The reading of the report lasted about two hours, after which the debates took place. The allocation of frequencies will respect the 34% allocated to community media. The report for the second debate of the reforms to the Organic Law of Communication, in force five years ago, was approved with 7 votes in favor and 3 against, by the Collective Rights Commission.
There were changes at the last minute. After reading the report – which lasted an hour and 54 minutes – there was an intense debate on the substance and form of the final report. The legislators who voted against were Marcela Holguín, José Chalá and Carmen García (from the Citizen Revolution caucus).
The most striking modifications that were made before its approval were the second and third transitional provisions, which refer to which institution will assume the powers following the elimination of the Superintendence of Communication(Supercom). Another modification was related to the pecuniary sanctions imposed by the Supercom, especially in the previous government, under the administration of Carlos Ochoa.
In the original proposal it was established that the rights and obligations, in force in agreements, contracts or other legal instruments, would be assumed by the Ombudsman’s Office or by the Council for the Regulation of Information and Communication(Cordicom). With the modification these will be assumed only by the Cordicom.The proposal was made by the legislator Jeannine Cruz (CREO), who said that this will prevent the Ombudsman from becoming judge and party.
On the other hand, in the third transitory it was stated that the pecuniary sanctions filed by the Supercom until the date of issuance of the law must be complied with in accordance with the regulations applicable at the time of its determination, without prejudice to the legal actions exercised by the parties consider assisted of them. With the amendment, these sanctions will bereviewed, without prejudice to legal actions that may be exercised by those who consider themselves entitled to this right.
According to César Carrión (CREO) and proponent of the modification, the actions will be analyzed by Supercom itself, which has 180 days of work after the approval ofthe law, before its elimination. The report will pass to the General Secretariat of the Assembly so that the date for the second debate in the plenary session can be determined.
In this way, the Collective Rights Commission of the Assembly overcame sensitive issues, such as the elimination of the qualification of communication as a public service, deontological norms and sanctions for communicators;professionalization was maintained as a requirement.
The president of the table, Jorge Corozo, informed that the president of the Assembly, Elizabeth Cabezas, accepted the request to extend the deadline for the delivery of the report for the second debate, which was scheduled to conclude on December 13. In this way, articles related to sanctions were eliminated.
This was a request from the Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Edison Lanza, during his visit to the country weeks ago. For César Carrión, from the report for the first debate, the elimination of the Supercom was decided, which, in his opinion, was a kind of “judge” to persecute the media and journalists.
He highlighted the reforms to give amplitude of action to the Cordicom. It will be made up of representatives of the Executive, of the Transparency Function, of the autonomous governments, of the universities, indigenous organizations,Afros and Montuvio, with a total of 7 representations with voice and vote.
In addition, there will be 6 delegates of workers in communication, public,community and private media, as well as social organizations. They will have a voice, not a vote. Regarding the elimination of the media lynching figure, he considered it important because journalists who investigated public officials were previously persecuted.
For her part, Assemblywoman Guadalupe Salazar (PAIS Alliance) said that the elaboration of the norm was the product of innumerable sessions that the legislative table held with actors from civil society, the press, the Executive and Legislative. “We have worked hard and with responsibility. It will be the National Assembly, in full, that will resolve, finally, the most complicated issues or knots, based on our report, “she said.
The legislative board analyzed, for six months, at least seven reform projects,including the Executive’s proposals.
September28 / 2008
Through consultation the new Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador is approved, in which the first transitory establishes the issuance of the Communication Law.
May 21/ 2018
The president of the Assembly, Elizabeth Cabezas, receives from the Executive the proposal of reforms to the Law of Communication.
June 6/ 2018
The Collective Rights Commission initiates the treatment of the reforms. In total,seven projects entered this legislative table.
September6 / 2018
With the favorable vote of seven legislators, the Collective Rights Commission approved the report for the first debate of the reform project.
September26 / 2018
The plenary of the Assembly carries out the first debate on reforms. The elimination of the media lynching centered the discussion.
November26 / 2018
The Collective Rights Commission considers that it has no hurry to process the reforms to the LOC, while discussing the plenary proposals.
November29 / 2018
The Minister of the Interior, María Paula Romo, went to the Commission on Collective Rights to formulate proposals for the project of reforms of the Organic Law of Communication. (I)