Political Intelligence and National Security in Ecuador: A Retrospective Reading
Fredy Rivera Vélez, Katalina Barreiro Santana

The political debate that has developed around the doctrine of national security in Latin America has been extensive. Nevertheless, we note with curiosity that there are few academic studies that analyze the existing linkage between institutional logic power frameworks and the strategies for the application of political intelligence that prioritized this military doctrine over civil intelligence. This article focuses on the figure of the “Pesquisa” in Ecuador during the Cold War. This term refers to that civil agent or police officer linked to the National Public Security Office whose mission was to infiltrate social movements, opposition political parties, labor unions, trade unions, universities, etc. His intelligence objectives or targets included people or individuals who were assumed to represent a threat to the internal security of the State, but also those government officials that often mixed their private life with the public sphere or maintained links with foreigners within a context of limited internationalization, in a country with parochial characteristics. With little instrumental and professional analysis capacity, the “pesquisas” and their networks built personal relationships with the authorities of the Presidency of the Republic or functionaries of the ex-Government Ministry – now the Interior Ministry – reproducing the political patterns of patronage, personal favors and clientelism.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jppg.v2n3-4a7