Journalism in the Americas: Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa asks citizens to boycott press

May 29, 2012 7:46 am0 commentsViews:

In what appears to be a measure to silence the Ecuadorian press, President Rafael Correa asked for Ecuadorian citizens to boycott the press, reported the news agency AFP.

“We have a way to defend ourselves, by not buying that junk called newspapers, stop watching those TV channels that keep politicking instead of informing,” said President Correa during his weekly report on Saturday, May 26, according to the Peruvian newspaper Correo.

As if his statement wasn’t enough to express his disgust with the press, after criticizing the newspapers El Universo and La Hora, the president also tore a copy of the newspaper La Hora, saying: “So they may complain as they wish, where ever they wish,” reported the news agency EFE.

As the news agency EFE mentioned, president Correa has kept a troublesome relationship with the presssince the start of his administration in 2007. The president has not only caused concern at a national level for journalism unions, but has also caused worldwide concern for international organizations.

On May 21, the United Nations expressed concern about the state of freedom of press and expression in Ecuador during the Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights. During this meeting, 17 governments asked the Ecuadorian government to “effectively respect and guarantee freedom of expression and of the press in the country,” and 24 suggestions for freedom of expression were given, according to the Ecuadorian NGO Fundamedios and the newspaper La Hora.