Almeida no quiere dejar el Cpccs

Almeida clings to the presidency of the Cpccs

The former president of the Council for Citizen Participation and Social Control spoke with LA HORA, from inside the entity. She says that her days have changed, as she seeks actions to stay in office.

The cameras are turned off, the press conference ends, the applause of a group that supports it sounds, the flags are kept and people leave the session room of the Council for Citizen Participation and Social Control (Cpccs).

That long rectangular dark wood table with green glass in the middle is surrounded by empty chairs. Supporters of Sofía Almeida, who is fighting to hold the position of “president” before her name, take photos until the advisers surround the room.

Outside the place the microphones accumulate again, Almeida does not want to leave, she stays behind the door, they whisper in her ear, she breathes, she leaves, they surround her, she enters the elevator in seconds, the doors close. It’s definitely over. Through the stands, a river of journalists is going down.

Sofia Almeida was dismissed of your charge. On the morning of Wednesday, February 9, 2022, the members of the Cpccs María Fernanda Rivadeneira, Hernán Ulloa and Ibeth Estupiñan they broke the locks on the door of the meeting room and met without the presence of the other three councillors. The president at the time, Sofía Almeida, found out while she was in Guayaquil.

Within a couple of hours, he was at the airport. “I left so fast that I forgot to bring clothes” he says as he takes off his mask, sighs, and sits like someone who is full of fatigue. When he realized that his return was not going to be soon, he asked for clothes to be sent to him.

In that session, the Councilors dismissed Almeida and installed Hernán Ulloa as president. Rivadeneira replaced Rosero as vice president. When Sofía Almeida arrived, she was already told that she had been removed from office.

Minutes earlier, while Almeida was speaking at a press conference about the alleged unconstitutionality of her removal, and was referring to a “coup d’état” and social groups were shouting “Long live the president!”

Her aunt, Yasmin Almeida, sitting away from the cameras, recounted in a prayerful tone that “I am the only one in the family who lives in Quito. She is my sister’s daughter. How can I not take care of her?”

Almeida is tired. She has been sleeping for seven days between the black armchairs in her office “there were nights that I have fallen asleep on the desk, or, on a mattress that they got me, but, in reality, I have not slept much.”

Sofía Almeida assumed the position of the presidency of the Council (for two years) in November 2019, when he took the position of the previous president, Christian Cruz, also dismissed after a political trial for incorrectly using an 80% disability card.

Before Cruz, the president was José Tuárez, a priest who was dismissed by the National Assembly and who, after a few months, was arrested for alleged influence peddling and sentenced to 5 years in prison. In July 2021 Almeida was re-elected (for two more years) with the vote of Rosero, Dávalos, Estupiñán and her own. But this period has already been turbulent.

Sofía is the niece of the assemblyman for the Social Christian Party (PSC) Luis Almeida. In the Assembly, the alliances between the PSC and Correismo are increasingly evident.

The Councilors began to accuse her of preventing the meetings from taking place normally. They say that she suspended sessions on more than 26 occasions with various pretexts, such as that the internet does not work (the Plenary was virtual), that it was not well heard, that she turned off the microphones if some councilors argued a lot.

Already by January 2022, the counselor Estupiñan ―who gave her the vote for reelection― accused her of using “devious tactics” to hinder the election of authorities such as Comptroller.

On January 26, 2022, in a plenary session, Estupiñán completely disassociated himself from Almeida, accusing her of misuse of public goods after being disconnected from the meeting by zoom, and the audio cut off when he was going to make a motion to analyze the changes in the Comptroller contest regulations.

Almeida presented a Protection Action that was suspended, in addition to being criticized for having presented it in another place other than the address that should be Quito, because the Institution is in the Capital.

Several State Organizations have recognized and validated the presidency of Ulloa, among which are the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.

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