Ecuador’s president fires interior minister after feminicide of female lawyer

The president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, has called this Friday for the resignation of the Minister of the Interior, Patricio Carrillo, after the Police committed a series of omissions that would have led to the escape of Germán Cáceres, the husband and main suspect in the murder of lawyer María Belén Bernal.

“After the events of the last few days, I have decided that your service concludes here. I have asked (Patricio) Carrillo to resign as Minister of the Interior”, said the Ecuadorian president in declarations to national television, as reported by ‘El Telegrafo’.

In this sense, Lasso has also asked that “the high commanders” of the National Police (without specifying who) make their positions available, in addition to requesting the resignation of generals Freddy Goyes and Geovanni Ponce, as reported in his Twitter account.

Ponce is District General National Director of Antinarcotics, and the one who allegedly gave permission to German Caceres to attend a soccer match on the night Bernal disappeared.

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Freddy Goyes is listed as National Director of Human Talent Administration of the National Police, according to ‘Metro Ecuador’.

The Ecuadorian president has reiterated that in the same way that he has defended the work of the National Police, he “will be the first” to demand an answer, reason why he has given a seven-day term to the general commander of the entity, Fausto Salinas, to deliver results that lead to the arrest of Caceres.

“We are all united in the pain and indignation provoked by the feminicide of María Belén Bernal. This is a mourning that knows no divisions. That we all share with the same rage,” Lasso said during his intervention on national television.

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“We will carry out all legal processes to demote lieutenant Caceres, because he does not deserve to hold any rank that associates him with the police institution,” he has added.

Ecuadorian authorities confirmed on Thursday the discovery of Bernal’s body, at the same time they announced the beginning of the search for the lawyer’s husband, Germán Cáceres, the main suspect and who would have left the building aboard a vehicle.

Investigators have located personal belongings of Bernal in Caceres’ room and are examining, among other hypotheses, whether a crime could have been committed with the participation of several people. For his part, the president of Ecuador, Guillermo Lasso, ordered on September 17 the dismissal of the director of the Superior School of Police.

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