QUITO, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- The United States has revoked the visa of Ecuador's former Central Bank President Pedro Delgado who is under investigation in his country for obtaining a fake economics degree, Ecuadorean Foreign Ministry Ricardo Patino said Thursday.
This happened after Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa requested it through his Ambassador in Washington Nathalie Cely.
"We have received official information that the visa has been revoked," Patino told reporters, adding the news was relayed back by Cely.
A cousin of Correa's, Delgado sparked a political firestorm last week when he admitted publicly that 22 years ago, he obtained a counterfeit degree in economics to gain access to Central American Institute of Business Administration in Costa Rica to study for an MBA. He later traveled to Miami on family business.
It was a "terrible betrayal" of the president's trust, Correa said, urging Delgado to return "to own up and, if necessary, face justice."
Revoking Delgado's visa was a "clear signal" from the government that the case will be pursued, Patino said.
"We hope he returns to the country. We can't bring him back," said the foreign minister, adding that so far no warrant has been issued for Delgado's arrest.
The Attorney General's Office has opened an investigation into the matter and issued an order for Delgado to appear in court on Jan. 10.
Delgado was scheduled to return to Ecuador on Jan. 6, but there is speculation that it may not happen.
The opposition has seized on the scandal to criticize the government and Delgado's performance as central bank chief, saying the decisions he made as a government official should be overturned.