Cable 192204

“la letanía de retórica hostil” del Gobierno ecuatoriano seguía aumentando por los casos del Centro de Operaciones Anticoyoterismo y la Unidad de Investigaciones Especiales, y con acusaciones de que los agregados de la Embajada habían robado información, realizadas por Correa y el ministro Miguel Carvajal.

id:

192204

date:

2/13/2009 22:54

refid:

09QUITO112

origin:

Embassy Quito

classification:

CONFIDENTIAL

destination:

09QUITO100|09QUITO103|09QUITO109

header:

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB
 
DE RUEHQT #0112/01 0442254
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 132254Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY QUITO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0024
INFO RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 7959
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 4081
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 0799
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 3382
RUEHGT/AMEMBASSY GUATEMALA 1046
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ FEB LIMA 3025
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 1822
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 0649
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA 0971
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 3094
RUEHDG/AMEMBASSY SANTO DOMINGO 0223
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL 4092
RHEFHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHDC

 
----------------- header ends ----------------
 
C O N F I D E N T I A L QUITO 000112 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: TWENTY YEARS 
TAGS: PREL, SNAR, PTER, KCRM, EC 
SUBJECT: GOE REMAINS ON ATTACK AGAINST EMBASSY 
 
REF: A. QUITO 109 
     B. QUITO 103 
     C. QUITO 100 
 
Classified By: Ambassador Heather M. Hodges for Reasons 1.4 (b&d) 
 
1.  (C) Summary:  Both President Correa and Minister Carvajal 
condemned the Embassy's actions with regard to vetted units 
publicly throughout the week of February 9.  The Department's 
February 9 statement that the USG would work through 
diplomatic  channels to address Correa's concerns and 
Carvajal's statement to the Ambassador that the GOE would 
look for a way to continue cooperation (Ref A) did not stop 
the stream of hostile public rhetoric.  In an attempt to 
portray the Embassy as out of synch with Washington, the 
Ecuadorian Presidency website released Ecuadorian Ambassador 
Gallegos' internal reports on a congressional call and a 
DHS/ICE official's comments.  End Summary 
 
BASHING THE USG 
 
2.  (C) The litany of hostile GOE rhetoric during the week of 
February 9 targeted Embassy support for two units, the Center 
for Anti-Contraband Operations (COAC) and the Special 
Investigations Unit (UIES): 
 
-- President Rafael Correa warned police that the GOE was 
investigating the "robbery" of equipment and information by 
U.S. Embassy personnel (referring to the USG-owned equipment 
that was returned to the Embassy).  He said this included 
investigating the individual police officers who permitted 
this to take place.  He made these comments February 9 while 
opening a Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Guayaquil. 
Correa stressed that the police officers needed to remember 
that they work for Ecuador, not the U.S. 
 
-- Coordinating Minister for Internal and External Security 
Miguel Carvajal said February 10 that the DHS Attache not 
only cut off cooperation with the police, but also took 
Ecuadorian security information with him when he departed the 
country.  He called this a threat to Ecuador's national 
security, saying this was security information of the 
Ecuadorian state based on years of investigative work. 
 
-- During the ceremony where new Minister of Government and 
Police Gustavo Jalkh assumed his position on February 11, 
Correa instructed Jalkh to determine which police officers 
took this action (returning equipment and data to the U.S. 
Embassy), saying he wanted them immediately separated from 
the institution.  Correa reportedly said, "There are enemies 
embedded from within who were trying to torpedo this change 
(that his government is undertaking) to boycott and 
destabilize the government.  They became used to living on 
the charity of the powerful."  Jalkh called the police 
actions "treason" against government institutions. 
 
-- Minister Carvajal told the press on February 11 that the 
GOE was investigating the current leadership of the 
U.S.-supported UIES (even though the UIES leadership the USG 
had worked with had already been transferred), who he claimed 
were responsible for returning the equipment to the U.S. 
Embassy.  He said the GOE would do a technical investigation 
of the computers (which the Embassy returned to UIES on 
February 9) to determine if all of the information had been 
returned.  "We hope the information has not been 
manipulated," he stressed.  Carvajal said the GOE would 
review all of the police's international agreements. 
 
3.  (SBU) In a more positive tone during a February 13 
interview, Minister Carvajal said, "It is in our interest to 
maintain cooperation in all areas, including security and 
intelligence, with everyone, including the U.S., but 
cooperation that is clear and respectful, observing our 
different perspectives, and with the knowledge and 
authorization of the political authorities of the government." 
 
PRESIDENCY ARTICLE SEEKS TO SPLIT USG 
 
4.  (SBU) The afternoon of February 12, the top article on 
the Ecuadorian Presidency website reported on a conversation 
that Ecuadorian Ambassador to Washington Luis Gallegos had 
with a U.S. Member of Congress.  It claimed that the Member 
of Congress agreed with Correa's critique of Embassy actions 
and considered them inconsistent with Obama Administration 
policy.  The attachment to the article, which contained what 
appeared to be the text of the Ecuadorian Embassy's reports, 
stated that a Department of Homeland Security/Immigration and 
Customs Enforcement (DHS/ICE) official had apologized to 
Gallegos and that the agency did not authorize the DHS/ICE 
Attache's January 8 letter. 
 
5.  (C) Post understands that these reports are not entirely 
accurate renditions of those conversations.  The article's 
intent was clear:  to support the GOE's position and to 
suggest that the Embassy is free-lancing rather than acting 
on Washington's instructions.  By mid-morning on February 13, 
the article had been removed from a prominent location on the 
Presidency website, although it could still be found by 
searching. 
 
COMMENT 
 
6.  (C) A local radio commentator and several of our contacts 
have suggested that the GOE is beating the drum on our vetted 
units to boost support for Correa and other Proud and 
Sovereign Fatherland (PAIS) candidates in the April 26 
elections.  Along those same lines, a Latin American diplomat 
described Correa's comments as playing David to the U.S. 
Goliath, saying Ecuadorians, like other Latin Americans, 
always sympathize with the underdog.  We remain convinced, 
however, that while electoral considerations may play a part, 
Correa is primarily motivated by a desire to distract 
attention from the unfolding scandal over his government's 
ties to FARC narco-traffickers (Ref B).  We would not be 
surprised if Correa continues his attack during his 
radio/television address tomorrow (February 14). 
 
HODGES 
 
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