18 June 2012

IAPA calls on the government of Ecuador to show transparency regarding closure of radio, television stations

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Miami (June 18, 2012)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today expressed concern at the closure in Ecuador of six radio and television stations in recent weeks, and called on the authorities to show greater transparency in carrying out such action.
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Six media outlets shut down in recent weeks, 16 so far this year

Miami (June 18, 2012)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today expressed concern at the closure in Ecuador of six radio and television stations in recent weeks, and called on the authorities to show greater transparency in carrying out such action.

The hemispheric organization did not rule out that in some cases the action could be retaliatory for the radio and television stations  editorial stance critical of the government. In two weeks, four radio stations and two television channels were closed down for technical and financial shortcomings, declared Ecuador’s Telecommunications Superintendent Fidel Jaramillo.

In addition, the official announced that another 20 radio stations will shortly be taken off the air. The media outlets shut down in recent weeks are radio stations El Dorado FM of Nueva Loja, Líder FM of Napo, Net of Ambato, Cosmopolita AM of Quito, and television channels Telesangay of Macas and Líder Visión of Tena. These outlets join other 10 media outlets that have ceased to operate this year.

The Chair of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Gustavo Mohme, said, “This situation concerns us, especially because in an environment hostile to the news media, it is normal that there be suspicion.  These actions could be a matter of political retaliation and persecution in response to an editorial stance critical of the government, as some of those affected have considered it to be.”

Mohme, editor of the Lima, Peru, newspaper La República, said that while the government argued that the measures were taken because those media outlets failed to comply with technical requirements, “greater transparency” Is needed. He added, “This kind of decision can harm the right of the Ecuadorean people to receive information from diverse and plural sources.”

Other media outlets closed down so far this year are radio stations Impacto 1400 of Latacunga, Perla Orense FM Stereo of El Oro, Palmeras of Esmeraldas, Semilla of Belén, K-Mil of Huaquillas, R.U. Radio of Machala and FM Tecno Cable, and television channels La Maná TV of Cotopaxi, Video Cable La Maná and Full Channel of Cotopaxi.

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.

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