New classified documents revealed by teleSUR show how the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA, inflitrated and strengthened its presence within various strategic parts of the government of Ecuador.
In 2008 Leila Hadad Perez, a Lebanese national with false Ecuadorean citizenship, established a CIA recruitment agency in Ecuador.
According to the declassified documents, Hadad recruited and worked with local politicians, retired military members and journalists to serve U.S. interests in the country.
Leila Hadad, known in the intelligence world as "Agent Swat,” exercised influence over the appointment of military and police officers under the pretext of fighting drugs, according to the report.
However, the classified report shows that Hadad’s task force was weakened and eventually failed upon the closure of the U.S. military base in Manta in 2009.
Leftist President Rafael Correa denounced the presence of a U.S. base in Ecuador when he took office in 2007, and announced its closure two years later. Reports say this action further weakened the CIA’s role in Ecuador and its overall ability to operate within the country’s military and police.
After agent Hadad left the country, the CIA saw a need to renew and strengthen its presence with the aim of destabilizing the government of President Correa, the documents reveal.
teleSUR's investigation reveals the agency, through various NGOs, funded media companies and opposition groups to protest against any socialist measure Correa presented.
The U.S. Agency for International Development and the National Endowment for Democracy spent millions each year to fund these projects through politicians and community leaders.