The reforms to the LOC eliminated all the punitive regime of the original law, which was approved by the government of Rafael Correa, in 2015. It suppressed the Supercom and the administrative sanctions for journalists and media.
The reforms to the Organic Law of Communication (LOC), approved on February 14 last by the Assembly after being partially allayed to the veto of the Executive, established important changes. One of the main ones is the elimination of the Superintendence of Communications (Supercom).
There is a period of 180 days for the disappearance of the entity, considered a sanctioning and controlling body of the media and journalists, of the government of Rafael Correa. At the moment, the ex-head of that organism, Carlos Ochoa, is a fugitive in Bolivia, where he seeks asylum.
Ochoa is accused of alleged falsification and use of false document. The Supercom printed 300,000 pocket texts of the previous Communication Law, which introduced sanctions that were not established in the articles approved by the Legislature. With this, 11 radio stations were sanctioned.
In addition, the reforms suppressed the media lynching, which does not exist in the regulations of other countries. Articles on administrative sanctions for journalists and the media were also eliminated. He also disappeared the figure of the Hearing Defender. There are also changes in the law. For example, the frequency concession will last 15 years and there is the possibility that they will be renewed.
The reforms to the LOC indicate the importance of protecting communicators with any recourse in the event that they receive threats during the exercise of their profession. Another modification is the distribution of the national radio spectrum that was divided into 56% for private media, 34% for community media and 10% for public media. It remains for the Assembly to treat article 5 of the LOC on communication as a “public service”.
That’s in the text of Correa’s original law. But this Government maintains that communication is a human right. For this, the Executive must send a bill of reform to that article, while the Assembly will treat it after the legislative vacancy. However, those changes still generate debate.
On Monday, February 18, the president of the National Union of Journalists (UNP), Guadalupe Fierro, told the public media that, in her opinion, the regulations should be eliminated and a new one created. Fierro argued his position on the idea that the LOC, created and put into effect during the previous government, “was made with political interest and not for the common good.”
The trade union leader maintained as an example of his assertion that “in the time of the correísmo the frequencies (radio and television) were happily distributed”. Fierro added that former President Rafael Correa, through his government, and with the support of his assembly members, not only established the law but also modified the Constitution to achieve its political objectives.
For that reason, the total repeal of the rule would have required a reform of the 2008 Political Charter. This view was refuted by the consultant of the Communication Secretariat during the previous government, Rommel Jurado. The professor and jurist affirmed that “it was an emancipatory law” and was glad that some aspects have remained.
The Government will sign the Declaration of Chapultepec President Lenin Moreno will sign the Declaration on Wednesday, February 20 of Chapultepec. This confirms the Government’s commitment to deepen democracy and guarantee freedom of expression in the country, as announced at the beginning of its mandate.
This protocol event will be held in the Chapel of Man, at 11:00, which will be attended by government authorities and an international delegation of the Inter-American Press Association (SIP), chaired by the organization’s head, María Elvira Domínguez, also director of the newspaper El País, of Colombia.
Last week, the Government expressed its approval of the approval of reforms to the Organic Law of Communication (LOC), which limited journalistic practice, freedom of the press and access to information. The Executive’s proposal on reforms to the LOC was received by 90% by the Assembly, which demonstrated consensus among the functions of the State to return to citizens, journalists and the media the right to think and express themselves freely.
The Declaration of Chapultepec was adopted by the hemispheric conference on freedom of expression, held in Mexico, D.F., on March 11, 1994. It has 10 principles, among them there are no people or free societies without freedom of expression and press.
Every person also has the right to seek and receive information, express opinions and disseminate them freely. No one can restrict or deny these rights, he says. No journalist can be forced to reveal their sources of information, he says.
In addition, murder, terrorism, kidnapping, violence of any kind and the impunity of the aggressors severely restrict freedom of expression and the press. No media or journalist should be sanctioned for spreading the truth or making criticisms or denunciations against the public power. (I)