Ecuador: Reactions to WikiLeaks

Invitations that are retracted, allegations about “unconditional” U.S. support of Colombia in fighting the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), and the alleged U.S. request to Argentina to influence the behavior of President Rafael Correa: these are the main talking points on the content of the cables leaked by WikiLeaks relating to Ecuador. The documents have also caused reactions from the blogosphere, with a marked tendency to comment on the issue of freedom of expression.

Lo que se oculta [es] (What is hidden) re-posts an article published by the press [es] that shows the impact of the documents released about Ecuador:

De los 250.000 textos revelados a través de Wikileaks, 1.600 hacen referencia a Ecuador y muchos otros apuntan sobre la mayoría de las naciones latinoamericanas. El gobierno ecuatoriano denunció a finales de 2008 la infiltración de sus servicios de inteligencia por parte de la Central de Inteligencia Americana (CIA) y a inicios de 2009 el presidente Correa expulsó a dos diplomáticos de su país, acusados de injerencia en asuntos internos.

Of the 250,000 texts revealed by Wikileaks, 1,600 relate to Ecuador and many others point to most Latin American nations. The Ecuadorian government in late 2008 denounced the infiltration of its intelligence by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and in early 2009, President Correa kicked out two diplomats from his country, accused of interference in internal affairs.

@Gumpcorp‘s phrase summarizes the views of Twitter users in Ecuador:

Quiero ver los documentos de #wikileaks que hablan acerca de america latina y en especial de mi pais #ecuador

I want to see the #wikileaks documents that talk about Latin America and especially those about my country #ecuador

With irony, El Encamador Guayaco (@Encamador) wonders:

¿Se puede hacer Wikileaks ecuatoriano?

Can you do an Ecuadorian Wikileaks?

Christian Mendieta (@twittancho) is also ironic when he says:

Imagínense un Wikileaks ecuatoriano con los secretos de alianza país, sería interesante saber que realmente opina Correa de [el alcalde de Guayaquil] Nebot #wikileaksec

Imagine an Ecuadorian Wikileaks with the secrets of PAIS Alliance, it would be interesting to see what [President] Correa really thinks about [mayor of Guayaquil] Nebot #wikileaksec

Offer of residency

As reported by major international news organizations, Ecuador offered WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, residency in the country and a forum to air secrets of the United States that involve Latin America. The short note [es] from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs indicated:

El Gobierno Nacional, a través del Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Comercio e Integración invitará al señor Julian Assange, creador de la página Web WikiLeaks, para que exponga documentación sobre la situación relacionada con el conjunto de países de América Latina y Ecuador.

The Government, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Commerce and Integration invite Mr. Julian Assange, creator of the WikiLeaks website, to expose documentation explaining the situation regarding all the countries of Latin America and Ecuador.

After a few hours, and during a press conference, President Correa disavowed the invitation of Vice-Chancellor Kintto Lucas, explaining that it was on a personal basis and without authorization from Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño or the President.

El Ciudadano Web comments on the objective [es] of the invitation:

“El objetivo –precisa la nota oficial, difundida por la agencia Prensa Latina– es conocer de primera mano tal información a través de conferencias y ofrecer a Assange la posibilidad de realizar un trabajo investigativo y formar a la vez investigadores en Ecuador”.

“The objective –according to the official statement issued by the agency Prensa Latina– is to know first hand about that information through conferences, and offer Assange the possibility to research and train researchers while in Ecuador. “

Marie (@marie2783) questions [es] the offer of asylum and the criticism of freedom of expression in the country by right-wing sectors:

Apoyamos la libertad de xpresion!!! Doble Moral??? «Patiño considera legítima invitación al Ecuador a fundador Wikileaks» Via @elcomerciocom

We support freedom of expression!!! Double Standard??? «Patiño considers the invitation of Ecuador to Wikileaks founder legitimate» Via @elcomerciocom

In a post about Wikileaks and freedom of information [es], Fátima Ifigenia writes:

¿Cómo puede este gobierno ofrecer la residencia a Julian, si Quito todavía vive en estado de excepción (que incluye restricciones a la libertad de expresión, aunque no se estén aplicando, aparentemente)? ¿Si información de los contratos petroleros con China, que afecta directamente al bolsillo de todos los ecuatorianos, se considera confidencial? ¿Cómo puede invitarlo, cuando el gobierno se pasa atacando a los medios cuando difunden información que no le conviene, diciendo que es sesgada, antigua o truncada?

How can this government offer residency to Julian, if Quito is still living in a state of emergency (which includes restrictions on freedom of expression, although they are not being applied, apparently)? If information of oil contracts with China, which directly affects the pockets of all Ecuadorians, is considered confidential [,] how can [the government] invite him, when the government constantly attacks the media when they publish information that does not suit them, saying it is biased, old or truncated?

Manuel Ignacio Gómez Lecaros in HOY Y AHORA [es] (Today and now) uses irony to say that he can imagine the group of investigators and hackers Assange could set up in Ecuador, and adds:

Con la venida de Assange, el Gobierno ya no tendría argumentos para atacar la libertad de prensa. No podrían por un lado validar su trabajo y, por otro, insultar y atacar a nuestros periodistas que investigan al Gobierno.

With Assange here, the Government would have no grounds for attacking press freedom. They could not, on one hand validate their work and, on the other, insult and attack our journalists investigating the government.

The issue is gaining momentum in the country. After the summit of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) the Ecuadorian President spoke about “trivial sins” and insensitivity after the leaks:

“Seguían a Cristina Fernández para que intervenga con el Presidente Correa para que no sea tan emotivo, inmaduro, que sea más equilibrado en el caso de Colombia, defendiendo siempre a Colombia que es su aliado en la Región, pero son pecados banales, si cabe el término, de lo que sabemos hasta ahora, he pedido un informe detallado a Inteligencia sobre las informaciones referentes a Ecuador, información que analizaré y en función de eso daremos nuestra respuesta correspondiente”, declaró el Jefe de Estado.

“They followed [President of Argentina] Cristina Fernández so that she would intervene with President Correa so he would not be so emotional, immature, so that he would be more balanced in the issue with Colombia, always defending Colombia as an ally in the region, but these are trivial sins, if using such a term is possible, from what we know so far, I have requested a detailed report from Intelligence about the information relating to Ecuador, information I will analyze and based on that give you a corresponding response,” declared the Head of State [Rafael Correa].

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