Fundación LED wishes to alert the general public to the increasing atmosphere of confrontation with the press which is being witnessed in several countries of Latin America. As has been already pointed out, we are carefully following up on the delicate situation that people are going through, in particular, in the Republic of Ecuador.
In his last declarations to the foreign press, President Rafael Correa pointed out after he was reelected (he was talking about the media in Ecuador) that “tension will keep on with such corrupt press.” In turn, eager to make the journalists aware of his position, the example he quoted was an article by the Argentine newspaper La Nacion, which he described as “gutter press” and about which he said “he has the worst of opinions.” He then went on to say that “he expected just anything” from that paper.
Among the projects intended for implementation in Ecuador, the Law on Communications is being debated in Parliament, having proposed the creation of a regulating council made up by Government media. As we have repeatedly pointed out, measures of this type mean severe restrictions to Freedom of Expression, a fundamental principle if countries are to enjoy full democracy.
We therefore consider it of utmost importance to stress the fact that attitudes such as the above are a turning point in the general public’s rights and a clear example of the intentions of some of the rulers of several Latin American countries who wish to put their foot down and thwart information diversity. Fundación LED expresses its concern about any attempt at censorship and about the accusations of another country’s Head of State regarding a member of the Argentine media, and believes that an independent press is a key factor in Latin America´s democratic life.