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Weekly Report - 09 April 2020 (WR-20-14)

Correa convicted amid coronavirus crisis

Ecuador’s former president Rafael Correa (2007-2017) was convicted in absentia on 7 April for aggravated bribery, specifically misusing his position to run a criminal network bent on obtaining bribes from firms to secure infrastructure works contracts. He was also barred from standing for public office for 25 years. Correa, who lives with his family in Belgium, reacted by claiming that his successor, President Lenín Moreno, was intent on obtaining a firm sentence (after the appeals process is exhausted) before November in order to bar him from registering to compete in presidential and legislative elections on 7 February 2021. The Moreno administration is wrestling with one of the worst outbreaks of coronavirus (Covid-19) in Latin America, the economic impact of which could tip the indebted country into default, fertile ground for the populist Correa to stage a political comeback.

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