Fundación LED (Libertad de Expresión + Democracia) is greatly concerned about Diario Hoy, from Quito, Ecuador, which will stop publication of its print edition as a consequence of the difficult times that freedom of press has to face in that country.
Fundación LED follows up closely on the unfolding of the limitations on free speech and free press in Ecuador, having made its position clear on different prior occasions, such as when sanctions were imposed on journalist Xavier Bonilla and the newspaper El Universo, or when Fernando Villavicencio was convicted to 18 months imprisonment, or when President Rafael Correa proposed to eliminate print journals under the pretext of stopping the indiscriminate felling of trees.
Just as in other countries of the region, the escalation of conflicts between the governments and the press media has gone beyond the usual tension between Power and social communicators, having turned into plain confrontation, violating basic rights in any democratic society.
The fact that a member of the media which has been present among its readership for over 30 years is abandoning its print format due to “the loss of liberties and constitutional guarantees in Ecuador” is a serious precedent which should alert all citizens and organizations devoted to following up on the rule of law.
Among the grounds for the decision by the newspaper management are the advertising boycott imposed against independent media, the reiterated direct and indirect attacks on the press and the existence of a law fostering press workers self-censorship.
Such regrettable circumstances keep repeating themselves time and again all over the region and are part of an idea of power, whose exercise is conceived as excluding dissent and promoting a fractured society by imposing a single narrative disseminated by the hegemonic machinery of government communications.
At Fundación LED we shall keep on endeavoring, focusing on the pursuit of consensus, so that it becomes the general framework for the development of the countries in the region, guaranteeing the validity of freedom of expression and of press set forth in current international treaties.