Jaime Durán Barba, advisor to Guillermo Lasso, also appears on Pandora Papers

The political consultant appears in at least two offshore in the British Virgin Islands that had activities in Switzerland and in the United States.

The political consultant and advisor to President Guillermo Lasso, Jaime Durán Barba, also appears in the Pandora Papers leak. The Ecuadorian strategist and his right-hand man, Santiago Nieto Montoya, were shareholders of at least two offshore companies in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) dedicated to “investing in Switzerland” and frustrated mining businesses.

In the investigation carried out by the Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), it is revealed that Durán Barba barely paid taxes in Argentina and Ecuador, despite the fact that he was one of the closest advisers to Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina between 2015 and 2019. At that time, he received a salary from the State of 80,000 pesos (USD 4,000 at the exchange rate at that time).

Durán Barba and Nieto Montoya registered these offshore companies with the mediation of the Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee (Alcogal) law firm. Both appear as shareholders of a company called Woodlen Limited, capitalized with funds from the work of «marketing and research» and dedicated to «investing in Switzerland.»

In the same way, these records link them to a second firm, registered as Harmony Mining, according to the Pandora Papers and public documents of the Security Exchange Commission (SEC), they signed a contract in 2011 to acquire the production of a mine. of copper (valued at USD 15 million) a few kilometers from Las Vegas, in the United States. The agreement was canceled months later for no apparent reason and the deal never went through.

It should be remembered that Jaime Durán Barba himself asserted that he will work as an external consultant for the President, Guillermo Lasso, although he does not appear on the payroll, as an employee of the Presidency of Ecuador.

Durán Barba was the main strategist in Guillermo Lasso’s second-round campaign. The President himself acknowledged that his victory in the elections is due to the communicational change of the second round, which was in charge of the political consultant.

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