Ecuador’s president accuses predecessor of ties to rebels
QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno said Wednesday that he has asked for his leftist predecessor be investigated for allegedly taking campaign contributions from Colombian guerrillas.
Moreno’s explosive comments about former President Rafael Correa came during an interview with Colombian network NTN24. He said he would turn over to investigators a video provided to him moments earlier by a CNN en Espanol journalist concerning claims by a protected that Correa’s had ties with the now demobilized Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
Moreno provided no details, but he said the video had two or three inconsistencies that needed to be verified.
“I asked for the video’s authenticity to be confirmed,” Moreno said. “If it’s right, it represents a lack of ethics, morals and disrespect for the way politics should be conducted.”
Correa on social media immediately attacked Moreno, who was his vice president.
“Did you realize it was your campaign too?” wrote Correa, who helped elect Moreno but has since become his fiercest critic. “Nobody is tricked any more by your smoke screens.”
During Correa’s decade-long government, FARC rebel fighters and top commanders regularly took haven in Ecuador. In 2008, Colombia’s military carried out a cross border air raid on a jungle camp that killed the FARC’s chief spokesman, known by his alias Raul Reyes, and recovered laptop computers containing a trove of documents that purport to show the FARC’s extensive connections to Latin America’s leftists.
A London-based think tank that was hired by Colombia’s then-conservative government to study the documents found in 2011 what it said was evidence of Correa’s campaign team approaching the rebels for assistance before his election in 2006. But others have questioned the authenticity of the documents, and Correa has always denied having any dealing with the FARC or knowledge of their whereabouts in Ecuador.
Separately on Wednesday, Ecuador’s chief prosecutor’s office said it was opening an investigation into Correa for irregularities in the management of the nation’s debt.