Interpol issue alert for Ecuador ex-President Mahuad

Jamil Mahuad, Quito, Jan 2000 Mr Mahuad took office in January 2000, but was ousted in a coup just over 500 days later

Related Stories

Interpol has issued an international alert for the former President of Ecuador, Jamil Mahuad.

Mr Mahuad is wanted in Ecuador over allegations of embezzlement during his time in office in the 1990s.

The former president, who denies the charges, fled Ecuador after a coup in 2000 and moved to the United States.

During a 1999 banking crisis, Mr Mahuad froze bank accounts and replaced the Ecuadorean currency with the dollar. He was ousted by a military coup in 2000.

The government blamed the former president for the events – which saw more than 20 banks shut down – and started a lawsuit against him in 2000.

In 2011, Interpol rejected Ecuador's first request to issue an international warrant against Mr Mahuad, arguing it was a "political case".

'No political persecution'

But on Tuesday the Ecuadorean Interior Minister, Jose Serrano, welcomed the inclusion of the former president's name on Interpol's wanted list.

It means Mr Mahuad may now be detained and extradited to Ecuador to face charges which could see him jailed for between eight and 12 years.

"There's no political persecution here. What Ecuadorean justice seeks is the punishment of common criminal acts," Mr Serrano told reporters in the capital, Quito.

Mr Mahuad took office in January 1998, as Ecuador was dangerously close to war with neighbouring Peru over border disputes.

But months later he signed a peace deal with his Peruvian counterpart, Alberto Fujimori.

The decision led to both being nominated for the Nobel peace prize.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Latin America & Caribbean stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Van DammeA-list adverts

    BBC Autos takes a look at some of the most curious and courageous link-ups in car-advert history

Programmes

  • Bitcoin logoClick Watch

    The developer behind the new Bitcoin tech on the fears it will hide criminal activity

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.