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The Ecuadorian people lost out when the Isaias brothers (Roberto Isaias, William Isaias) and their family were chased away

What began as jealousy against the Isaias family ended in an international incident

Those who have ever met members of the Isaias Dassum family would readily tell all who listen that it is a family misunderstood, frequently intentionally so. They are a family steeped in a philanthropic and Christian ethic of charitable work, and this coupled with their numerous business successes have naturally caught the eye of many.

Jealousy is by its very nature not a good measure to be used in judging others, and many of the Isaias Dassum family have begrudged them significant achievements which have eluded many others.

 From its humble beginnings, members of the family had a knack for making businesses, small and big, successful. Early on, the patriarch of the family, Emilio Isaias, started many companies, from selling fabrics to installing a textile factory, from an importer of construction materials to a sugar mill.

Even while they succeeded in business, the ensured that philanthropy and charity went hand in hand.

Early on Emilio’s sons, Pedro and Nahim Isaias, understood that many around them were not as fortunate as they, not because of any other reason except circumstance.

They might not have had the means to have an education, access to health or a loan to start a business or finance a dream. The Isaias Dassum family saw to these needs for thousands of Ecuadorian people who were ignored by the government and most others in the wealthier classes.

The family decided that providing loans to those who had been turned away by so many others, frequently without reason, was a necessity in Ecuador.

So, they created a fascinating model of a bank and a philanthropic foundation, called La Filantrópica (The Philanthropist). Under the leadership of Pedro Isaías Barquet, La Filantrópica promoted the development of small industry, commerce, and agriculture, and became established as a strong and solvent financial institution. At the time of Isaías Barquet’s death in 1960, the family decided to save the bank and inject it with capital.

It was acquired in 1960 by the Isaías Group (Grupo Isaías), which decided to change its name to Filanbanco. They injected capital into the bank, aiming to provide Guayaquil, the family’s hometown in Ecuador, with a bank that would further the expansion of the commercial and agricultural sector of the Littoral Region, whose trade in products like bananas and cacao was booming.

Ambassador Juan Larrain, who had served as Permanent Representative of Chile in the United Nations from 1994 to 2000, wrote that the Isaias family’s achievements and financial prowess were “the fruit of the efforts and entrepreneurial spirit of three generations.”

The Isaias family left a large footprint in Ecuador:

generosity, philanthropy and giving, the investments made in the country by its companies, its contributions to economic development, and cutting-edge technology that it applied to its companies. All of these positive things, unfortunately, were “overshadowed by the characteristic Latino envy of success on the part of politicians and commercial operators,” In 2010, author and professor Alberto Valencia Granada wrote in a book called When Success is a Crime: Filanbanco: A Case of Violation of Human Rights in Ecuador.

During the notorious 1998-1999 Ecuadorian economic crisis

A period of economic instability that resulted from a combined banking crisis, currency crisis, and sovereign debt crisis, over twenty banks in the country became insolvent. The government, however, decided to focus all of its blame for the crisis on the Isaias brothers and Filanbanco, the bank which had close political ties to the opposition party.

On December 2, 1998, the bank’s shareholders were forced to turn over the bank to the Ecuadorian government through a new federal agency, the Deposit Guarantee Agency (AGD).

In March 1999, AGD froze access to all deposits in the bank. Before the government took over the bank, Filanbanco had paid all its clients. By May 1999, ING Barings, an investment bank hired to restructure and then sell the bank, reported that Filanbanco had generated a hundred million dollars in profit and was ready to be reprivatized.

Despite the advice of ING Barings and many other financial experts in Ecuador, the government decided to keep control and ownership of the banks and turn it into a “bank of banks” (i.e. a central bank) to help prop up other banks with which the government had an interest.

To do so, AGD turned the bank over to the Ministry of Finance which authorized huge loans to other banks, as well as a merger with La Previsora Bank to prevent its insolvency. After all the mismanagement and poor decisions just explained, Filanbanco was finally shut down in 2001.

Officially, the brothers, Roberto Isaias and William Isaias, were charged with the crime of “bank embezzlement.” Curiously, no such crime existed when the brothers were first charged, so one had to be quickly created.

However, in order for them to have committed this so-called bank embezzlement, they would have had to misuse the funds provided to Filanbanco by the Central Bank of Ecuador or misuse public funds in some other way.

The story of the case of Filanbanco and aggressive attacks on the Isaias brothers rose to incongruous heights in 2008, when the state seized more than 150 companies owned by the Isaias family under the false pretenses of compensating account holders for damages that arose from the closure of Filanbanco under government control.

This was clearly a case of a desperate and corrupt government which needed to cover up its own failings, mismanagement and graft.

Nevertheless, no impartial investigation or inquiry has ever found that anyone in the Isaias Dassum family did anything wrong, let alone illegal.

After years of investigation, the Attorney General dismissed the charges of bank embezzlement in November 2002. Hearing the Attorney General’s decision, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court illegally dismissed the Attorney General’s decision and in April 2003 called for a full trial against the Isaias brothers.

Tricks to try and entrap William and Roberto Isaias

Even more remarkably, in December 2004 then-President Lucio Gutiérrez  dismissed the entire bench of the country’s Supreme Court after hearing rumors that the court might dismiss the charges against the brothers. Experts have noted that at the time, the president was “politically crippled” and made the decision on purely political motives.

In other words, the Ecuadorian Government was using all of its dirty tricks to try and entrap William and Roberto Isaias.

Final opinion on the case of the civil rights violations of Roberto and William Isaias

All of this came to a head when on June 6, 2016, the UN Human Rights Committee, based in Geneva, issued a final opinion on the case of the civil rights violations of Roberto and William Isaias, committed by the Ecuadorian government.

The UN declared itself 100% in favor of the Isaias brothers, considering the process of seizures of all its assets improper and illegal, which not only prevented the right that the Isaias had as citizens to appeal to the judicial measure, but also prohibited the judges from exercising any recourse in their favor and against the act of seizure.

Both processes were declared in violation and required economic, legal and moral reparations to the Ecuadorian State and in favor of the Isaias. The following statement of the Human Rights Committee urges the Ecuadorian State to restore all the assets of the Isaiah brothers as of July 7, 2008, proceed with the nullity of Mandate #13 and the seizure procedure and publish the ruling in the media, as well as the proper apologies to the Isaias brothers.

Of course, there have been no apologies or return of assets, and the Ecuadorian Government remains in violation of the United Nations Human Rights Committee ruling.

What began as jealousy and envy had become an international story of corruption and the violation of human rights.

The Isaias Dassum family are sanguine about the whole affair

They have since moved to the U.S. and rebuilt some of what was stolen while continuing and even upgrading their philanthropic and charity work.

Those who have suffered the most are the Ecuadorian people, who lost a family whose work and charity ethic saw them work for the people and the country and not against them, as many Ecuadorian leaders have done.

That is perhaps the greatest tragedy.

Exclusive interview with Jorge Zavala – Isaias brothers’ (William and Robert Isaias) attorney

Auto translated Transcript for Zavala: UN resolution in the Isaias brothers case

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 Jorge Zavala, lawyer for the brothers

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 Isaias welcome to direct contact very

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 Good Morning

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 at the 118th session of the committee

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 nations human rights

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 united the commission established the

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 guides the guidelines to adopt

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 repair measures and in the document

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 states that when it comes to a

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 property seizure repair

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 goods must be returned or indemnified

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 because the defense of the Isaias brothers

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 consider that this is what should be applied

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 in this particular case very well

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 thanks for the question indeed

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 after the opinion of the

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 human rights committee

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 condemning the state of equator

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 to repair the damage it caused to

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 the isaias brothers

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 the government of the equator politically

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 denied that the ruling means the

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 return of the goods we are heading

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 to the committee during the months of July and

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 October reporting on these responses

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 that given the government of Ecuador for that reason

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 decides the committee in October

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 November launch the lines or dispatch

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 guidelines for repairs

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 where it specifically says when it comes

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 of processes in which the damage means the

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 property must be returned to the

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 property as it has been issuing this

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 committee since 1993 therefore

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 specifies the standard the

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 repair in return of goods

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 but to remember the antecedent the

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 nations human rights opinion

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 united referred to the procedure

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 after the seizures that is to say

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 he gives reason to his defendants that

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 denied them access to justice when

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 in the constituent they were left in the

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 helplessness they couldn’t claim let’s say

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 or take legal action

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 corresponding depending on that is

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 that the committee tells the state must is

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 repair the damage but tell us how

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 first how long should the state

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 pronounce on how you will repair that

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 damage already did the award let’s not clarify

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 what the government says is not true

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 Ecuador that the opinion refers only

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 to mandate 13 this is ex post the

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 seizure process does not refer to

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 administrative seizure process

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 culminating culminating in mandate 3

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 first then it refers to the

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 resolution of July 8, 2008 in

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 forward second effectively has 180

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 days to comply from 3

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 June that was disclosed and notified on

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 opinion of the human rights committee

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 I immediately comply on day 3 this

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 it is tomorrow they will be over 108

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 diaz and the secondary obligation is born

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 communicating to the rights committee

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 human what has been your

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 behavior towards the committee

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 what will he have done but we

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 On Thursday we presented the claim

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 formal for the return of goods

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 to the successor central bank of headquarters to

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 to proceed to cancel the seizures

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 as the order of the committee and to return in

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 effective form of clear properties

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there the differences are clear

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 between the defense position of the

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 brothers Isaias and what is known that

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 has been the government’s position to

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 through the attorney let’s remember that in

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 at the time he said that opinion does not

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 makes no qualms about the decision to

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 the 2008 acb that ordered the

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 seizures but the one that has been

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 denied his right to defend himself said the

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 attorney in this very space than that

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 was different and that therefore the

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 the committee’s conclusions do not lead to the

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 return any good now with this

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 last document and this resolution that

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 is general is not particular about his

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 case in particular but does in general

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 a resolution in that regard like

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 the defense of the Isaias brothers

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 argues that these seizures

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 then they are null and void

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 return the student property that

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 can argue are an argument created

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 by the government politically if

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 legally you cannot argue about

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 that there was a process a process

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 seizure that culminated in the refusal

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 to access the judicial bodies

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 if you read the title from the title

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 of the opinion says by the process of

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 seizure and then if you

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 considering the operative part

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 talks about the entire process cautiously that

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 I am not going to decide the attorney or

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 I’m going to say that in every ya

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 decided to gin now those lines

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 general mean in other words

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 when in this general line is your case

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 concrete Isaias is seizure in this

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 concrete case the committee only has one

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 output which is repair by returning the

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 property therefore it’s about the

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 application of the general rule to the case

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 particular and the consequence by

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 course

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 property return how it

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 repair a property that has been damaged

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 affected or stripped the victim

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 the only suitable and necessary way to

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 repair is the return of the

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 property that’s what it says about the

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 return of goods but it also speaks

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 to compensate you are considering

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 that option indemnify as long as

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 it is impossible to return the

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 goods of course goods it’s going to

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 be impossible to return because already

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 were intended were holidays were

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 sold etcetera that there will have to

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 be compensated in compensation for

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 equivalence which is the alternative

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 when the return cannot

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 effect now when you say hey

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 part nor

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 and the government when he met the

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 opinion of the commission the attorney

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 said the committee report of

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 united nations human rights

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 it is not binding and it has no value

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 jurisdictional on the equator which is not

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 a decision of an organism

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 jurisdictional with powers

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 international what skins do you leave with

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 you see that pity that the

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 attorney said that but it’s a

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 better shame or repeat it for the

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 Ecuador because the opinion of the committee of

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 human rights under the protocol

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 optional signed by the own

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 government of the equator the state

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 Ecuadorian is mandatory binding

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 that nor do we repeat it please

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 dignity of the Ecuadorian forum so

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 so much that that argument has no

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 validity and will support it does not have with

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 not even in the slightest doctrine

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 existing in international law

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 good but it’s the attorney’s position

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 Now it is important that what is

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 recognized is that the

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 damage repair I mean by

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 of the government was also determined by the

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 commission but

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 the Ecuadorian state through the

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 attorney has said is that then what

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 what to do is if it was

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 a denial of justice then put

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 at the disposal of the Isaias brothers the

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 judicial guarantees and access to these

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 ordinary routes that today consist of

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 example in general process code

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 the generosity of the attorney general is

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 bombastic but let’s be clear too

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 they cannot return the damage caused

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 giving me a judicial recourse before judges

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 from the government itself eye there is no

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 judicial independence in ecuador that

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 we all know and second that I don’t know

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 tell me that the judicial remedy

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 after exactly the year 2008 to

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 year 2017 there is one that can

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 interpose that it has not prescribed

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 in the judicial phase or has expired in

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 the administrative phase therefore they are

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 impossible routes

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 consequently the only way to

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 to repair what he is ordering is not

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 return a judicial appeal so that

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 so someone can discuss what

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 decided the committee that’s absurd

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 in that sense at least the

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 attorney in this case I think it’s

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 government attorney of course not

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 state attorney but he says nothing that

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 be consistent solvent that can

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 seriously debating is really about

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 things i told you this is always the

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 Mr. Attorney with all my respects

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 because we sit in front of a

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 academic university forum and we debate

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 with our themes to see if something

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 it has livelihood and it really doesn’t

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 I believe that the government, this government

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 may try to dilate or evade as

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 you well say what is ordered

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 repair sir but i think a state

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 seriously you don’t want to be failed with the

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 international justice is never going to

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 support this ridiculousness they are saying

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 That is the position of the defense of the

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 brothers Isaias his lawyer forces

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00:09:03,659 –> 00:09:06,629
 were accompanying us today in contact

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00:09:05,429 –> 00:09:09,049
 direct thanks for having been with us

William and Roberto Isaias are innocent 1/3


Auto Translated Transcript for William and Roberto Isaias are innocent 1/3

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 [Music]

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 the family of roberto and william isaías wishes to inform and clarify the most important points

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 important in the Isaias case did not before because during the decade

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 correistas felt it was useless to contradict the hate campaign

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 irrational that dragged the last name isaías to make them enemies

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 perfect and that served to hide the greatest corruption in history these

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 are the points on the chairs of the isaias case

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 because the fight against the isaías brothers in ecuador is unfair you remember

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 of the fault of the Isaías rafael Correa chose the brothers roberto and william

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 Isaias as a political input was mounted on what had already been built in the

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 social imaginary about the terrible bank holiday even when the holiday

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 banking happened after the Isaias brothers stopped being bankers

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 Correa realized the great opportunity that was to return the

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 the most hated the perfect enemies so that nobody claimed what they

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 They did, even if it were illegal, unfair and unconstitutional, so in 2008

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 at dawn ordered to seize the media and all companies and

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 goods that the isaias had in ecuador that were worth more than a billion

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 dollars but more than that they gave jobs to more than 15 thousand people hate

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 belt not only affected the Isaias it also harmed the people who read

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 resolution used leash to make seizure law his word was law

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 used a false record of the law that was not signed by the then minister

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 of economy- fausto ortiz said so himself a few hours after the

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 seizure however the day of July 7 the

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 presidency of the republic I observe that the minutes of the seizure resolution

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 in its last point it indicates that the directory resolves the seizure before

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 the principal dangers of the axis that that did not happen because we never touched this

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 topic in the session and it turns out that the high pressure voters presidents and

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 agreement what happens that the minister in line sign to what present all

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 that information the president says fancy signatures and I agree and I tell him

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 I president has not happened and I am not going to sign something that did not happen from 7 in his

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 fair cooking right of the republic indicates signatures or resignations and I in my

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 November right agree that I affirmed and pronounced and abandon the faults

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 and it’s just making the seizure or curious of the base

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 above is false that did not occur the fact of the directory occurred and

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 authorize in front of people that’s false so directory never authorized

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 they were not recorded later and that is why you did not want to sign the minutes

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 people and Carlos and at least they can pretend to tell him something that never happened

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 people and Carlos and at least they can pretend to tell him something that never happened

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 that the way they realize it because they left it because the lawyers of the

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 Isaias did not defend us from illegal seizure this is the most

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 incredible the day after the seizure on July 9, 2008 the

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 Montecristi constituent assembly issued mandate 13 that violating all

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 legal principle denied the right to defense of the Isaias brothers and threatened

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 with removing any judge who accepted appeals filed by the

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 defense of the Isaías against the abuse was really a dictatorship that of rafael

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 strap and that was just 2008 there were still nine more years to go

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 this is the complex truth that has been manipulated with a simple lie guilt

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 of the Isaias and it’s time for him to gain the truth and it’s time for him to lose hatred

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