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News > Ecuador

Ecuador: Interior Minister Romo Faces Impeachment

  • Students demand the removal of the Interior Minister, Quito, Ecuador, 2020.

    Students demand the removal of the Interior Minister, Quito, Ecuador, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @teleSURtv

Published 24 November 2020

Maria Paula Romo has been accused of allowing police violence against Indigenous peoples, students, and workers.

Ecuador's National Assembly is in session this Tuesday to carry out the impeachment of Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo for her responsibility in the repression against thousands of citizens in the October 2019 protests.


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On that occasion, for about 11 consecutive days, Ecuadorians took to the streets of Quito to protest against the increase in fuel prices and other economic policies that President Lenin Moreno's administration tried to implement to access a loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Minister Romo has been accused of allowing the use of expired tear gas canisters and police violence inside even the centers where Indigenous peoples, students, and workers sought refuge.

Data from the Office of the Ombudsman of Ecuador revealed that the excessive use of police force caused at least 11 violent deaths, 1,340 people injured, and over 1,200 detainees.

"In Ecuador, the National Assembly is completely fenced off with barbed wire. This is due to the sit-in of students demanding the dismissal of Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo."

During today's plenary, the lawmakers will discuss the report drafted by the Political Oversight and Control Commission, which recommends the political prosecution of Romo, a heavy-handed minister who has avoided 3 requests for impeachment so far. On this occasion, however, her removal could happen if 91 legislators vote in favor.

Romo will have a maximum of three hours to defend herself against the accusations against her in a session that will take place virtually.

Previously, the Federation of University Students of Ecuador (FEUE) asked the 137 members of the Parliament to dismiss Romo and continue with the investigations to clarify the death of protesters, corruption in public hospitals, and the diversion of funds in the Police's Institute of Social Security.

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