Chilean journalist Patricio Mery Bell believes that a second, destabilising Operation Condor is taking place wherever the right wing have taken power, and that human rights violations have begun. United States interference is present throughout this.
Virginia Moreno Molina
He worked as a third-party advisor during Rafael Correa’s successful 2006 presidential campaign and he was present during Lenin Moreno’s transition to the Ecuadorian presidency.
He has witnessed the changes that have taken place and the efforts made by the PAIS Alliance and the Citizens’ Revolution to ensure Lenin’s victory, since, at the time, it appeared that he would continue the policies implemented by his predecessor. But the reality was completely different, “nobody imagined that he would betray a democratic process”.
These are the words of Patricio Mery Bell, who explains that Moreno “violated the Constitution, imprisoned Vice President Jorge Glas and returned to neoliberal policies”.
His documentary, “La traición cuántica” (The quantum betrayal), deals with this, along with related issues, and has been censored in Ecuador. Patricio has been touring to promote his film. On his way through London, he spoke to The Prisma about Lenin Moreno’s betrayal, U.S. interference in Latin America and the left wing on the South American continent.
What have been the personal repercussions of your allegations?
I have experienced persecution, threats and trials. I was also under house arrest for almost four months when I returned to Chile from Ecuador because I denounced a human rights violation that was linked to to a high-ranking general.
I don’t like talking about the consequences because it could create distress for other journalists, and the idea is to motivate them to create good journalism. It can be a dangerous profession depending on the topics, but it can be done safely, collectively, from a social, critical and anti-systematic stance.
There will be consequences, but those that I have experienced are much less serious than colleagues who have lost their lives or who have been imprisoned.
How did your involvement with the Citizens’ Revolution begin?
It started in 2012 with an investigation in which we alleged that the CIA was putting together a plan to destabilise and interfere with Rafael Correa and the Citizens’ Revolution, using drug trafficking revenue. Although President Correa heard the complaints and it made the news, people didn’t really believe it. But now, with the benefit of hindsight, we can see that we didn’t go far enough. Judging by what has happened in Ecuador, with Lenin Moreno’s betrayal and the boycott of the Citizens’ Movement, our accusation was not that realistic as it actually ended up being much worse.
So I fell in love with the Citizens’ Movement, as this socialism has its so-called ‘buen vivir’ philosophy, indigenous and modern components and cares for the environment. This is called eco-socialism.
You didn’t see any clues [of Lenin’s betrayal]?
Not during the campaign, no, but we knew that Lenin Moreno and some of his consultants were not trustworthy. Furthermore, in the documentary, Correa told me that many people warned him that Lenin might betray him.
Political pragmatism betrayed us because the numbers in the polls showed that Lenin had the best chance, not Jorge Glas, who was the favoured candidate for those who supported Correa.
90% of the PAIS Alliance wanted Lenin to be the candidate. Although I would have preferred it to be Jorge Glas, we were in the minority.
Why has the right wing been rising up in Latin America?
It’s happening across the world: Macron, Brexit and the resignation of Labour party members, the crisis in Spain, Bolsonaro, Macri, Piñera…
They represent a new wave of the right and ultra-right wing; they have lost their reservations and are not ashamed to self-identify as ultra-right-wing or to talk about racism, xenophobia or incitement to hatred.
And it is the right wing that has not only corrupted, but also pillaged our countries; from the royalty to the great oligarchs.
Nobody talks about the corruption of Piñera, Macri, Bolsonaro or Temer. In fact, Chile’s Piñera is being investigated in the United States for using confidential information. $18 million belonging to Lenin Moreno was found in an offshore account and nobody says anything.
Where has this attack on the left come from?
It is the media, which has attacked progressive leaders so much that it ended up creating a new post-truth, fake news. The left wing did not know that they should have tackled this brutal communications campaign by citing the cases of corruption.
But corruption exists in all governments, it doesn’t just happen on one political side.
Meanwhile, left-wing governments in Latin America have become weaker. Paradoxically, this has happened in Ecuador, the last place where the left wing won.
After that, we lost in Chile, Argentina and Brasil. The most prominent example is Brasil, a multiethnic community that has always been very respectful towards sexual minorities, where an insane crazy Nazi like Bolsonaro ended up winning. Lenin Moreno is also dangerous because he violated the Constitution and the popular vote, and he implemented a neoliberal model that people did not vote for.
What should the left wing do?
It should reflect carefully in order to figure out how to deal with the biggest right-wing party; the media.
The left wing should also rebuild through the revolutionary internationalism of a democratic left-wing society, understanding that what is happening in Spain, Ecuador or England is linked.
This does not mean fighting neoliberalism from an ideological position, but rather because neoliberalism will destroy the planet and use up all natural resources.
A message should also be created that will resonate with the working people. The left wing has to talk about public safety, employment, cleanliness, about current communal issues. We can’t elevate our discourse to a near-philosophical level, we have to be specific.
Within this paradox, this is a good opportunity for the left wing because it means that we can reconstruct the values that motivated the creation of the international left wing. We need to coordinate in order to work for the people and the working class.
Lawfare [the use of the law as a tool for political persecution] is also being discussed in this case…
I prefer to describe it as a second Operation Condor as this is more sophisticated than simply being a judicial matter; the media, the judges that studied in the U.S.A. and the political parties are all involved.
Brasil’s Sergio Moro is corrupt because he investigated ex-President Lula and then won an award from the Ministry of Justice. Diana Salazar and Pérez Reina, the public prosecutors who persecuted Rafael Correa in Ecuador, connected the Ecuadorian government to the United States embassy. They were the advisors on security and intelligence. Salazar was in contact with the DEA.
The interfering U.S. empire is here, and I don’t rule out that it seeks to violate human rights, as happened under Operation Condor in Chile with Pinochet, in Argentina with Videla…
Wars are planned by the rich, but it is the poor who suffer and pay for them.
This fact has made more leaders supportive of Trump…
This is the result of bad Democrat policies in the United States. I am not a fan of Trump, but both Obama and Hillary Clinton declared wars, bombed countries; there is not much difference between Obama and Trump regarding their aggressive foreign policies.
While Obama tried to resolve the situation in Cuba, he exacerbated the situation in Venezuela. The United States is in a financial bubble and one day it will burst, like it did with the Lehman Brothers, and the system will fall.
To try and avoid this, the U.S.A. does business with war, drug trafficking and arms sales. They seek out conflicts because this is how they can maintain themselves economically. Trump has given rise to a wave of neo-conservatism and an ultra-right wing that does not hide its feelings, but this is also the fault of the U.S.A’s Democrat party, because it can’t differentiate itself from this. Obama entered office along with the hope of bringing world peace and he ended up bombing countries and invading the Middle East. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton earnt the nickname “Killary”.
(Translated by Zosia Niedermaier-Reed – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)