On the occasion of the World Day of Freedom of Expression, this morning the National Union of Journalists (UNP for its Spanish acronym) met several journalists of the country in its guild facility; as part of the program, they placed a large canvas where journalists painted a slogan for this day.
One of the most remarkable characters was the U.S. ambassador in Ecuador Adam Namm, who painted a quote from Thomas Jefferson, third president of that country. “The only security of all is a free press,” said the statement.
Communicators of long career like Diego Oquendo, Janeth Hinostroza, Gonzalo Ruiz, Martin Pallares, among others, also attended. The popular theater artist, Carlos Michelena, “El Miche”, cartoonists Roque (El Comercio), Bonil (El Universo) and Asdrubal (Hoy) were also cited.
Ecuador between countries without freedom of expression
The independent group Freedom House, based in Washington, unveiled its latest global report, which states that press freedom is in jeopardy in six Latin American countries (Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, Honduras, Paraguay and Ecuador).
Moreover, Patrick Ventrell, a spokesman for the State Department, urged the Government of Ecuador to “support the freedom of press as a vital component of a democratic society and to ensure that journalists can operate without fear or threat of retaliation”.
For its part, the Government of Ecuador today described Ventrell’s statements as “absurd” and “disrespectful”. Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño, in a press conference, rejected the “advice” from the U.S. and asked Washington to review its conduct on human rights in cases such as Guantanamo Bay, soldier Bradley Manning and the war in Iraq.