Wikileaks has claimed another victim in U.S-Latin American relations. Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino asked U.S. Ambassador Heather Hodges yesterday to leave the country as soon as possible citing her persona non grata.
The announcement comes on the heels as a cable signed by Ambassador Hodges accused the Ecuadoran police force of widespread corruption. The cable, published by Spanish newspaper El Pais, specifically singles out senior policeman General Jaime Aquilino Hurtado Vaca. Hurtado’s service to the Ecuadorian National Police (ENP) dates back from the 1990s and served as the Commanding General from 2007 until he resigned in 2009. Ambassador Hodges accuses Hurtado of “using his position to extort bribes, facilitate human trafficking, misappropriate public funds, obstruct investigations and prosecutions of corrupt colleagues, and engage in other corrupt acts for personal enrichment " and, that “internal ENP investigations reportedly suggest that Hurtado has been engaged in corrupt activities within the ENP since the early 1990s.” Also included in the cable are accusations that President Rafael Correa knew about the widespread corruption.