Ecuador

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ECUADOR President Rodrigo Borja's has pledged to respect freedom of expression. The print media drculate without restrictions and there is no censorship or control of television or radio programs. Radio Sucre, owned by opposition legislator Vicente Arroba Ditto, was given five days by President Borja to prove its allegations that Borja's brother was involved in a business deal for the purchase of weapons for the army. Borja offered to resign if the charges were proven, but threatened to cancel the radio's broadcast license, under terms of Ecuador's radio and television law, if the allegations could not be substantiated. Arroba Ditto said he had not made direct reference to the president's brother, but to the brother of an unspecified "presi" - the Spanish diminutive for president. When the fiVe days were up, the Telecommunications Institute (IETEL) canceled the radio's license, claiming the allegations remained unproved. The Ecuadorean Radio Broadcasters Association disassociated itself from Arroba's action and that of "any other radio station that does not abide by the laws, regulations and ethical principles of the country." It decided to take up the issue by calling Arroba before its ethics, conciliation and arbitration commission, saying that under the constitution the president could not take action himself. On September 14, Leopoldo Barriga, the information minister invited the IAPA to send a mission conduct its own investigation into the incident. Radio Sucre's license continues withheld meanwhile, and it is broadcasting its news program on Radio Tigre, another Guayaquil radio.

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