Correa team discusses recruiting older celebrities

Download document: Correa team on recruiting celebrities 2013.10.15

Appeared in article: “Secret emails reveal Ecuador’s high-level campaign to win U.S. hearts and minds,” February 9, 2016.

Background & context

The Correa inner circle, consisting mostly of people in their 50s, first discussed recruiting celebrities who appealed to their generation, in support of the Ecuadoran regime’s anti-Chevron campaign.

This set of emails is between Ecuadoran Ambassador to Washington Nathalie Cely, from her Hotmail and me.com accounts; President Rafael Correa, from his “Observatorio” account; National Communications Secretary Fernando Alvarado Espinel; his brother, Secretary for Public Administration Vinicio Alvarado Espinel, who is described elsewhere as the “strategist” for the propaganda campaign; and Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño Aroca.

In the emails, the group discusses an October 14, 2013 op-ed that Bianca Jagger wrote the Huffington Post, and how the regime might enlist Jagger’s cooperation in the larger propaganda campaign. They also discuss recruiting Cher and Danny Glover.

Cely informs the group that some of the celebrities would help for free, but that others would do it only if the regime paid them. In the ambassador’s words, “Some do it out of conviction and others for the money.”

Correa specifically suggested recruiting Jagger. In another email in this same group of documents (and excerpted below), Cely stated that Jagger would take part at at her own expense.

Cher had already supported the private Danziger lawsuit against Chevron, but would not ultimately participate in the regime-funded campaign. Glover is the only one discussed in this set of emails who accepted money from the Ecuadoran government to participate in the campaign.

Ambassador Cely and President Correa discuss bringing in Bianca Jagger to the campaign. Cely says Jagger will to to Ecuador, but "with her own resources."
Ambassador Cely and President Correa discuss bringing in Bianca Jagger to the campaign. Cely says Jagger will to to Ecuador, but “with her own resources.” Maria del Carmen Garay is Correa’s childhood friend who set up the MCSquared PR firm in New York, through which to run the Ecuadoran government’s funding of celebrities.