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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Correa: Scandal Video Is Distortion

Quito, May 22 (Prensa Latina) The Ecuadorian government faced down its first scandal Tuesday after excerpts of a videotape were broadcast purporting to accuse Ecuadorian Economy Minister Ricardo Patino of speculation with payment of foreign debt obligations.

Ecuador s President Rafael Correa responded to the broadcast by revealing he had ordered Patino to video a conversation with financial representatives to illustrate how corruption works, and that the complete tape is ready to be seen.

The president declared that the opposition tried to involve Patino in an act of corruption and thus create instability in the Executive branch.

"He tried extortion and we rejected him, but now mutilated videos are shown without investigation," said Correa referring to a supervisor of Patino, named Quinto Pazmiño, who delivered the videotape to a television channel.

In statements to the press from Paraguay, Patino recognized he made the recording in which he supposedly makes an agreement regarding debt bonds and promised he would show the tape.

He added that Quinto Pazmiño was removed from his post for involvement in corruption.

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