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News > Ecuador

Ecuador's Former President Moreno Faces Prison Order

  • Ecuador's Former President Lenin Moreno (R).

    Ecuador's Former President Lenin Moreno (R). | Photo: Twitter/ @RosaDiazY

Published 20 April 2023

In 2019, a journalist investigation linked Moreno to INA Investment, an offshore company that the Prosecutor's Office began to investigate.

On Wednesday, the Ecuadorian Attorney General's Office requested provisional detention for Lenin Moreno, who served as the country's president between 2017 and 2021.


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This politician faces trial in the "Sinohydro Case," in which he is accused of receiving bribes for the construction of Coca Codo Sinclair, the country's largest hydroelectric power station.

Currently, Moreno resides in Asuncion city in Paraguay, from where he serves as the the Organization of American States' Commissioner for Disability Issues. The ex president should have appeared before the National Court of Justice in Quito on March 20, but he did not.

Initially, the Prosecutor's Office had requested provisional detention for all the defendants in this case, with the exception of Moreno and 12 other people over the age of 65, whom the Constitution exempts from this measure.

The tweet reads, "Lenin Moreno and his family will pay for their atrocities. Jail for the traitors of the people. Guillermo Lasso this will be your destiny. Delinquents!,"

However, due to the non-compliance with the periodic appearance before the judicial authorities, the Public Prosecutor's Office now requests his preventive imprisonment.

In fact, the Sinohydro Case provisional prison request also covers eight other people, including Moreno's wife Rocio Gonzalez and their daughter Irina.

From the outset, the former president showed his intention not to appear in court and tried unsuccessfully to revoke the court order on two occasions. To that effect, Moreno argued that his physical condition prevented him from making frequent trips from Paraguay to Ecuador.

At least 37 citizens are accused of bribery in a corruption case in which the Prosecutor's Office estimates that the Chinese company Sinohydro paid around US$76 million in bribes for the construction of the Coca Codo Sinclair plant.

The political scandal broke out in 2019 when La Fuente journalists published information involving a Moreno's brother with a luxurious property in Alicante (Spain) as well as with accounts in tax havens, from which financial triangulation operations were carried out.

These data revealed alleged irregularities that linked Moreno to INA Investment, an offshore company that the Ecuadorian Prosecutor's Office began to investigate.

Moreno argues being a victim of a political plot against him and denies having anything to do with the mechanisms through which the construction of Coca Codo Sinclar was financed.

In Ecuador, however, Moreno is remembered as a far-right politician who betrayed the Citizen Revolution movement that sponsored his candidacy.

Once in power, he implemented neoliberal policies that favored financial elites, cracked down harshly on Indigenous Peoples and workers, and shamelessly sided with the U.S. agenda.

As a consequence of the latter, Moreno withdrew the political asylum of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and allowed his capture at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.


Lenin Moreno
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