Fundación LED (Libertad de Expresión + Democracia) has showed contempt forRafael Correa´s (the President of Ecuador) authoritarian demeanortowards Fundamedios, the civil society organization from Ecuador which advocates for the right to freedom of expression and is a member of Red Latinoamericana en Defensa de la Libertad de Expresión (in English, Latin American network advocating for freedom of expression).
In a rally on April 13 at Riobamba, Pichincha Province, Correa used threatening and intimidating epithets when he said “Corrupt press can expect the pertinent answer from this Administration” and questioned Fundamedios by accusing it of “not advocating for freedom of expression but for its own friends, that´s what it´s here for”,with reference to how the organization defends independent media from the constant attacks of the Head of State and Government officials. Correa has already intimidated the media on several occasions, and has also said “There will continue to be tension with such corrupt press”.
Such climate of confrontation with the press keeps recurring in an ongoing manner in the region, in different Latin American countries. Just as in previous statements released by us, we are following the delicate situation in Ecuador with attention and concern.
On this occasion, as on so many others, once again Correa has failed to respect the rights to freedom of expression set forth in numerous international treaties which his country has embraced, such as Section 13 of the Pact of San José, Costa Rica, and moves on unrestrainedly conditioning liberties, with the clear objective of imposing his voice, restricting other expressions and the diversity of voices that is so necessary and that should exist in any democratic country.
Fundación LED statesonce again that it shall keep on working to give visibility to any and all events in our regiontending to condition a fundamental right such as freedom of expression, in the understanding that contained in such right is the right to independent press practices, subject to no conditions at all—such values being fundamental for the development of democracies in our countries.