Former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa was spied on by Spanish company for CIA

According to El País, private security company UC Global SL spied on Rafael Correa after he left office and passed information about his private meetings to the CIA as well as to his successor Lenín Moreno

July 21, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
Spanish private security company UC Global SL spied on former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa for the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). (Photo: Archives)

Spanish private security company UC Global SL allegedly spied for the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) on meetings held between former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa and leaders of several Latin American countries in 2018, El País reported on Tuesday, July 18.

According to the Spanish newspaper, the security company spied, in particular, on Correa’s meetings with former Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, former Brazilian Presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, and former Uruguayan President José Mujica.

The information emerged from an examination of the MacBook laptop belonging to David Morales, former military officer and owner of UC Global SL. The forensic examination of data from Morales’ laptop was ordered by High Court Judge Santiago Pedraz, who has been investigating him for the past three years for different crimes.

Morales was hired by the Correa government (2007-2017) to handle security at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he spied on the meetings that Australian journalist and WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, who was taking refuge there, held with his lawyers, and sent that information to the CIA. According to El País, Morales did the same to Correa, especially after he left office, and passed information to the CIA and also to his successor and political enemy Lenín Moreno (2017-2021).

According to the analysis of Morales’ laptop, seized by police after his arrest in 2019, under the name “CIA” appeared reports written in English concerning Correa’s private meetings. These included a report on a trip made by Correa in March 2018, during which UC Global SL employees accompanied him as his bodyguards, who recorded details of his meetings with regional leaders. The reports also included meetings at Correa’s home in Brussels, Belgium, where he settled after leaving the presidency. The new findings also showed that Morales was selling the information to the Moreno government.

The investigation also revealed that Morales would have spied on Correa’s two daughters through Trojan viruses installed on their smartphones in 2014, when he was still president and while the young women were studying in France, to wiretap their calls and texts.

Correa stopped availing services of UC Global SL in May 2019 after one of his bodyguards told him that Morales had asked them to draft reports on his meetings and his personal and political activities. In 2020, Correa filed a lawsuit against Morales in the Spanish High National Court, which was incorporated into the case investigating the alleged illegal espionage of Assange.

The new data taken from Morales’ laptop also provided clues about the alleged delivery of the recordings between Assange and his lawyers during his stay at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to the CIA.