Ecuadorian lawmakers block indictment of vice president whom authorities accuse of collusion

QUITO, Ecuador (AP) — Ecuador's Vice President Verónica Abad, for now, will not be indicted in a corruption case against her son after lawmakers blocked the move on Friday.

Lawmakers denied the authorization of Abad’s criminal prosecution in a vote prompted by an order from the country’s National Court to decide whether prosecutors could move forward. As a result of the vote, authorities now must postpone prosecuting Abad until after she leaves office in 2025.

Prosecutors have accused Abad of collusion and have claimed to have evidence linking her to the case of her son, Francisco Barreiro. He was arrested in March after authorities unveiled corruption accusations against him.

Authorities have said that a former member of the vice president’s office reported that Barreiro offered him a high-level position with a $3,200 monthly salary, of which the complainant would have to give Barreiro $1,700 per month. Authorities say the complainant signed a promissory note for $30,600 as a guarantee of payment.

Abad and Barreiro have denied the allegations through an attorney.

The case against Barreiro, who is out on bail, has put the spotlight on Abad and her long-fractured relationship with President Daniel Noboa. He has described her as “disloyal,” while she has accused him and his allies of trying to pressure her to resign.

Shortly after taking office in November, Noboa dispatched Abad to Israel, where she serves as ambassador.

The Associated Press