Yesterday a group of Ecuadorian journalists exposed in Washington (United States), to the members of the Inter-
American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, which defined the actions as a violation of the freedoms of speech and press in Ecuador.
Cesar Ricaurte, director of the NGO Fundamedios, said the situation, until March this year, is worse than in October 2011, citing the example of two factors: “Boo-hand to justice” and “a suffocated electoral process filled with reforms that restricted the work of the media.”
Ricaurte added that the prosecution of the opinion, the increase stigmatizing speech and the use of national chains to attack journalists, have been constant. He also mentioned the murder of a communicator, attributed to a criminal group this is part of the 172 threats and attacks on freedom of speech, recorded in 2012.
While Christian Zurita, journalist co-author of “Big Brother,” said three media have been forced to withdraw their spaces for public comment system due to the pressures of the regime. Carlos Lopez, representative of Telesangay station, criticized the closure of that media and Radio Canela Macas, under the state argument that these were “clandestine broadcast.”
Given these comments, the Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Catalina Botero, wanted to know “what means to the State of Ecuador for clandestine transmission? Not only the number of stations is important, but the pluralism. How many media has the state?” And said officials have observed in Ecuador using words like “garbage.”
Meanwhile, representing the government, Communications Undersecretary Patricio Barriga denied the charges and claimed and said that it complies with the Inter-American System of Human Rights, while acknowledging the differences. He also requested not to ignore the attacks suffered by the public media journalists, noting that the right to reply is perfectly regulated under Ecuadorian law.