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News > Ecuador

Ecuador: Confidential Data Leak Prompts Minister's Resignation

  • President Guillermo Lasso (L) and Former Agriculture Minister Bernardo Manzano (R).

    President Guillermo Lasso (L) and Former Agriculture Minister Bernardo Manzano (R). | Photo: Twitter/ @ZoomEcuador

Published 15 February 2023

The Agriculture Minister was mentioned in police investigations into the activities of Ruben Cherres, a businessman who could be linked to the Albanian mafia.

On Tuesday, Ecuador's Agriculture Minister Bernardo Manzano submitted his resignation to President Guillermo Lasso amid a corruption scandal. This happened after the disclosure of a confidential report prepared by the anti-drug police.


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Months ago, the intelligence services began to investigate Ruben Cherres, a businessman linked to the Lasso administration, for his possible relations with the Albanian mafia

Telephone conversations intercepted in 2021 show that he asked Manzano for his curriculum vitae, which configures a possible case of influence peddling.

In a recent radio interview, Manzano acknowledged the existence of those conversations but claimed that he became Agriculture Minister after personally meeting President Lasso.

This information was leaked by La Posta, a digital portal which has revealed practices of corruption and money laundering that could implicate the Presidency of the Republic itself.

A few hours after the data was revealed, Manzano resigned from his ministerial position "to prevent this unfortunate coincidence from being used to harm the Government."

The leaked intelligence report also contains information that compromises President Lasso's brother-in-law, Danilo Carrera, a businessman whom La Posta points out as the "godfather" of an alleged network of corruption within public companies in the electricity sector.

Once the confidential data was leaked, the Lasso administration said that the police report had been archived a year ago because it did not contain elements to open legal proceedings against those allegedly involved.

This official explanation, however, was not enough to appease the political crisis that Ecuador is currently experiencing.

Several benches of the Congress are currently analyzing the possibility of calling a political trial, which could lead to the censorship and dismissal of Lasso as President of the Republic.


Ruben Cherres
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