Ecuador Internacional

Documents Reveal Ecuadorian PR Efforts in Suburban Atlanta

The Washington Free Beacon - Lachlan Markay 11/06/2015

Foto: Free Beacon

Foto: Free Beacon

The government of Ecuador has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to an American public relations firm run by a former high-level government official, public records show.

Expenditure reports posted on the website of Ecuador’s attorney general’s office show it has paid at least $867,000 to Miren LLC, a firm based in the Suwanee suburb of Atlanta.

Miren is owned by Tomas Peribonio, Ecuador’s former Minister of Commerce and Industry. According to a U.S. public relations consultant with whom he has worked, Peribonio served as an adviser to the attorney general, Diego Garcia, while being paid for PR services in the United States.

The attorney general’s expenditure reports say the payments were for “for media services, public relations, and imaging of [the Attorney General] and the Republic of Ecuador in major U.S. cities.”

Neither Peribonio nor the attorney general returned requests for comment on this story.

In general, individuals and companies that conduct public relations on U.S. soil on behalf of foreign governments are required to inform DOJ of that fact.

Since January 2012, Miren has been paid in monthly installments ranging from $12,000 to $30,000. The firm received at least $867,000 from the attorney general’s office through the end of 2014, expense reports show.

A Justice Department spokesman confirmed that neither Miren nor Peribonio is or ever has been registered as an agent of a foreign government.

Peribonio’s name showed up on disclosure documents in November, but those documents didn’t detail his work. Instead, they disclosed work by “communications consultant” Felipe Benitez promoting Garcia’s book in the United States.

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