Skip to main content

Corruption exposed: US meddled in Ecuador’s election, using Julian Assange as bargaining chip

A former minister of Ecuador testified that the US government conspired with a right-wing political party to run a disinformation campaign against the leftist Correísta movement, backing a millionaire banker for president in exchange for giving up journalist Julian Assange, who had asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy. 
by Ben Norton
Part 3 - Ecuador’s ex energy minister details US-backed campaign to help the right wing in the 2017 elections
The devastating May 2019 affidavit demonstrates that Carlos Pareja Yannuzzelli (Capaya), who is still in prison on corruption charges, is a hired gun who will happily spread false claims to undermine Correísmo.

Capaya became a household name in Ecuador back in 2016, when he was serving as minister of hydrocarbons. In April of that year, international media outlets published the Panama Papers, a massive leak of information about offshore bank accounts.

Pareja Yannuzzelli’s name appeared in the Panama Papers, setting off a scandal in Ecuador. Correa was still president at the time, and in May, Capaya was forced to resign and was replaced with a new energy minister.

The Correa government immediately began investigating Capaya’s web of corruption, and found his family had stashed millions of dollars in bank accounts in Panama.

Yet while he was being investigated, Capaya managed to flee Ecuador in September.

Capaya opened his testimony noting that, by December 2016, he “was in the United States in a complicated situation.

While in Miami, Florida, the Ecuadorian fugitive from justice was contacted by César Monge Ortega, the president of the right-wing political party CREO.

Ecuador’s current president, the conservative multimillionaire banker Guillermo Lasso, is a leader of CREO. Monge was one of Lasso’s closest allies, referred to in the Ecuadorian media as “the right hand of Guillermo Lasso.” He served as the president’s minister of government until Monge died from cancer in July 2021.

Back in 2016, Monge asked Capaya to join a smear campaign against the presidential candidate who would represent the leftist Alianza País party in the upcoming 2017 elections, Correa’s former Vice President Lenín Moreno.

He offered me an important sum of money and federal North American protection,” Capaya wrote.

At the time it was widely assumed, even by Correa himself, that Moreno would continue his socialist political program.

Moreno did run on a left-wing presidential campaign, but after entering office, he did a political 180. Moreno turned hard to the right, repressing, imprisoning, and exiling Correísta politicians.

He also stabbed Julian Assange in the back, reversing Correa’s pledge to protect the WikiLeaks publisher. The Moreno government had given the Australian journalist Ecuadorian citizenship in 2017, but in April 2019 it issued a “temporary suspension” of Assange’s new nationality – an action that Ecuadorian experts say had no legal basis.

Then, Moreno even let British authorities violate his own country’s sovereignty by storming the embassy – which constitutes Ecuadorian territory under the Vienna Convention in international law – in order to arrest Assange.

Correísta politicians have alleged that Moreno was bribed and/or blackmailed by the US government, as he obediently fulfilled all of Washington’s foreign-policy goals, collaborating closely with the Donald Trump administration, removing Ecuador from the Bolivarian Alliance (ALBA) and Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), and even recognizing US-appointed coup leader Juan Guaidó in Venezuela

Few people would have expected back during Ecuador’s presidential election in 2017 that Moreno would go on to govern like this. The country’s right-wing opposition was concerned that Lenín Moreno (who, after all, was named after the Russian revolutionary) would continue Correa’s leftist program.

So in December 2016, César Monge Ortega, the leader of Lasso’s right-wing CREO party, tried to recruit Carlos Pareja Yannuzzelli (Capaya) for the disinformation campaign against Correa, Moreno, and their Alianza País party.

Capaya wrote in his 2019 testimony that he initially declined the offer, but that Monge was persistent.

Monge insisted to me that I could contact North American federal agents that were working with CREO for a long time, and they would provide me with protection and stability in the United States,” Capaya said.

He assured me that the American Democratic Party was committed to backing Lasso’s presidential candidacy in exchange for Julian Assange, to expose his link with the current president of the United States,” Capaya continued.

This comment suggests that Democratic Party leadership had been convinced that US President Donald Trump was somehow connected to Assange, a baseless conspiracy theory that was fueled by Fernando Villavicencio’s extremely questionable report in The Guardian.

Capaya went on: “Finally, one day Monge visited me with [US] federal agents and together they guaranteed me protection in the United States in exchange for my participation in the smear campaign against Alianza País in order to influence the presidential elections in Ecuador in 2017.

Capaya said that, after this in-person meeting with the US federal agents, he accepted their offer.

His role was to make outlandish accusations Correa (who was still president at the time), his government, and his party.

They gave me a script created and prepared by Fernando Villavicencio, who according to Monge had been contracted by the party CREO,” Capaya said.

He continued: “They told me that in order for there to be an agreement, I had to follow the script to a T. To this end, we met various times in Miami between December 2016 and January 2017. These videos subsequently were made public on social media after February 2017.

Capaya stressed that “a big part of the script” was dedicated to accusing Correa and his other Vice President Jorge Glas of corruption.

They made me name third parties that I don’t know,” Capaya recalled. He wrote that the US “federal agents” heavily pressured him to name people such as Frank Roberto Chatburn Ripalda, a Miami-based financial advisor with dual US and Ecuadorian citizenship.

Despite that I told them on more than one occasion that I never had any relation with him and that he was not being investigated or processed in Ecuador, they expressly told me that in order for there to be an agreement it was required to mention Chatburn, because he had US nationality and with that the federal agents could justify their participation and initiate actions against him in the United States,” Capaya said.

The US Justice Department subsequently charged Chatburn with money laundering and imprisoned him for three-and-a-half years.

Chatburn was not the only one who ended up burned by Washington.

Capaya concluded his testimony lamenting that Monge, his CREO party, and the US federal agents later abandoned him when Moreno won the presidential election.

They failed to fulfill their side of the promise. Capaya was later captured in Ecuador, and put behind bars, where he remains today.


Popular posts from this blog

The real reason Zionists and their US-Western imperialist buddies are slaughtering Palestinian children in Gaza

globinfo freexchange   Gaza is gas-rich. At least 1.4 trillion cubic feet rich. Geologists and natural resources economists have confirmed that the occupied Palestinian territory lies above sizeable reservoirs of oil and natural gas wealth, in area C of the occupied West Bank and the Mediterranean coast off the Gaza Strip. Back in 1999, the Palestinian authority signed a deal with British Gas. Just off the Gaza coast two wells were drilled. It was a multi-billion dollar gift from God and economic boom for both home and abroad.    In 2007, Hamas came to power and Israel launched an offensive on Gaza Strip, leaving behind 1,400 dead Palestinians, but taking with it the gas fields. Within a year, Israel announced the discovery of the Leviathan natural gas field, which did include Gaza's riches, valued at 453 billion dollars. But Gazans have been denied around 47 billion dollars in revenue. As for Tel Aviv, it's gunning to become a new hub.   As Andy Rowell of repo

Roger Waters & Abby Martin on Gaza Genocide

Empire Files   Legendary Pink Floyd musician Roger Waters joins Empire Files to discuss his longtime advocacy for Palestine and the crisis in Gaza.       

Roger Waters on rise of neoliberalism, fascism & far-right - Julian Assange - Ukraine & Gaza strip

Kontra Channel   A global exclusive by journalist Panos Charitos on Kontra News 21:30 - Roger Waters interview 30 November 2023 on Kontra's main news bulletin.

Time for the anti-imperialist powers to take the keys of the planet from the declining and morally bankrupt West

It's time for China, Russia, the Global South and the Arab World to form a robust coalition with the mission to make sure that international law will truly apply to everyone   by system failure   We are witnessing a genocide in real-time. Israeli Apartheid state has launched another ethnic cleansing operation against Palestinians, not only in Gaza, but in the West Bank too. And the level of brutality of this operation shows that the Zionists of Netanyahu regime are absolutely determined this time to complete what the Israel is trying to do for decades: wipe out Palestinians from their land.   Therefore, in essence, this is just the culmination of an ongoing ethnic cleansing operation against Palestinians that is going on since 1948.   However, there are some new facts in this re-boosted cycle of violence this time, apart from the level of brutality against Palestinian civilians. One, is the fact that the US-Israeli propaganda doesn't seem to be very effective, despit

Ο λόγος που οι δημοσκοπήσεις δείχνουν δεύτερο κόμμα το ΠΑΣΟΚ

του system failure     Σε προηγούμενο άρθρο , αμέσως μετά τις επαναληπτικές εκλογές του Ιουνίου, είχαμε επισημάνει ότι οι τρεις στόχοι που δεν κατάφερε να πετύχει η ντόπια ολιγαρχία είναι συνοπτικά, η στρατηγική ήττα ΣΥΡΙΖΑ και αντικατάστασή του από το ΠΑΣΟΚ, η απομάκρυνση Μητσοτάκη και το "ρετουσάρισμα" της ΝΔ, η αποτροπή εισόδου ακροδεξιών κομμάτων στη βουλή που θα μπορούσαν να αποτελέσουν πόλο έλξης μερίδας ψηφοφόρων της ΝΔ στο μέλλον.  Αναλυτικότερα, ο στόχος της ολοκληρωτικής ήττας του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ και η επιστροφή του στο 3% απέτυχε. Είναι χαρακτηριστικό ότι ο στρατός των διαδικτυακών τρολ του καθεστώτος Μητσοτάκη, επιδόθηκε σε ομοβροντία "λυσσασμένων" αναρτήσεων με κεντρικό θέμα την επιστροφή στο 3%, όπως είχε γίνει και στις εκλογές του 2019. Φάνηκε ότι ο διακαής πόθος του κατεστημένου ήταν να ξεφορτωθεί μια και καλή το κόμμα της Αριστεράς που, απ'ότι φαίνεται, θεωρείται, ακόμα, ένας μη ελεγχόμενος παράγοντας και άρα ένας συστημικός κίνδυνος που μπο

How US media legitimise Israel's barbarism against the Palestinians

By presenting Israel's terror campaign against Palestinians as if it were defensible, the US media are doing their part to help it continue   by Gregory Shupak   Part 4 - An ethical veneer Similarly, The Los Angeles Times declared that " Israel has every right to use military force to prevent " attacks like the ones that Hamas carried out on 7 October and that Israel " must stay true to its values by doing everything possible to minimize the suffering of innocent Palestinian residents of Gaza. " The piece applauds Biden for saying he will ask Congress for " an unprecedented support package for Israel's defense " and for vaguely suggesting that Israel reflect on whether killing thousands of Palestinians will help it " achieve [its] objectives ". The editorial then asserts: " That Israel does not target civilians is small comfort for the families of those killed or wounded. " Perhaps the authors think it magnanimous to mention th

Who controls agricultural land in Ukraine?

The total amount of land controlled by oligarchs, corrupt individuals, and large agribusinesses is thus over nine million hectares, exceeding 28 percent of the country’s arable land. The rest is used by over eight million Ukrainian farmers.   Part 9 - How will the post-war reconstruction plans proposed by international financial institutions affect the agricultural sector?   Ukraine’s staggering and growing foreign debt – estimated at US$132 billion in 2020 – makes it likely that reconstruction will be dictated by international financial institutions and foreign interests, which have already indicated that they will use their leverage to further privatize numerous sectors, including agriculture.    For instance, the World Bank has asserted that Ukraine’s reconstruction must be accompanied by “ further liberalization of the agricultural land market, ” while the Ukraine Reform Tracker, presented at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in July 2022, states that the post-war moment presents th

The BANNED Video Israel Doesn't' Want You To See

Double Down News   Is this what they don't want you to know? 

Gaza 'Textbook Case of GENOCIDE' - Holocaust Scholar

Owen Jones   Raz Segal - an Israeli associate professor of Holocaust and genocide studies at Stockton University in the US - is someone you need to listen to. When he uses the term 'genocide', it is not done lightly - it is with precision. Here he sets out the case that the Israeli state is committing an ongoing genocide in Gaza - and questions of intent, incitement, prevention and accountability.  

Zionist anti-Palestine censorship is surging

The Real News Network   Dylan Saba, a lawyer for Palestine Legal, was asked to write a piece on the silencing of pro-Palestine voices by The Guardian —only to then be informed at the last minute that his piece had been killed. Saba joins countless pro-Palestine activists and voices who have been targeted with termination, doxxing, harassment, censorship, and even death threats. Saba joins The Chris Hedges Report to discuss the intensifying war on civil liberties unfolding as public revulsion at Israel's crimes in Gaza grows.