Ecuador, which has been waging an epic legal struggle with Chevron over a $9B-plus pollution lawsuit, inked a $6.4M contract with Brooklyn's MCSquared to bolster its image in the US and Europe.
Owned by Ecuador-born Maria del Carmen Garay, MCSquared is to position the country as a "sovereign nation, independent and progressive," according to the one-year contract filed in the Justice Dept. July 2, but went into effect April 20, 2013.
The government of Rafael Correa, which took power in 2006, believes there are political and economic forces in the circles of international power that are fostering "ill will" against the South American nation.
The contract cites challenges facing Ecuador including leadership in the preservation of the Amazon, "protection of human rights, right of free expression on the Internet" and the "fundamental of expression and freedom of the press."
Leftist Correa has been criticized by Human Rights Watch, Committee to Protect Journalists and Freedom House for cracking down on its press. He granted political asylum to WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, who has been holed up in Ecuador's London embassy for more than two years.
MCSquared's contract is with Ecuador's US ambassador Nathalie Cely Suarez.
The firm farmed out a $30K monthly pact to DC's FitzGibbon Media that specifically deals placing ads to "inform the US public of Chevron's responsibilities so the public interest of Ecuador will be furthered." That contract is dated Dec. 5, 2013.
Garay has not yet responded to an email, asking about the status of the Ecuador contract.