The Committee to Protect Journalists highlights the positive changes the Government has made to improve relations with the media and journalists. Also the reforms to the Law of Communication that include the elimination of the Superintendence of Communication.
It’s a 180 degrees twist. The Government of Lenin Moreno moves Ecuador away from the path of media repression undertaken by the former president, Rafael Correa. That’s what the report of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said last week.
The Committee stresses that the President has made positive progress such as: marginalizing the regulatory body Superintendency of Information and Communication (Supercom), strive to improve relations with the media. Also encourage investigative journalism and promise to reform the “repressive Organic Law of Communication (LOC), one of the most restrictive in the continent, explains the report.
“The government of President Lenin Moreno has adopted a position dramatically different from that of his predecessor, Rafael Correa, who harshly criticized the press and approved one of the most restrictive media laws in the region,” he says.
According to the Committee, a clear sign of dramatic change in the Ecuadorian media landscape, led by President Moreno, it was the removal from office of former head of Supercom, Carlos Ochoa, for an investigation of his management Gama TV channel.
The former superintendent handled 1,081 cases against the media and journalists. Of them, 675 ended in sanctions, according to figures from Supercom itself. Another example of the 180 degree turn of the Government are the reforms to the LOC, which served to silence and persecute media and journalists in the 10 years of the correísmo.
President Moreno sent this bill, on May 21, which is analyzed in the Assembly, and has 80 modifications to the LOC, such as: eliminating the Supercom, the media lynching and the sanctioning administrative control system to move to a system of protection of rights in which freedom of expression is protected with subsequent responsibility, according to international instruments.
The Committee emphasizes that the Chief Executive apparently recognizes the vital role that free and independent media can play in investigating and uncovering the corruption that occurred in Correistas. It highlights the President’s meetings with local journalists, with Human Rights Watch and the Inter-American Press Association to analyze concerns about press freedom and human rights.
In addition, he points out that the CPJ met in March with the Secretary of Communication, Andrés Michelena, who clarified that the Government’s desire is to guarantee compliance with international regulations on this issue. For the Committee, Ecuador offers a positive example and at the same time a warning to other countries in Latin America and the world that have increased control over media and censorship in the Decade.
On the other hand, journalists and the media remain cautious until Moreno fulfills the promises to reform the LOC, abolish the Supercom. (I)