This Sunday, Ecuadorians will go to the polls to choose a president in what is expected to be a landslide reelection victory for President Rafael Correa. Pollsters predict that Correa will win by as many as 40-50% over the leading opposition candidate, Guillermo Lasso, the former head of the Ecuadorian bank, Banco de Guayaquil. Correa’s PAIS party is also likely to win an overwhelming majority of the 137 National Assembly seats, which will be contested on the same day. While Correa’s victory will serve to reinforce the global perception that he is an immensely popular president, there is a far darker reality: Correa has managed one of Latin America’s largest democratic declines in recent decades.
Inspired by Participant Media's and Sony Pictures Classics' No, the Chilean Academy Award® nominee for Best Foreign Language Film opening in the U.S. on February 15th, Participant in collaboration with Freedom House, Amnesty International, and Reporters Without Borders has designed a Social Action campaign focused on the importance of freedom of political expression. "No Mas"--takepart.com/nomas – provides a platform for individuals to speak up for others who are living in nations that silence any opposition to the establishment.
A new report released today by Freedom House and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) finds that the dangers that journalists face in Mexico extend to cyberspace, with a growing number of murders and cyber-attacks against those reporting on corruption, organized crime, and drug-trafficking. Most Mexican journalists have been attacked or know someone who has been attacked, and many lack the basic knowledge to remain safe using new technologies.
A thick skin is a necessary prerequisite for every successful politician, at least in democratic societies. Love them or hate them, political satirists like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are symbols of the deep-seated respect for freedom of opinion in the United States (as well as Americans’ love of a public roasting). In nondemocratic parts of the world, however, politicians are much less willing to become the butt of the joke.
The Egyptian public and the international community were shocked last week by televised images of civilian Hamada Saber being dragged, stripped, and brutally beaten by police officers amid ongoing clashes between police and protesters in Cairo.