He assures that the former minister is trying to confuse the National Assembly Supervision Commission, before which he appeared on Monday.
The former Minister of Government María Paula Romo rejected the alleged responsibility in the “embezzlement” of the Social Security Institute of the National Police (Isspol) of which she was accused by the former Minister of Government and former legislator José Serrano in his appearance this Monday before the Supervision Commission of the National Assembly and said that his statements are proof that he is “cornered.”
Serrano asked to be received within the impeachment process against the Superintendent of Companies, Víctor Anchundia, for breach of functions in the control of investment operations of Isspol resources, causing an impairment that would exceed $ 900 million.
The former minister assured that Romo in July 2020 authorized the renegotiation of bonds when Ecuador fell in default (suspension of external debt payments) and there was a need for resources, which caused serious damage to the entity’s funds and could be embezzled.
Faced with the accusations, Romo issued a statement in which he assures that Serrano “feeling cornered … launched desperate accusations trying to confuse the Supervisory Commission.”
According to Romo, the key revelation was given with the check presented by Assemblyman Fernando Villavicencio, for $ 230,000 drawn by Jorge Chérrez, former Decevale operations manager, to María Christiansen, a Serrano collaborator and part of his inner circle, in January of 2018.
“This document proves the Serrano-Chérrez relationship, which sheds even more light on this case,” he said.
Regarding his relationship with Chérrez, Serrano said during the appearance that it was accidental and that it arose as a result of the Pedernales earthquake in Manabí in 2016, since Chérrez “gave supplies and food to the victims.”
Serrano, who currently lives in the United States, said that when needed he will return to the country.
However, Villavicencio said that Christiansen was a senior Interior Ministry official in the Serrano administration and assured that there is a much deeper relationship, since both live in the United States, where Chérrez also remains.
Meanwhile, the former minister added that in the statements made by Serrano, he mixes the Isspol scam with the renegotiation of Ecuador’s debt, in which Isspol does not take any initiative.
“While I was minister, I investigated, discovered and denounced this scam, confronting the political and economic powers involved. Serrano’s distraction strategy is only a sign of cynicism and despair. The thesis that he presented today coincides with the defense of Chérrez when we revealed the scam, it is not a coincidence! ”, Romo stressed.
“It is the Ecuadorian State that proposes and the holders make a decision. This renegotiation, recognized as an important milestone for the country, implied rescheduling more than $ 17 billion of debt in 2020 ″, he added.
Romo pointed out that the operation in question was approved by all the country’s creditors and that Isspol authorized, “in theory”, to renegotiate slightly more than $ 100 million that he believed he had in his portfolio. “I say in theory because precisely in the investigation of this great scam it was determined that the bonds were in the hands of Jorge Chérrez and had been out of the control of Isspol for years,” he said.
In the statement, Romo recalled that Chérrez “handled $ 693 million from the National Police only in ‘operations’ with bonds.” He indicated that they started in 2014 and that the largest, of $ 327 million, occurred in 2015. (I)