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Former Ecuadorian official flees country, claims on October 23 to have been granted asylum abroad

Reports indicate that on October 23 Fernando Alvarado, former head of the Secretary of Communication during Rafael Correa’s administration (2007-2017), appeared on YouTube claiming he was granted asylum abroad. On August 9 judicial authorities ordered three injunctions against him following embezzlement charges, compelling Alvarado to carry an electronic shackle and to report himself before a court every 15 days, forbidding him to leave the country. On October 20, Alvarado seemingly managed to liberate himself from the electronic shackle effectively becoming a fugitive, prompting judicial authorities to block his bank accounts and issue a detention warrant. Subsequently, on October 26, Alvarado appeared on another YouTube video claiming he was assisted by an individual from President Lenin Moreno’s government, and that he was granted asylum but an unspecified country. That same day Interpol issued a red notice to locate and provisionally arrest Alvarado.

The episode highlights the current rivalry between incumbent President Lenin Moreno and former President Rafael Correa. After successfully running for office with Correa’s endorsement, Moreno has ostensibly decided to steer government to center-right positions, proclaiming he would fight corruption allegedly installed during the previous administration. There are approximately 30 officials from Correa’s administration in different phases of judicial investigation. While the details of Alvarado’s disappearance remain unclear, it is unlikely he was able to remove the electronic shackle by himself, giving some credence to the possibility that he was assisted by someone with the adequate capabilities, whether from the current administration or not. In any event, Lenín Moreno will attempt to gain political support for himself arguing that Correa’s supporters will go at lengths to hamper the fight against corruption.

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