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Ecuador Vice President Testifies in Odebrecht Case As Calls For Impeachment Intensify

By: Karina Martín - Jul 6, 2017, 1:54 pm
Ecuador's current vice president is in hot water over bribery associated with Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht (
Ecuador’s current vice president is in hot water over bribery associated with Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht (Twitter).

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Ecuador’s vice-president, Jorge Glass, testified before the public prosecutor’s office regarding the Odebrecht corruption case.

“Here clearly there has been an attempt to destroy peoples’ reputation, in order to affect an electoral process and that will have to be reviewed under the provisions of the Law of Communication,” said Glas, concluding his version of the case.

As he exited, dozens of people waited for Glas to express their support to the vice president, who presented himself for the second time to make statements in the legal investigation.

César Montufar, an opposition politician, who was seeking to pose 25 questions to Glass regarding his role in the corruption network, was physically and verbally assaulted by the group of Alianza Pais militants, sympathetic to Glass.

“For hire” “mercenary” and “opportunist”, were among the epithets shouted at Montúfar, who was ultimately unable to question the vice president, after the incident on the outskirts of the prosecutor’s office.

The opposition seeks to impeach the Ecuadorian vice president for his alleged direct relationship with several of those arrested in the Odebrecht case, the most notorious being Mr. Ricardo Rivera, Glas’s uncle, who is alleged “to have received several million dollars of illegal Odebrecht payments because of their family relationship with a senior government official.”

Glas has not yet been formally named as a defendant in the corruption case of the Brazilian construction company; Montufár said that he hoped that “Glas will not get a free pass, as has happened with other officials…we hope to initiate the process of investigation, of formulating positions…and not allow Glas the opportunity to escape overseas.”

Ecuador‘s opposition parties did well in the last election cycle in February of this year, but still remain in the majority in the country’s National Assembly, which is controlled by Rafael Correa’s Alianza Pais party.

Correa did not run for reelection this year, and has indicated he will move to his wife’s native Belgium to pursue academic work.

Sources: El Universo, La Republica, El Telegrafo

Karina Martín Karina Martín

Karina Martín is a Venezuelan reporter with the PanAm Post based in Valencia. She holds a bachelor's degree in Modern Languages from the Arturo Michelena University.

Despite Pressure from US, Mexico Rules Out Labor Reform in NAFTA Renegotiation

By: Elena Toledo - @NenaToledo - Jul 6, 2017, 12:34 pm
tlcan-reforma-laboral-mexico

EspañolOfficials in the United States have been adamant that Mexico improve its labor laws during negotiations to restructure the North American Free Trade Agreement, but it doesn't appear that labor regulations will be part of those discussions. President of Mexico's Local Conciliation and Arbitration Board Darlene Rojas said that putting pressure on the country to accelerate labor reform won't actually make it happen. Per conditions of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, Mexico is dissolving its Conciliation Board to make room for the courts, which will take on the responsibility of reforming labor laws. Nothing that occurs during NAFTA's renegotiation, Rojas said, can interfere with or attempt to speed up that transition. Rojas said that Mexico shouldn't succumb to pressure from the United States. "Our priority should be a new model of justice where the procedures are expeditious for Mexicans and good for foreigners as well," Rojas said, adding that the United States can always share its ideas or suggestions — similar to what it did with Chile and Argentina while those countries were reforming their criminal justice systems. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); });   According to Rojas, the transition to labor courts in Mexico City requires a budget of US $60 million for 2018, which is three times greater than what the board currently has. That figure also doesn't include the resources required for decentralizing the board and registration centers for unions. Read More: New Study Shows Just How Out of Control Violence in Mexico has Become "What we are proposing is that in this gradual process, a minimum number of courts be established that give attention to following through on labor reform," Rojas said. Fuente: El Financiero

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