NEWS UPDATES: Following up on recent stories

Published on October 20, 2020

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In our “Updates” feature, we follow up on some of our most read stories over the last few weeks. Our goal is to bring our readers up to speed on any news that adds to, changes, or increases the impact of previous topics we’ve covered.


Update to: Ombudsman’s Office asks the Foreign Ministry to apply diplomatic pressure for the withdrawal of the Chinese fleet

Published: Volume 4, Issue 47

China says it has not received notification of Ecuadorian claim for fleet near Galapagos

The Political Counselor of the Chinese Embassy, ​​Wang Xinming, indicated on Thursday that his country has not received notification of any Ecuadorian government complaint before the South Pacific Regional Fisheries Organization (SPRFMO),from the presence of the Chinese oceanic fleet that surrounded Galapagos in July, August and September.

Xinming insisted that the ships of the flotilla did not enter the exclusive economic zone around the Galapagos, nor did they turn off their satellite tracking. He added that his country has a zero-tolerance policy to illegal fishing.

If Ecuador files a claim with the South Pacific RFMO, the Chinese government will sanction vessels responsible for crimes without any protection, he claimed.

“The Chinese government monitors the VMS (Vessel Monitoring System) reports and I can tell you that there have been no incursions … there is a mistake because there is talk of the AIS (Automatic Identification System), which can sometimes have interruptions,” he explained.

When he was told that the complaints are based on data from the Marine Traffic and Global Fishing Watch portals, as well as the HawkEye firm that ensures that there are signal interruptions by ships, Xinming reiterated that according to the monitoring of his government’s VMS, there have been no such irregularities. “China is a responsible country that dictates strict measures,” he said.

He rejected US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s comments on illegal fishing activities by the Chinese ocean fleet. “These comments are unfounded and our embassy has already issued statements in this regard.”

According to Xinming, the Chinese ocean fleet, as established in the 2017 five-year planning, does not exceed 3,000 ships and as part of this plan, the number of scientific observers on board will be progressively expanded, but could not specify the number or percentages. These observers are vital because they make independent reports on fishing days, catches, transshipments and discards.

This planning also includes the elimination of the diesel subsidy to the fleet. The adviser indicated that no date has been announced for China to sign the “Agreement on Port State Measures” to prevent and eliminate illegal fishing.


Update to: Women quarantine to keep the virus out, but inside the house the danger of domestic violence grows in Ecuador and worldwide

Published: Volume 4, Issue 48

Subject tried to murder his ex-partner because she refused to continue relationship

When Amanda Yancha, 25, arrived at her home on Thursday night, she was surprised by her ex-partner Álex Mauricio T., 32, who also entered the apartment.

For about 30 minutes the couple argued because she told him that she did not want to continue their relationship.

Faced with the woman’s refusal, he began to assault her, according to the police report. Then after first exiting the apartment and getting in his vehicle, and returned, entering through a window and carrying a knife.

He then immediately attacked the Yancha with his fists and then threw her to the ground and cut her with the knife. He then escaped in his vehicle.

The woman was taken to the Ambato General Teaching Hospital she was treated for multiple traumas, and knife injuries to her right thigh. After being treated by the doctors, she was discharged.

The suspect remains at large; police are looking for his vehicle and are tracing his cell phone.


Update to: IDB elects US hard-liner Mauricio Claver-Caroneas its next president

Published: Volume 4, Issue 50

Possible vice presidency of Richard Martínez to the IDB on pause, after adjournment of session

The Communication Department of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) reported that the multilateral organization decided to postpone the meeting for the appointment of Vice President for Countries and Sectors and Knowledge, which was scheduled for Thursday, October 15th.

The reason for the postponement is “to fully consider the executive team envisaged for the Bank.”

The postponement comes amidst the controversy generated within Ecuador over the possible appointment of former Minister of the Economy Richard Martínez, as Vice President of Countries of the IDB.

In Ecuador’s Constitution, Article 153 prohibits Ministers and other high-ranking officials from occupying “managerial functions in international financial institutions” that are creditors of the country, for a period of two years after having left their positions.

However, there are some who say that this prohibition does not apply in this case because the Constitution is “not extraterritorial,” and the IDB would not be properly called an international financial institution “creditor” of the country, but one of “development.”


Update to: The one-year anniversary of the October protest shows lasting effects

Published: Volume 5, Issue 1

CONAIE files a complaint with the Public Prosecutor’s Office to investigate a crime against humanity, will call for mobilization

The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (Conaie) demanded the Ecuadorian State answer for the deaths and injuries that occurred in the confrontations between the public police force and protesters, during the violent protests of October 2019.

Jaime Vargas, President of Conaie, led a peaceful march from El Arbolito park in Quito to the Attorney General’s Office building to file a lawsuit for the crime against humanity.

“Neither forgiveness nor forgetfulness,” stated Vargas, who arrived in the capital with his friend, Leonidas Iza, President of the Indigenous and Peasant Movement of Cotopaxi (MICC); both were the visible faces of the demonstrations, which began in protest against Decree 883 that eliminated fuel subsidies.

The two leaders claim they are being persecuted by justice, as they face investigations for instigation of sabotage, kidnapping and terrorism.

“We will go to the last consequences. We will be persecuted, imprisoned. We will continue on the path of struggle; this cannot remain that way. No forgiveness, nor forgetness. They have to respond, and if this government and those responsible should go to jail, they should go to jail,” Vargas said in statements to the press.

Vargas said the objective of this current complaint is that the government of Lenin Moreno” responds for the events of October.” Vargas says if that does not happen, they will go to international bodies, because the “comrades are not alone, we will continue fighting until justice is achieved. There will be no freedom for this government,” he said.

He also announced that they will soon call for a national mobilization and called on all to be prepared because “this government is prepared to kill and assassinate us.”

Iza cided the government for mounting legal proceedings against them for the protests but added that “if we have to go to prisons, we will [represent] millions and millions of Ecuadorians.”

The legal representative of Conaie and the Inocencio Tucumbi Victims Association (in commemoration of one of those who died during those events), Carlos Poveda , said that they are aiming for the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the death of eleven people in the context of the protests, and also the circumstances that led to more than 300 people being injured.


Update to: Death of Israeli citizen in Litoral penitentiary is tip of the iceberg in Bucaram Pulley case

Published: Volume 5, Issue 1

Jacobo Bucaram moved to Quito prison

Under a police guard of agents of the Special Operations Group (GOE) and prison security agents, Jacobo Bucaram Pulley—who is being investigated for the crimes of illicit trafficking of patrimonial assets and organized crime in three criminal proceedings—arrived in Quito’s Jail 4 last Friday, October 16th, around 02:00.

Bucaram Pulley was transferred from the Cotopaxi Rehabilitation Center, in Latacunga, where he had been held since September 26th, after being expelled by Colombia for immigration issues.

Last Wednesday afternoon, with a majority vote, the National Court of Justice (CNJ) —which analyzed the appeal of habeas corpus requested by Bucaram Pulley—ordered the transfer of the prisoner, the eldest son of former Ecuadorian President Abdalá Bucaram Ortiz.

Bucaram claims his rights were violated

According to Francisco Onofa, a lawyer for Bucaram, the majority ruling indicated possible constitutional and human rights violations.

“The sentence (of Judge Camacho) recognizes the violations against my client, such as keeping him incommunicado when he arrived in the country. Furthermore, his right to defense was not respected,” he said.

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