I recently have written glowingly about the wonderful, progressive changes that I see around me in Ecuador. I refer to it as a jewel, still being polished. Lamentably, the legal system appears to still be burdensum, corrupt according to some I've spoken to; but, certainly still in favour of men.
I am close to an intelligent, capable woman who married, then divorced, a foreign diplomat here in Quito.
While the love was strong, this woman sold her very popular restaurent and invested all in the building of the matrimonial home, now valued at over half a million dollars - significant in this developing country.
Eleven years ago, the failed marriage ended in divorce. Since that time, the retired diplomat, still living in Ecuador, scuttled all evidence of income, putting his resources in several countries and giving his sister, back in his home country, his pension and power of attorney. He claims that he is living on her charity. In the meantime, the lady has raised a, now 18 year old, daughter, who is looking for a father who didn't pay for her support, to help her through university. Should I say that there is little evidence that this will be forthcoming ?
For over a decade, this ex-husband has frustrated all legal processes and continues to do so. He makes claims that the lady never contributed anything, etc. Fortunately, the woman is a good book-keeper and has all the documentry evidence to prove otherwise; receipts, legal records, etc. Still - Evidence does not seem to move the case in this country. It can't even get to the point of being fully weighed.
This man continues to do everything in his power to hurt the woman who left him, including hurting the daughter to get to her. Can you imagine his having all the neighbourhood children to his house for gifts; but, having nothing for his own daughter, then a child ? A psychiatrist has defined this behaviour and the contemptuous behaviour he exhibits; but, I forget his term; only, personally labelling it a serious psychiatric illness.
It appears to me that the legal system here is failing this woman; and, in all likelihood, all the women of Ecuador. It is still a macho environment and, alleged by people who I have spoken to, politically manipulable. The ex-husband's lawyer is well known and a bit of a personality. The government has appointed a senior woman to help women; but, she claims that she cannot do anything until everything has moved through the male dominated, male favoring legal system. Eleven years and still no sign of the courts ordering the legal 50 percent division solution; something that should have been imposed, in the absence of agreement, a decade ago.
I appologize to my readers for this rant. I am simply outraged that there appears to be no lawyers or courts in Ecuador with the ability and / or balls to resolve the abuse of this woman.
Are there any lawyers in Ecuador with courage, commitment, moral strength and ability who will help ? I doubt that any will raise their hand. In the meantime, she continues to fight for her just due.
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