Miami (June 27, 2011)—The president of the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), Gonzalo Marroquín, today welcomed the announcement by Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa that he would receive an international delegation that the organization is to send to the country’s capital, Quito, in mid-July.
Correa announced on Saturday, during his weekly broadcast to the nation, that he could meet with the IAPA representatives, but he would not accept “moral lectures that they are used to giving, nor that they tell us how to govern this country.”
Marroquín said that the IAPA had sent a note to Correa’s office on June 17 through Communications Secretary General Fernando Alvarado Espinel requesting an interview with the president for July 18 and saying an official response was awaited.
Marroquín, president of the Guatemala City, Guatemala, newspaper Siglo 21, expressed satisfaction at President Correa’s statement that he would meet with the IAPA delegation. He added, “It is not our custom to give lessons to anyone, but rather to exchange points of view concerning free speech and press freedom having to be respected in a democracy.”
During its stay in Quito on July 17 and 18 the IAPA international delegation plans to hold meetings with officials of the various branches of government and representatives of civil society. The mission was arranged at the instruction of the organization’s membership, due to a concern that constitutional and legal reforms emanating from an adopted referendum and judicial actions against media and journalists would weaken freedom of the press in the South American nation.
The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org.