10 years ago today (Ecuador supplement)

Actually it was February 2002, not March. We won’t quibble about 30 days.

Remember yesterday I said there can sometimes be hazards in taking out insurance?

Ecuador’s top military brass stepped down on 20 February after persistent rumours about shady dealings over an insurance contract made in Britain came to a head. Defence minister Hugo Unda issued a statement saying that the chiefs of the navy, air force and joint military command had left their posts in an effort to mitigate the effect on the armed forces of any fallout from the scandal. “They have presented a voluntary request to leave their posts so the armed forces can continue its prestigious service to the nation”, Unda said...
The scandal: Back in December, navy captain Rogelio Viteri reported to the ambassador [in London] that a military mission had contracted the insurance for a flotilla of aircraft -- without benefit of competitive tenders -- with the British firm... The mission comprised the chiefs of staff of the army, air force, and navy. The policy, Viteri said, cost US$13m. Moreover, he said, the officers took along their wives for a 14-day tour of Europe, allegedly at the expense of the British firm. Viteri was removed from his post and arrested for not having gone through the proper channels...

That was found in the 'Latin American Andean Group Report', 26 February 2002.