Press release

Ecuador Fines Newspaper for Not Writing about Mayor

Freedom House condemns the Ecuadorian government's decision to fine the media outlet La Hora for failing to publish a story about an accountability report published by the Loja major. 

Washington

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.”   
 
Background:
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.

Ecuador is rated Partly Free in Freedom of the World 2015 and Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2015.