JUSTICE ECUADOR/ The judges of Carondolet
The selection process of the new judges for the National Court of Justice lasted 5 months and was the responsibility of the Council of Judicial Transition. 666 candidates appeared, 483 were eliminated in phase one.

There were psychological evaluations, theoretical questions and practice exams, as well as, a 15 minute personal interview before the Council members that was scored over ten points. The interview was scheduled last so that the previous scores could be entered. The selection process was then left to the discretion of Rodriguez, Yavar and Arias allowing them to favor candidates with interests parallel to those of the regime.
The Assemblyman Andres Paez monitored the process and after months of investigation demonstrated that legal boundaries had been violated and that points had been awarded to those who did not have the qualification requirements. He found that 7 of the 21 new judges had been favored by the CJT.

Paez claimed that these “judges” lacked legitimacy, acted in usurped powers and their sentences were illegal and could ultimately be overturned by international courts that in turn would cause grave economic damage to the country.
The profile of the favored judges

In spite of their mediocre pasts, these judges make light of their arrogance because they feel they have the President’s support. They grant press conferences to announce sentences and adjudicate functions not within the scope of their duties like removing parliamentary immunity and many of their rulings are truly legal atrocities. They display neither shame nor caution in violating rights, laws, the constitution, nor executing brash sentences in line with the official agenda because they count on protection from Carondolet.

Mariana Yumbay Yallico

She was used demagogically by the government as a media event to exhibit an all inclusive court.  The government’s sole intention was that she be the first indigenous woman appointed to the bench. However, she did not object to this spectacle and reached the bench with 6 undeserved points much to the detriment of more qualified candidates.

Mariana Yumbay’s professional degree was granted on March 15, 2001 by the Central University of Ecuador. That means that at the time of her candidacy she had only practiced for 10 years. The procedural rules regulating the appointments clearly stated that the candidate must have a minimum of 10 years experience and that for every additional year after the initial ten years an additional 2 points should be assigned.

Yumbay was awarded 6 points as if she had 13 years experience instead of the 10 years that she actually had.  The Assemblyman Andres Paez had her cited for a judicial statement and she had no other alternative but to tell the truth.

Paez suggested that she resign from the bench out of decency. She refused to do so and continues nullifying all proceedings she presides over by issuing findings, decrees and even rulings without the required qualifications to be a judge

Wilson Merino

He was a university professor and prosecutor in the province of El Oro where he was born. During the first stage of the process, Merino obtained 27.5 points which barely allowed him to continue participating. There were numerous anomalies in Merino’s qualifications that prove that he should never have gone beyond the first stage of the process.

In an illegal manner violating the rules of the process Merino was favored by the gift of 10 points for additional years of practice. Merino was qualified as if he had practiced law for 15 years when in reality it was only ten since his diploma from the Catholic University of Cuenca was dated March 26, 2001. It was because of this favoritism that Merino made it through the first stage of the process.

In the final interview he was given 8.5 points out of 10, where he stated among other barbarities that he wanted to go to the National Court to provoke a "constitucional metastasis".

This “magistrate’s” claim to fame was his ruling that ratified the sanction in the El Universo case that imposed three years of incarceration upon the directors of this newspaper and a fine of 40 million USD in order to compensate the honor of Raphael Correa. The ratification of this ruling made news all around the world.  Its application was detained thanks to the intervention of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights which determined that said sentence violated fundamental rights, something that the Ecuadorian judges, headed by Merino, suspiciously did not realize.

Merino was also given other “special” trials to handle, those where the correismo interests were apparent such as the Isaias case, the trial against Abdala Bucaram, and the trial of the popular leader Edgar Corral against the President of the Republic. All these cases resulted in convictions. However, in mid 2014 the case of the “check eater” involves acts of corruption by the former correista Sports Minister, Raul Carrion, had his sentence reduced to a minimum.


Paul Iniguez Ríos

After the first stage of the process Iniguez was ranked 41st and should have disqualified from proceeding. However, thanks to the final interview, where he was given an almost perfect score of 9.9 out of 10, he jumped from 41 to 20 in the rankings.

Furthermore, in the merit phase he was assigned 4 points for the master’s degree in Computer Law in direct violation of instructions governing the process which states that the “judicial experience, legal work and specialized studies be verified so that there be a direct correlation between the aforementioned and the Court for which they are seeking”.

Iniguez has a very close past to correismo. He was the advisor to the assemblyman Vethoween Chica and as a member of Alianza Pais he came in third in the Gualaceo mayoral primary race. to Marco Tapia, who accuses him of political persecution.

According to Tapia, Iniguez filed a defamation suit against him and in an egregious manner, obtained a sentence in his favor that included prison for Tapia and 5 million USD in damages. Tapia-now in a clandestine location- states that those in Correa’s powerful circle told him, “You’re up a creek buddy for messing with the judge that handles the President’s special cases”.

Paul Iniguez was another one of the judges that upheld the sentence against the newspaper El Universo and that on March 12, 2014 convicted the Isaias brothers. This was in spite of the fact that there was a complaint of prevarication filed against him. Months before the actual ruling was handed down, Iniguez stated in an official document that the Isaias brothers were guilty.
Lucy Blacio Pereira
Lucy Blacio’s scores were lacking in general. In the merit and opposition phase she was ranked 45th and was on the verge of being eliminated. Curiously, it was her personal interview that swayed her luck when she received the highest score awarded 10/10. Thanks to that she jumped into the coveted 21st spot. However, due to this unexpected leap of 24 spots, she eliminated Dr. Yolanda Yupanqui, a lawyer with an impeccable career who was ranked 12th.

Yupanqui’s interview was also decisive because strangely enough she had received only 1.3 points out of 10. There is no substantial difference between the videotaped interviews of Blacio and Yupanqui that would justify the extremely high score given to Blacio or the abysmal score given to Yupanqui. That was how Blacio was ranked 21st and Yupanqui was eliminated holding the 22nd position with a mere difference of 0.55 points

Blacio was the Prosecutor Minister for the province of El Oro, a post she resigned-she said-because of pressure from the Attorney General, Washington Pesantez. She was also an official for the Council of Citizens Participation and Social Control (CPCCS). Thousands of complaints were repressed during her administration of this entity.

Blacio was entrusted with handling the trials that the citizen Rafael Correa filed against the Assemblyman Clever Jimenez and his advisor Fernando Villavicencio who accused the government of various acts of corruption and accused Correa of crimes against humanity referring to a sad incident of the police revolt on September 30, 2010.  Blacio ignored Assemblyman Jimenez’s parliamentary immunity and ultimately sentenced him and his advisor to 18 months in prison and a 150 thousand USD.

Ximena Vintimilla

This attorney from Cuenca was also favored by the illegal gift of points. Vintimilla obtained her law degree on September 18, 1998, at the University of Azuay. At the time of her application, she had been practicing law for 12 years which would have given her a maximum of four extra points for her “additional” experience.  Illegally, she was given a total of eight points and in the personal interview she scored 9.5 points out of 10 which pushed her up the rankings to number 16.

Vintimilla has an extremely close past with the current administration. In the Constituent Assembly of Montecristi she was named consultant to Rosana Alvarado, an assemblywoman for Alianza Pais. In 2009, she was legal advisor to Fander Falconi who was secretary of state at that time. Afterwards, between 2010 and 2011 she was Under-secretary for the Austro Migrants.

In May 2012, Vintimilla received the case of the former President Jamil Mahuad. The defense counsel proved that the case had not gone through the requisite judicial lottery system because it lacked the signature of the judicial employee that certifies such act.  The defense used that as a basis to challenge the judge from presiding over the case.  Coincidentally, she waited until December 2012, on the eve of the electoral campaign, to issue the ruling requesting that Interpol arrest the former president.

Interpol refused to go forward with Vintimilla’s request, warning that the case had been conducted in a predominantly political manner.  However, in May 2014 Interpol reconsidered the case and activated the alert against Mahuad.  This was followed by Vintimilla calling a press conference using the media to politicize the case, a posture not befitting a probative pr independent judge.


Vintimilla, Íniguez and Ayluardo, were the justices that upheld the March 12, 2014 sentence convicting the Isaias brothers.

Johnny Ayluardo Salcedo

During the initial phase of the process, the applicant Johnny Ayluardo was ranked 37th but, once again the generous hand of the Council of Judicial Transition granted him a score of 9 over 10 points in his final interview.  This enabled Aylaurdo to jump from 37th place to 19th.

Aylaurdo is a 49 year old attorney from Guayaquil that during this administration was appointed Secretary of the Regional Management of Guayaquil and Superintendent of Banks and Insurance. Curiously, Ayluardo is the third judge of the Criminal

Court that convicted the Isaias brothers on March 12, 2014.

Other cases

Wilson Andino, the brother of the Assemblyman for Alianza Pais, Mauro Andino, obtained 8.5 points on the final interview.  Thanks to that he went from 33rd to 18 in the rankings and was able to get a seat on the bench of the National Court.  Currently, Wilson Andino presides over the controversial “Chevron” case.

Similarly, Janeth Santamaria who worked with the party Assemblywoman Paola Pabon, scored 9.5 on the personal interview and thanks to that she went from 55th place to 41st helping her obtain the alternative judge post.

The new Judicature Council: more of the same

The described acts reveal that there has been no judicial reform whatsoever but, simply that the judiciary has new owners; from the tribal chiefs of the “party-cracy” to the totalitarian Correa regime; where the Executive monopolizes all the powers, including that of the judicial branch. Another example of this is the appointment of the new Judicature Council which since January 23, 2013 has been headed by Gustavo Jalkh. Jalkh was the former head of Projusticia, former minister of justice and human rights, former secretary of state, former secretary of the Presidency and an unconditional friend of Rafael Correa.

The four remaining spokesmen have unconditional ties to the Government. Tania Arias and Paulo Rodriguez who were reelected and also protected from prosecution due to the irregularities committed at the previous Council; Nestor Arbito, former  minister of Justice and  Ana Karina Peralta, Jalkh’s former assistant and former official of the correista government. They are all just more of the same.


During its administration, the Judicature Council removed numerous judges, using the highly criticized tool of “inexcusable error”, when they did not rule in favor of the correismo’s interests. It constitutes pressure and interference on the justices.

In the Isaias case, the Judicature Council has been a silent witness to the legal barbarities,  abuse and due process violations that have been committed even though all those irregularities were denounced before, its president, Gustavo Jalkh, by the Isaias’ defense attorneys asking for his intervention.

The Judicature Council omitted issuing acts of control and sanctions by allowing judges Fernando Quiroz, Felipe Granda, Enrique Pacheco, Wilson Merino and Paul Íniguez to act in a biased manner, boycotting the presentation of evidence and violating due process.  In the case of Paul Iniguez, they allowed him to be labeled as “un-recusable” and did not sanction him for having flagrantly committed prevarication.

VIDEO: Polemic Selection News Clip on the selection of judges
VIDEO: International Oversight
Assemblyman Andres Paez analyzes the results of the Overseers presided by Baltasar Garzon
VIDEO: Ecuavisa Report
Judges promoted and ascended for their judgments in favor of Correismo interests
VIDEO: Judicial Persecution
The Mayor of Gualaceo complains about judicial persecution at the hands of Justice Paul Iniguez

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