Gabriel FuchsArgentine ambassador in Ecuador, gave his vision of how the escape of Maria de los Angeles Duarte of the Argentine embassy, sentenced in 2020 for corruption. In addition, he emphasized that “the Ecuadorian police are absolutely incompetent,” in Modo Fontevecchiaby Net TV y Radius Profile (FM 101.9).
Can you help us in your vision of how the event that generated the conflict with Ecuador occurred? How could a refugee in the embassy go and seek asylum in another country?
Diplomacy in the region is going through a crisis. It was created to be the last link in a crisis, not the first. And what has happened lately is that fragile governments, such as Mexico and Bolivia, accuse without evidence.
The Ecuadorian government accused me without evidencenot even forged. This is clear from the letters between the presidents and the statements by foreign ministers Cafiero and Holguín, where the demonization of my person is just a strategy, and the Ecuadorian State has been unable to solve this problem. The Argentine residency in Quito had a humanitarian component.
The 1954 Convention establishes that the granting of asylum should not be justified, a country can grant it because it assesses that there is political persecution without showing anyone that it considers it, and this was applied in many cases. It is the first time that a country denies it with a reassessment of an article and up to that point, even if we do not agree, it is a matter of diplomatic discussion. From there, she had the possibility to make all the decisions. He decides to go out and face the consequences.
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Another of the factual myths that the chancellor Juan Carlos Holguin tried to install is that I released the zone. The Argentine residence has a 30-meter blocked street that has no entrance or exit. There was an Ecuadorian police officer, on the inside, guarding. On the outside there was a patrol car at the door of the residence. What I did was ask the police if that was part of the custody of the residence and they told me that it was for citizen security. I asked please that they run ten meters, but in the same alley.
Why did you ask him to come?
Because he was blocking the door and was threatening to the people I was taking. Freeing the zone is something elseHe never stopped being where he was.
Are you saying that the Ecuadorian police are highly incompetent?
absolutely incompetent. I had neither gendarmes nor Argentine custody, there was an Ecuadorian security company that had a security reinforcement, and that the police themselves gave me. That was the first lie. The second was the cameras that I did not give. Article 24 of the vienna convention establishes that all information that is in a diplomatic delegation is inviolable.
In any case, the crisis lasted 36 hours because the Government did not even give time.
The first day I told them what the convention established but that I was going to consult with the chancellor and the president, because maybe they make the decision to give them, I am not the one who makes those decisions. There was a proposal from Cafiero that he was going to turn himself in if the justice system asked him to, but when I went with that proposal they had the expulsion letterIt is a lie that I denied the cameras. I said that I could not give them because it is not appropriate and then I would have to give an account.
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Yo He was not a jailer for María de los Ángeles Duarte, and liberated the area. She made her own decision.
Did you know of her decision?
He didn’t tell me, I guess so I wouldn’t get involved. I would have told him “it’s your decision”, I wasn’t guarding, there was a policeman on the inside and another on the outside.
What is your guess? What happened to the two policemen?
I have no guess. Foreign Minister Holguín, who is addicted to off In Argentine newspapers, he made it known that Cuban and Venezuelan intelligence were there the day everything apparently happened, in a barbecue that was planned 15 days ago.
From that residence we saw the World Cup final with 1,300 people inside and with 200 cars entering. There are also clubs and social gatherings. He could have chosen any day and he didn’t. There were no Venezuelan diplomats or all the hoaxes that were invented.
What happened to the police there? Inefficiency of the Ecuadorian State.
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I saw how they pushed the car to start it because it had no battery, so they are guarding something and have no resources or are not interested. They could put a camera pointing at the door and today have all the information they need, it is a problem of the Ecuadorian State.
The problem is the inefficiency of local officials, because he left and crossed Quito. I was not supposed to guard her nor was I the jailer, I had to preserve her personal situation until the problem was resolved through diplomatic channels.
Isn’t it an obligation to notify you that you are leaving?
No, she couldn’t make political statements and I kindly told her so, but I can’t force her.
I can not because I have no resources to establish custodyI do not have a police attaché or gendarmerie and I am not obliged. What was raised is a consensual situation of not generating conflict, because also the Argentine embassy is not only this issue, it is one thousand one hundred million dollars of commercial exchange.
We have an enormous volume of relationship with Ecuador, but the decisions about who one grants asylum have no obligation to explain why. This decision was made by Alberto Fernández after several conversations with Guillermo Lasso.
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This conflict began with Lenin Moreno, who started a confrontation with his predecessor and with whom he shared the formula, Rafael Correa. Three people were granted asylum in the Mexican embassy and removed from Mexico, because it seems that this was a problem in Argentina.
In that case, they had the placet and the Ecuadorian safe-conduct, because otherwise they could never have left, and in this case, that safe-conduct was not granted.
Why do you think that in this case they did not grant it and in the case of the three they did?
Because I think this is a government that started out wanting to solve the problem, but its weakness forces it to show muscle, and has not presented a single proof of my collusion with the exitwhich he did not call a leak, because from the Argentine residence there was no prohibition for him to leave.
She ran the risk of leaving and ending up in an Ecuadorian prison. The police and the Ecuadorian State were the ones who had the obligation to do that, and she took that risk, but I have no idea how he did it.
I can imagine the day he did it, but I don’t know how and I don’t have to know. All the accusations were inconsistencies that they turned into affirmations, which are lies.
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Claudio Mardones (CM): During the two and a half years that the former minister was there, did you have any sign of approaching to find a way out? Did you notice that there was any follow-up around the embassy?
It was not my task, I did not go to live a paranoia and a horror movie in Quito. I went to try to recover relations.
Since the day he took over Lasso established a link with Fernández, where this was discussed, no progress was made in granting him asylum because there was a humanitarian guest situation that is not in the codes, but it meant that yes, he could not leave the residence because he was in a situation diffuse.
As of December, when he was granted asylum, we were waiting for Ecuador to reply with the safe-conduct. We follow all the diplomatic steps. The patrolman was there to intimidate. She received visitors and the policemen randomly stopped them.
My warning was to tell them that they were there for something else and not to take me for a fool. They did not even invent a piece of information that substantiates the accusations. What they have put together is so linear and stupid that they didn’t even invent that such a day I did such a thing. For all the accusations I have answers and proofs.
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It has movie connotations that someone escapes from an embassy. Do you want to clarify something else?
Only that the way of escalating that the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry had can only be explained by its weakening. He Holguin Foreign Minister is about to be subjected to impeachment for the situation of Ecuadorian immigrants who cross the Darien Gap, accused of having abandoned.
If in Argentina we believe that 30% of the hard core of the Government is tremendous and tragic, in Ecuador it is between 6% and 8%, it is not to judge but to contextualize.
I have no doubts why a chancellery scales in 36 hours having tools to maintain, it is because in the background there is a context and it is the one that I was narrating.
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