An investigation by The New York Times reveals that during the mandate of former President Rafael Correa, the Integrated Security System ECU-911 was used for political purposes and that from there spies on detractors of the regime.
Yesterday, the publication revealed one of the examples of correísta espionage. According to the information, Mario Pazmiño, a retired Army colonel, was spied in 2013 from an Ecu 911 camera, which was installed near his house located in a residential area, where there are no problems of citizen insecurity. The lens pointed directly to the second floor of the building where he resided.
Previously, the former intelligence officer criticized Correa, claiming that his mandate was an accomplice of the activities related to drug trafficking in the country. He was also very critical of the corruption facts discovered within the police ranks. That made him a creditor of personalized surveillance by secret agents.
In public opinion it was said that the sole purpose of the system was to ensure citizen welfare and reduce crime rates, but the videos of the ECU-911, which operates since 2011 and has around 4,500 video surveillance cameras throughout the country, were reviewed not only by the Police, but also by Senaín personnel, who have access to the 16 monitoring centers, where some 3,000 operators work throughout the country. All the technology was acquired from China.
“It is a direct collaboration between ECU-911, the Secretariat of Intelligence (Senain) and also those that monitor or persecute political or social actors,” Pazmiño said in a testimony in the note published in The New York Times.
The misuse of the system
For Ricardo Camacho, an analyst on security issues, what happened with Pazmiño is not an idea to be dismissed. He assured that the cameras have a powerful approach and a high resolution that allow capturing details.
The expert indicated that during the correísmo, the Senain was nourished of information that came from different sources for, from the power, to design strategies of attack to political detractors, one of these sources, it’s said, could be the ECU-911.
“It is not unreasonable to think that the ECU-911 could have been used for espionage purposes. Technologically, the system is suitable, it can be done, “confirmed Camacho.
The expert, however, highlighted the qualities of the system, when it is used for citizen security purposes. It ensures that it is a successful model to identify in real time possible emergency scenarios and to manage to frustrate criminal acts or take timely measures if these were consummated.
The publication of the American newspaper corroborated what was stated by the analyst indicating that Jorge Costa, former director of the Senain, confirmed that the intelligence agency had access to a “mirror version of the police surveillance system”.
On this, Camacho assured that the organism was not legitimately supplied with information.
“At the time that the Senain worked, the methodology they used was not framed in the Law,” he said.
Martha Roldos, former legislator and critic of the correísta decade, said that he was also a victim of espionage and harassment of men of the regime of the previous government.
She explained that the consequences of illegal follow-ups went from the private to the public, because the power used state media to spread its truth. The former ruler recalled the countless times that former president Correa named her on Saturday broadcasts to discredit her. Her name crossed borders in the international chain Telesur.
Roldós and Camacho agree that President Lenín Moreno still owes the citizens an explanation of the activities that were carried out in the Senain.
Camacho believes that a management audit should be carried out that reveals the acts of espionage, wiretapping and also denouncing these irregularities before the Attorney General’s Office.
“There is a serious error in the current Government to not reveal the horrors that were committed in the Senain,” concluded.
This medium asked the Communication Department of ECU-911 for a spokesperson to explain what is the legal treatment given to audiovisual material, but until the closing of this edition there was no pronouncement. (I)