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Conservatives are trying to build media narratives and judicial processes to turn the assassination of General Gabela into a politically motivated event.
On Friday, the newspaper Ecuador Informa warned about the possibility of Ecuadorian right-wing forces instrumentalizing the justice system to turn a criminal case into a new pretext for discrediting and persecuting the leaders of the Citizen Revolution, the leftist party led by former President Rafael Correa (2017-2023).
The aim is to bring the case of Gen. Jorge Gabela, former commander of the Ecuadorian Air Force (FAE), into the public spotlight. Gabela was murdered in 2010. Since then, mainstream media has attempted to blame the Correa administration for this crime.
"Before his murder, when he served as the commander of the FAE, Gabela was a notorious opponent of the purchase of a fleet of Dhruv helicopters from India, which has been the central argument used to try to attribute responsibility for the crime to the Citizen Revolution," recalled Ecuador Informa.
"The intention to politicize the case has been persistent," it added, explaining that the Ecuadorian justice system determined that Gabela was killed during an assault carried out by four common criminals who were found and convicted in 2012.
In the same year, at the request of the family of the former FAE commander, Correa created an Interinstitutional Commission to conduct a new investigation. This commission was led by Argentine expert Roberto Meza, who submitted a report to the Attorney General's Office in 2013.
Luisa Gonzalez, a lawyer and former legislator, will run for president as the nominee of Rafael Correa's party in Ecuador.
Her vice presidential candidate is Andres Arauz, the runner-up candidate who led the left in 2021's presidential vote pic.twitter.com/Oq8hGv41UM
For nearly a decade, this report went missing. However, this year, the Argentine newspaper Pagina 12 found the report signed by expert Meza and published it.
"Based on the developed and proven factual elements, the investigated incident allows us to determine that the motive for the crime was robbery, ruling out any other possibility," wrote Mesa in 2013.
To reach this conclusion, the Argentine expert relied on gathering testimonies from the accused, detained, and tried criminals. He also reviewed ballistic reports on the trajectory of the shots and conducted visits to the crime scene.
Despite all of the above, in February, the Constitutional Court, which remains under the influence of right-wing forces, ordered the reconstruction of the Gabela case report.
"What followed was the opening of negotiations for expert Meza and the outgoing government of Guillermo Lasso to agree on the procedure to reconstruct the expert report," said Ecuador Informa, warning that this reconstruction could be aimed at creating new arguments in the ongoing lawfare against Correa and his party.
All of this is happening amidst early elections in which the Citizen Revolution has the highest chances of winning the presidency and achieving a majority in Congress.
#Ecuador ���� | Ecuadorian presidential pre-candidate Luisa González and vice-presidential candidate Andrés Arauz were attacked with tear gas by the Ecuadorian national police. pic.twitter.com/3XIcN127uB