According to a recent investigation by Fundamedios, Ecuador’s most prominent free press watchdog, the country’s 2013 Organic Law of Communications (LOC) has so far led to hundreds of legal proceedings against independent journalists and media outlets. Of the approximately 554 proceedings, more than 70 percent ended with sanctions issued by the Information and Communication Superintendence (SUPERCOM), an institution created by President Rafael Correa with the legal authority to monitor, intervene, and impose penalties on the media.
“When it was enacted three years ago, we criticized the LOC as an instrument that would further empower Rafael Correa in his quest to persecute and censor any critical media coverage. Unfortunately, we were right,” said Thor Halvorssen, president of HRF. “Slowly but surely, the LOC is fulfilling Correa’s goal to cripple the media’s capacity to expose government abuse. Besides the late Hugo Chávez, he is certainly the most conspicuous enemy of press freedom in Latin America’s latest wave of authoritarian caudillos,” he added.
Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.