Quito, March 8 (Andes).- President Rafael Correa said Tuesday that the former minister of Economy during the administration of Jamil Mahuad, Guillermo Lasso, now presidential candidate, cannot say he was not involved in the bank crisis that obliged millions of Ecuadorians to migrate after their deposits were seized.
During a briefing in the port city of Guayaquil, the chief of state recalled there are people guilty, authors and accomplices, some who were held accountable to justice and some who used political power for their personal purposes.
“They defended the interests of bankers and since they had political power they made such fraud legal. They cannot be sanctioned legally but they can actually be sanctioned in elections, Ecuadorians sanction them morally,” said the president.
A day before the 18th anniversary of the bank crisis of March 8, 1999, Correa recalled that political decisions back then were aimed at bankers’ interests because power was in their hands. On this matter, he recalled that after deposits were seized, Lasso accepted being minister of Economy.
“(Lasso) continued to serve as president of Banco Guayaquil when he was Guayas’ governor and minister of Economy as well as vice president of the Private Banks Association. He managed privileged information, he was state official and banker, that means being corrupt,” Correa said.
He added that such fraud was legalized with the law created by the Deposit Guarantee Agency and with the enactment of the 1998 Constitution in which politicians from the social Cristiano party participated, including Lasso.
The president affirmed that political classes were involved in the bank crisis and adopted neoliberal policies that led the country to the bank crisis of 1999.
The chief of state added that some banks “profited from the crisis” because after deposits were seized, deposit certificates were bought with a 50% discount and public banks were obliged to buy them at their real price.
Correa said that the third private bank that did this was Banco Guayaquil, now owned by the presidential candidate.