Posted On 12 Sep 2016
The sentence hanging over the deputy mayor of Quito reactivates the debate on the scope of freedom of expression and the option of the authorities to seek a sanction for those who emit certain comments.
Eduardo del Pozo, councilman of the CREO party, could go to jail for 15 days if the ruling of first instance (of last September 5) that finds him guilty of uttering “expressions of discredit or dishonor” against President Rafael Correa, is ratified.
Del Pozo announced that he will appeal because, among other reasons, he denies having named Correa during the radio interview that led to the complaint.
The president sued him for having committed the violation under Article 396, paragraph 1, of the Integral Organic Code of Criminal Procedure (COIP), which punishes with imprisonment of between 15 and 30 days a “person who, by any means, utters expressions of discredit or dishonor against another.”
Since the validity of the COIP, on August 10, 2015, the figure also has been applied in at least four cases that have become public.
This year, in January, lawyers Luis Mendoza and Javier Escobar and and Loja Councilwoman Jeannine Cruz (CREO party) were sentenced.