(CNN Spanish) — With 11 days left before the provincial elections and the referendum of eight questions on constitutional reform in Ecuador, the Minister of the Interior, Juan Zapata, went this Wednesday to the State Attorney General’s Office in Quito to deliver a police report on alleged links of at least 28 candidates with drug trafficking, illegal mining and other crimes. These applicants, according to the government, would be receiving financing irregularly.
According to Zapata, 22 of the 28 candidates listed in the report are men and six are women. He added that 21 of them are running for different mayors, three for provincial prefects and four for councilors. These candidates would correspond to different dignities in the provinces of Guayas, Pichincha, Manabí, Orellana, Esmeraldas, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, Los Ríos, El Oro, Bolívar, Azuay and Sucumbíos, from different parties and political movements that Zapata did not detail.
Zapata also did not reveal the names of these candidates. The Ministry of the Interior responded to CNN that the document contains confidential information that must be analyzed and processed by the Prosecutor’s Office, in accordance with the law. While the Prosecutor’s Office told CNN that the information provided by the minister was received and will continue the internal process for its respective legal analysis.
Zapata said that the Judiciary must determine responsibilities.
The minister explained that the information provided to the Prosecutor’s Office was collected by the Police through different sources, investigative and intelligence work.
“The information that we are delivering now feeds into eight previous investigations that the Prosecutor’s Office has been carrying out and of which the Police itself has provided a lot of information. What we are doing now is increasing more information,” the official told the media outside the Attorney General’s Office.
For his part, the police commander, Fausto Salinas, reiterated that the confidentiality of the information will be maintained.
The official detailed which are the most recurring crimes included in the police report on the 28 candidates.
“Most of them are linked to drug trafficking, to illegal mining and there are possible people who are participating in these activities, but this will have to be determined by the investigation,” Salinas said.
Also in a general way, Salinas said that certain financial transactions could be the key to associate the indicated candidates with crimes.
“They are people who seek to get closer to the candidates who have had a relationship with criminal organizations, especially in transactions. That is what justice will determine, ”she pointed out.
The president of the National Electoral Council, Diana Atamaint, also referred to this report.
“These are crimes that have to be tried before the competent institutions, this is by ordinary justice. We judge electoral violations. However, as the National Electoral Council we are willing to contribute in everything that is required from our powers to combat all kinds of violence, illegal activities and if drug trafficking or another situation wants to stain democracy, we will be there to defend it, “he emphasized. Atamaint in dialogue with the media.
He added that the CNE has not filed any complaint of this type so far, and called on the candidates to “play fair and respect the rules of the game” during the electoral contest.