Latin America & Caribbean

Ecuador police to take lie detector test

Rafael Correa on 10 August 2011
Image caption President Rafael Correa's relations with the police have been rocky

Police officers in Ecuador will be made to take lie detector tests in an effort to root out corruption in the force, the country's police chief has said.

Gen Wilson Alulema said he wanted all 42,000 officers to take the test.

Under new anti-corruption efforts, officers will also have to declare their assets so investigators can spot illicit payments more easily.

President Rafael Correa ordered a modernisation of the force after a police mutiny last September.

Thousands of police demonstrated against cuts to their benefits as part of a government austerity drive.

The protests turned violent and President Correa had to be rescued by the military after being tear-gassed and held for several hours in a hospital.

He described the events as an attempted coup and vowed to purge the police.

Since then, his administration has taken administrative control of the force.

Gen Alulema said he hoped the government would give senior police officers the power to sack those linked to corruption.

The general complained that 300 agents who had been suspended from their duties over corruption allegations had been re-instated by judges, who argued there had been judicial irregularities.

"Those judges don't understand the gravity of their decisions," Gen Alulema said.

He also announced that incentives would be offered to officers who denounce corrupt colleagues.

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