Thursday, May 17, 2018

Press Freedom in Ecuador

After years of harassment and intimidation, journalists in Ecuador are seeing a positive change under Lenín Moreno.

Ecuadorian investigative journalist Daniela Aguilar de la Torre discussed what it means to have Moreno as president. 
“Recently, there has been more of a movement toward freedom of the press,” Aguilar said. “But there is still an anti-press freedom law. It is difficult to report on public officials, especially in small cities, where the same censorship that existed in the Correa regime is still maintained." 
Under President Rafael Correa, journalists faced 10 years of targeted attacks with the aid of the communications law. Correa sued journalists and media outlets and would verbally attack newspapers on his live TV show every Saturday. These lawsuits created financial strain on outlets that turned to self-censorship as a way to stop future claims. 

Attacks on the media constitute one of the biggest threats to democracy the world collectively faces, including the United States, where the President of the United States routinely makes wild and inaccurate accusations against news agencies that dare to question him.

Coincidentally, Maxwell Cameron just published an article in Latin American Politics & Society on defective democracies in the Andes. He makes the case that Moreno's election and break with Rafael Correa means that we cannot say Ecuador is an electoral authoritarian system, which it appeared to be heading toward under Correa.


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