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News > Ecuador

Ecuador: President Removes Police Chiefs and Two Army Generals

  • Women protest the alleged murder of lawyer María Belén Bernal

    Women protest the alleged murder of lawyer María Belén Bernal | Photo: EFE/José Jácome

Published 23 September 2022

Ecuador's president, Guillermo Lasso, dismissed the police commanders and two Army generals on Friday amid the commotion over the murder of lawyer María Belén Bernal, who was last seen alive after she entered the Police High School.

"I have asked the police commanders to make their positions available, presenting their respective discharges. The National Government will value their permanence in the institution. In addition, I have ordered that generals Freddy Goyes and Giovanni Ponce be dismissed from the institution," Lasso posted on his Twitter account.


 Lifeless Body of Missing Lawyer Found in Ecuador

President Lasso reacts to the demands of human rights groups, associations of relatives of the disappeared and feminist groups for a purge of the police high command and, in particular, in the Police High School.

Elizabeth Otavalo, Bernal's mother, requested the presence of international experts to investigate the truth of her daughter's crime in the police institution, where she went to visit her husband, Lieutenant Germán Cáceres, now a fugitive from justice.

This Friday, it was also known that the Government of Ecuador requested the intervention of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) with "observance and advice" in the investigation of this murder "in order to guarantee the discovery of the truth,"

The Prosecutor's Office announced that an international Commission would arrive on Monday from Colombia, integrated by a prosecutor, a criminalistic technician and a civilian investigator, to intervene in the investigation process, which, it said, "will allow continuing with an objective and transparent process."

For his part, Virgilio Saquicela, president of the National Assembly, summoned for Wednesday 28 at 10.00 (local time, 15.00 GMT) to the 800th session of the Plenary several authorities, among them the Minister of the Interior, Patricio Carrillo; the general commander of the Police, Fausto Salinas; the Secretary of Public Security, Diego Ordóñez; the Secretary of Human Rights, Paola Flores, and the Attorney General of the State, Diana Salazar.

The legislative commissions of Justice and Structure of the State and International Relations and Human Mobility also issued summons to these and other authorities to appear for the same case.

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