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Ecuador: General Fired by Correa Claims Vote Security Was Breached

By: David Unsworth - Mar 7, 2017, 12:23 pm
A general recently relieved of duty claims a lack of transparency in the military's chain of custody of Ecuadorian votes (
A general recently relieved of duty claims a lack of transparency in the military’s chain of custody of Ecuadorian votes (La Republica).

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Former Ecuadorian general Luis Castro Ayala warned of a lack of transparency and security breaches with regard to the vote count during the nation’s elections on February 19.

According to Castro Ayala, the Ecuadorian Army was not involved in the chain of custody of the ballot boxes after the voting had concluded. He alleges that the chain of custody should always count on the presence of the armed forces in order to safeguard the popular will.

Castro Ayala says it is necessary to analyze “the participation and responsibility of the institution during the electoral process, considering respect for Constitutional order and the will of the people manifested at the polls.”

Yet, the National Electoral Council (CNE) and the Ministry of Defense disputed Castro Ayala’s statements by saying that the chain of custody of the electoral material had been “fulfilled by the Armed Forces, through its legal role and capacity in our electoral process.”

“The electoral material has been in the permanent and uninterrupted custody of the Armed Forces, which has been publicly known and has been properly documented,” said the CNE.

“At no time, has electoral material been found not be under the custody of the armed forces, in order to guarantee the security of our elections,” the Council continued in a statement.

For its part, the Ministry of Defense, in another statement also denied that the Armed Forces had not guarded the electoral material.

“The armed forces fulfilled their work,” said the Ministry.

General Castro was dismissed on Sunday, March 5, by the Ecuadorian president, Rafael Correa and replace by general Edison Narváez Rosero.

Ecuadorians will be voting in a second round presidential election on April 2, in a closely watched contest between former Guayas governor Guillermo Lasso, and former vice president Lenin Moreno.

Moreno, Correa’s handpicked successor, narrowly missed a first round electoral victory, receiving 39.3% of the votes, when he needed 40% to avoid a runoff.

Sources: El Nuevo Herald, El Universo, Ecuador Inmediato

David Unsworth David Unsworth

David Unsworth is a Boston native. He received degrees in History and Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis, and subsequently spent five years working in real estate development in New York City. Currently he resides in Bogota, Colombia, where he is involved in the tourism industry. In his free time he enjoys singing in rock bands, travelling throughout Latin America, and studying Portuguese.

GOP Congressmen Meet with Cuban Foreign Minister in Havana

By: Karina Martín - Mar 7, 2017, 12:11 pm
congresistas-republicanos-de-ee.uu_.-se-reunieron-con-el-ministro-de-relaciones-exteriores-de-cuba

EspañolCuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez met with a delegation of Republican Congressmen Monday, March 6th to discuss foreign relations between the United States and Cuba. Republican representatives Tom Emmer and Jason Lewis, both from Minnesota, as well as Roger Marshall of Kansas, James Comer of Kentucky and Jack Bergman of Michigan were all in attendance with Cuban Foreign Ministry Director Josefina Vidal and US Deputy Director General Gustavo Machín. This is the second US delegation to visit Cuba during the Trump administration. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); });     Two weeks ago, a group of US Congressmen led by Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Republican Thad Cochran of Mississippi were both welcomed by President Raul Castro. Following the trip, Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida criticized them for not meeting with members of the opposition. "Will they have the courage to do it or do they just want an excursion to make Cuba attractive?" she asked, and challenged delegations regularly traveling to the island to march with the Damas de Blanco, a movement advocating for the release of political prisoners. Sources: Cubanet; Diario de Cuba; El Nuevo Herald.

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