WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07) and four members of Congress sent a letter to President Biden expressing concern regarding recent troubling developments in Ecuador, including credible allegations of high-level corruption, deadly political violence, attacks against Indigenous organizations and their leaders, and verbal threats and attacks against journalists by Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso.
The letter applauds the Biden administration’s commitment to supporting anti-corruption efforts in Ecuador and other Latin American countries and urges President Biden to follow through with that commitment by requesting that the Department of Justice investigate the US-based business dealings of Danilo Carrera, a key Ecuadorian political operator who is under investigation in Ecuador for allegedly running a criminal enterprise within the country’s state energy sector.
In light of the many concerning recent developments in Ecuador, the letter also calls on the administration to consider reviewing its bilateral relations with the government of President Lasso.
“Ecuador is now in the midst of a political and social crisis that is driven, in large part, by credible allegations of corruption at the highest levels of government. Investigative journalists have uncovered what appears to be a web of corruption that ties key associates of Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso to organized crime figures. Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest that one of these individuals – Danilo Carrera – as well as President Lasso himself have been using U.S. jurisdictions to hide assets and avoid taxes, in violation of Ecuadorian law,” said the members of Congress. “Given your administration’s commitment to supporting anti-corruption efforts abroad, as detailed in the 2021 U.S. Strategy on Countering Corruption, we urge you to engage in a prompt investigation into the origins of these assets, based primarily in holding companies in Florida. Additionally, in light of the aforementioned corruption allegations as well as other troubling developments that negatively impact human rights and press freedom in Ecuador, we believe that you should re-evaluate our government’s close relations with the Lasso government.”
The letter was cosigned by Reps. Jesús “Chuy” García, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Hank Johnson and Juan Vargas.