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“They are pressuring me to resign so they can remove me from office,” denounced Verónica Abad, Vice President of the Republic.

Published on March 25, 2024

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The Vice President held Daniel Noboa responsible for her life and that of her son, who was prosecuted and imprisoned in La Roca. “Why do you hate me, President?”

“They are pressuring me to resign and leave. (…) It is a blow to my life and to the institutions of the country. They want to remove me from the environment to oust me from the presidency of the country,” said the Vice President of the Republic, Verónica Abad Rojas, in her first public statement after the arrest of her son Francisco Sebastián Barreiro, investigated for alleged influence peddling in a case named Nene.

Abad appeared in an interview on the Central Noticias program of the OPA channel of Costa Rica, where she expressed her indignation at the detention of her son and blamed the President of the Republic, Daniel Noboa, for what could happen to her life and that of her son, Francisco Barreiro.

“I hold the President, Daniel Noboa, responsible for my life and the life of my son because we did not agree on that within a presidential binomial, but to move Ecuador forward. But it seems that this has been a mockery for the people. I invite the President to talk,” Abad said in the television program, which was broadcast on Saturday, March 23, 2024.

Last Thursday, the State Attorney General’s Office arrested Francisco Barreiro, 28, for committing an alleged crime of offering influence peddling, and he was transferred to La Roca prison, located in Guayaquil, considered one of the most dangerous in Ecuador.

“They have taken him to the most dangerous place in Ecuador, without precedent. Neither Fito nor the country’s drug traffickers have been sent to La Roca. My son, without having any proof because it is illogical, has been taken there. My son should not be in The Rock. What the President has just done is unprecedented. My son is in danger,” the Vice President rebuked.

The politician – who has been Ecuador’s ambassador to Israel since December 23, 2023 – asked the head of state to stop what she considers an abuse.

“If you are a just person, do justice to an innocent person, who has not done any harm to you or to the Ecuadorian people,” said Abad, who indicated that they are pressuring her to resign from her duties.

She announced that she will present a request for support to international human rights organizations because these actions would correspond to political persecution. She cannot even come to Ecuador without permission from the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry, chaired by Minister Gabriela Sommerfeld Rosero.

“It’s not about me that he has… I don’t have political enemies. They are political adversaries because they are born from ideas; but having political enemies, messing with a person’s family for thinking differently and pushing them aside and not having enough courage to talk to me and tell me ‘resign’ because since I left the country accepting the decree (which named her ambassador to Israel) until now I have not had a single conversation with the President, despite the constant calls and invitations to talk,” said Abad.

Abad said that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs prohibits her from making statements, that she cannot promote trade agreements in Israel, and that she cannot leave that country without asking the chancellor for permission, although after this event “she can no longer remain silent.”

Abad plans to make this an international issue

She will appeal to the Inter-American Human Rights System to be allowed to return to Ecuador to help her son because if she does so without authorization from the regime, she could be dismissed for failing to fulfill her duties in a political trial that would be up to the National Assembly to conduct.

In her opinion, this would respond to a strategy by the Noboa government to remove her from her duties and thus not have to entrust her with the Presidency of the Republic within the framework of the 2025 general elections, in which he would seek re-election.

“Ecuador has to give me the license so that I can be with my son. They cannot violate this way and extort my son’s life from me. This is political persecution; there is constant political violence. (…) I have to appeal this moment and make a call to the world because in Ecuador justice is flawed because they have restricted my right to even speak out. They are hurting my family. The abuse is so direct, the abuse that doesn’t have… it’s so much cruelty. My human rights have been violated in every sense,” she said.

“Why do you hate me, President?” Abad asked the President and offered to present evidence of his revelations.

“I was not invited to the inauguration photo on November 29th, at lunch. I have been removed from any emergency process, of legality. I have been relegated from the Security Council, which by rule I must attend. I have never been invited to any event. I plan to stop and tell President Daniel Noboa: speak the truth. I ask you to speak the truth, not to hide behind the chancellor, behind a decree. Let him face me and talk to me and tell me why I am being persecuted because until now I don’t understand. At this level of violence and evil, because I can’t understand how much more. I hope, President, that you speak the truth because I do have the truth in my hand.”

The Vice President reported that Francisco Barreiro’s lawyers will request a writ of habeas corpus so that he can be released from prison.

She alleged that he would be being prosecuted without evidence because he is not a public official, although the criminal offense would have been adapted to the offer of influence peddling to begin the judicial process.

The Presidency of the Republic has not commented on these statements.


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