Ecuador Fines Newspaper for Not Writing about Mayor
In response to the Ecuadorian government’s decision to fine the media outlet La Hora for failing to publish a story about an accountability report presented by the Loja mayor, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“Ecuador’s government believes it should determine what the media covers, as shown by the government levying a fine against La Hora for not writing about a matter of supposed public interest,” said Carlos Ponce, director for Latin American programs. “The fine is part of a pattern of interference in the independence of the press and shows a clear lack of respect for freedom of expression.”
La Hora, fined $3,540, intends to appeal the government ruling. The recently passed Communications Law, requires media to cover “facts of public interest.” Last year, President Rafael Correa tried to force several newspapers, including El Comercio, El Universo and La Hora to publish articles about his visit to Chile. The government sanctioned 113 media outlets last year.
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.