Former Ecuadorian president convicted on corruption charges

Former Ecuadorian president convicted on corruption charges
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Former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa was sentenced to eight years in prison Tuesday, following a trial that he denounced as political persecution.

Correa, who left office in 2017, was convicted along with 20 others of receiving $8 million in bribes during his tenure, according to a report by The New York Times.

The sentence was dictated in absentia, as Correa left Ecuador shortly after his successor, President Lenín Moreno, took office.

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Correa has been living in Belgium since his departure, but has publicly floated the idea of again running for president in 2021.

He can still appeal the sentence, which would need to be overturned for a comeback, as it includes a 25-year ban from politics for the 57-year-old ex-president.

Correa first came to power as part of a left-leaning wave of Latin American leaders united by former Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez.

Like Chávez, he rode high oil prices to build a network of social programs to boost his popularity.

Unlike Chávez, his governing style was not followed by Correa's successor, Moreno.

Among the 20 other convicted defendants was former Vice President Jorge Glas, who held the post both under Correa and under Moreno.