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19 Jul, 2023 09:02

CIA contractor spied on Latin American leaders – El Pais

The newspaper claims a security firm that allegedly eavesdropped on Julian Assange is now suspected of targeting an ex-president
CIA contractor spied on Latin American leaders – El Pais

A Spanish security firm is being investigated over its alleged spying on a number of former Latin American heads of state, El Pais has reported. The Spanish newspaper, citing court proceedings, earlier claimed that the same company, UC Global, S.L., had eavesdropped on Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange at the behest of the CIA.

In an article on Tuesday, El Pais said new suspicions were raised after Spanish Judge Santiago Pedraz ordered another examination of a laptop belonging to David Morales, head of UC Global, S.L.

Spanish authorities had launched an investigation into his activities back in 2019 after a data dump from his MacBook shed light on his alleged spying activities in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, during the years Assange was holed up in there. However, according to the newspaper, it turned out that Spanish police had failed to extract all the relevant files the first time round.

The new evidence indicates that Morales and his employees also secretly monitored meetings of former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa with four former heads of state – Argentina’s Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, Brazil’s Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff, and Uruguay’s Jose Mujica.

The Ecuadorian government under Correa reportedly hired UC Global, S.L. to provide security at its diplomatic mission in the British capital. However, the Spanish firm spied on Assange and his lawyers instead, El Pais claimed, adding that Morales went on to eavesdrop on Correa too, especially after he left office.

According to the newspaper, Morales and his employees secretly installed Trojan viruses on the cell phones of Correa’s two daughters, giving access to their messages.

Moreover, UC Global employees supposedly ended up being hired by the Ecuadorian government as bodyguards for Correa on at least one private trip in 2018 after he left office. El Pais, citing investigation findings, reported that Morales had compiled reports in English on the ex-president’s meetings.

The media outlet went on to allege that the name ‘CIA’ cropped up several times on an external hard disk belonging to the UC Global head which Spanish authorities had analyzed.

The newly revealed data is also believed to contain clues pointing to the possible delivery of recordings of conversations between Assange and his lawyers at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London to the CIA.

In addition, the paper claimed, Morales leaked information on Correa to his successor as Ecuadorian president, Lenin Moreno.

Back in April, El Pais alleged that the same Spanish security firm had secretly installed microphones inside the Ecuadorian embassy in the British capital to monitor Assange and his visitors.

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