized crime on friday a judgea former members of the housea former fiscal provincial, a former Commissioner For the pacification of prisons in Ecuador and others nine People As part of a larger judicial case that was exposed in December, it was targeted The infiltration of drug trafficking into the country’s justice system, police and prisons.

13 new people included by the Attorney General of Ecuador, Diana Salazarhas been included in a judicial file – called the “Metastasis” case – in which the first group of 40 defendants are already included as alleged members of that network.

Salazar said this case is a “A comprehensive X-ray of the profound disintegration our justice, our politics are undergoing and how they have been violated” At different levels of institutionality such as judges, prosecutors, secretaries, police, experts, lawyers, prison guides and many others.

Prosecutor Salazar presented elements to show how organized crime networks operate in the Provincial Court of Guayas (Ex/Prosecutor’s Office).

The latest defendants include businessmen, a police officer, prison guards and people from the world of politics and justice, including Ronnie Eliaga, a former assemblyman from the Citizens Revolution Party led by the former president. rafael korea (2007-2017); Yanina Villagomez, a former prosecutor for Guayas province, or Claudia Garzón, a former Colombian commissioner who arrived in Ecuador to launch peace talks between prisoners and authorities amid a prison crisis, and Judge Rommel Tamayo.

“This case shows that the judicial system has become gangrene in such a way that it is impossible to revive it if a thorough purge of all corrupt structures is not carried out,” stressed the representative of the Public Ministry, who assured that “corruption and “organized” crime are two “deadly weapons” against democratic institutions.

Ecuador’s Attorney General Diana Salazar (Ex/Prosecutor’s Office) during a charging hearing.

13 defendants discovered as authorities step up cell phone review Leandro NoreiroThe leader of a criminal network with ties to senior judicial officials, the police, the prison system and even politicians, who was murdered in an inmate brawl in an Ecuadorian prison last year.

are among those who joined in December Wilman TerranIn addition to the judges and lawyers who work in the network of support and the head of the body that oversees judges in the country, General Pablo Ramírez, who was director of the penitentiary system and until recently head of the anti-narcotics police. For Noreiro, within the framework of the so-called “metastasis case”.

Ecuador’s Attorney General, Diana Salazar, in an archive photo (EFE/Jose Jacome)

Their conversations revealed thousands of messages, a good portion of which prosecutors have circulated to show how the drug trafficker continued to exert influence over authorities from prison.

Noreiro was murdered in 2022 and was accused by authorities of funding several organized crime groups and having ties to the Mexican cartel Jalisco Nueva Generación.

Judge Felipe Córdova must decide in the next few hours whether to accept the charges and the connection request made by Salazar.

(With information from AP)

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