Ecuador goes to the polls on Sunday — to elect its president in a runoff election between Daniel Noboa and Luisa González from the Citizen’s Revolution.
Just two days before the election, Folha de São Paulo reported that Daniel Noboa controls, in part or in full, at least two shell companies in Panama, based on documents sourced from the groundbreaking 2016 Panama Papers investigations conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).
The reports suggest that Daniel Noboa is the direct beneficiary of other Panamanian tax haven companies and foundations inherited from his father, Álvaro Noboa, a banana trade magnate and Ecuador’s wealthiest man. According to Folha de São Paulo and data from the Ecuadorian government, these firms have transferred hundreds of thousands of US dollars to Ecuadorian companies in the Noboa Group.
This is alarming — and constitutes a direct threat to the integrity of Ecuador’s electoral process. In a 2017 referendum, the Ecuadorian people voted, in a majority (over 55%) to pass a law explicitly prohibiting elected officials and public servants from holding “assets or capital, of any kind, in tax havens.” Noboa’s contravention of Ecuadorian law would therefore disqualify his candidacy for the presidency.
Electoral authorities have not responded to the new revelations or opened an investigation. The Observatory of the Progressive International demands an urgent investigation into these apparent violations of Ecuadorian law — and calls on democratic forces everywhere to defend Ecuadorians’ right to hold their public officials accountable.
No one is above the law, and that includes the son of Ecuador’s richest man.