Latin America Operation Metastasis: the Prosecutor's Office exposes the links of drug trafficking with judges, politicians and police in Ecuador

A political and judicial scandal has broken out in Ecuador when the Andean country is still mourning the massacre perpetrated in Guayaquil by several drug mafia hitmen, which cost the lives of four brothers (three children aged seven, five and three and a five-month-old baby) and his mother, who was also pregnant

Latin America Operation Metastasis: the Prosecutor's Office exposes the links of drug trafficking with judges, politicians and police in Ecuador

A political and judicial scandal has broken out in Ecuador when the Andean country is still mourning the massacre perpetrated in Guayaquil by several drug mafia hitmen, which cost the lives of four brothers (three children aged seven, five and three and a five-month-old baby) and his mother, who was also pregnant. Operation Metastasis, launched by the Prosecutor's Office, led to the capture of thirty people, accused of links to organized crime.

"The Metastasis case is the x-ray of how drug trafficking took over State institutions to operate with ill-gotten money in judicial and political instances and thus achieve impunity. The largest process in history against corruption and drug trafficking ", publicly denounced the attorney general, Diana Salazar.

The first big surprise, because it is not the only one in this operation, is that at the head of this group would be Wilman Terán, president of the Council of the Judiciary, the governing body of the judges (Ecuadorian version of the General Council of the Spanish Judiciary). , and former judge of the National Court of Justice. The Public Ministry also implicated former Police General Pablo Ramírez, who was in charge of Anti-Narcotics and the prisons, converted into general headquarters from where drug bosses direct their soldiers.

The corruption network was made up of judges, tax agents, lawyers, police, and judicial and prison officials. His main interest was to protect Leandro Norero, El Patrón, and his people in different criminal disputes.

El Patrón, one of the country's biggest drug traffickers, was murdered a year ago in the Latacunga prison. The Police considered him as the great shadow boss, responsible for financing gangs such as Los Lobos and the Chone Killers, armed arms in Ecuador of the Mexican cartel of Jalisco Nueva Generación.

But among the thirty detainees, six were missing, who managed to escape. The Prosecutor's Office has pointed out former president Rafael Correa, who anticipated on his social networks that Operation Metastasis was about to explode. "We have this information: a reliable contact tells us that a large national raid will be carried out today at dawn against the people who are bothering the 10/20 (prosecutor's group). They have designated 57 prosecutors for the operation, who would be aimed at obstructing the competition process of the Judiciary Council," Correa shot.

It just so happens that a photograph taken in 2009, in which Correa, El Patrón and the then chancellor of the Citizen Revolution, Ricardo Patiño, appear, already gave the former president headaches. At that time Norero was a member of the Ñetas gang, so he participated in a controversial reintegration process.

To further complicate the matter, the prosecutor made public how El Patrón had ordered surveillance against former presidential candidate Fernando Villavicencio, murdered ten days before the elections. In the investigation into this assassination, a line of investigation is being followed that implicates a Los Lobos ID, which would have hired the Colombian hitmen, all of whom were murdered in prison after being arrested, to carry out the attack.

"Not even during the dictatorship did we see so much!" Correa complained after Terán's arrest, always close. The exact opposite occurs with prosecutor Salazar, persecuted by the Citizen Revolution, which does not give up in its efforts to achieve her dismissal in the new National Assembly.

The former president, a fugitive from Ecuadorian justice sentenced to seven years in prison for corruption, also complained about how the media published images of the magistrate's mansion, where $25,000 in cash was also found: "The corrupt press follows the usual script to justify the judicial coup that the prosecutor has just delivered.

Correa's influence within the Puebla Group ensured that in a few hours the political forum made up of populist, leftist and revolutionary leaders, headed among others by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, expressed its "concern" about the "abnormal persecution of judges and its superior evaluation and disciplinary body, dealing a political blow to the judicial function.

The Puebla Group has among its main matrices the whitewashing of the region's dictatorships, as well as supporting its leaders accused of corruption, such as Correa himself, the Argentine Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, the Brazilian Lula da Silva or the Bolivian Evo Morales.