Report to the Midyear Meeting
April, 19-22 2022
During this period, the work of the media has been hampered by the security forces, metropolitan police and security companies that provide services to the municipalities; and by public officials who - taking advantage of their positions - have tried to intimidate journalists with verbal and physical attacks.

The appearance of armed groups that - under the pretext of the emergency situation that has taken place in the country's prisons - have made threats against journalists and the media was a cause for concern. The so-called group Los Fantasmas has tried to intimidate the media La Posta by means of a video. Also, the organization Teniente Elvis Molina questioned the investigation of journalist Anderson Boscan regarding the actions of the police during the prison riots in Guayaquil.

Police have also assaulted Teleamazonas journalists while they were covering a traffic accident, and a team from Plan V was forced to leave a judicial building - after pressure from police officers.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights recognized that the trial of former president Rafael Correa against journalist Emilio Palacio, and the directors of the newspaper El Universo, Carlos Pérez, César Pérez and Nicolas Pérez constituted a violation of press freedom.

Also of concern are the systematic attacks on various media outlets using social networks.

Relevant events during this period:

In October, President Guillermo Lasso, addressed a letter to the editor of El Universo, discrediting the newspaper and talking about "putting limits on them" - due to the global investigation known as "Pandora Papers."

On October 26, in the context of the peasant demonstrations against the government of Guillermo Lasso, journalist Ana Belén Zapata and photographer Jorge Guzmán - of El Universo - were attacked by farmers in the area of Limonal, Daule canton.

On October 26, journalist Pamela Morante and cameraman Estarlin Merchán - of Canal 9 - were attacked by members of the National Police while covering a demonstration in the T de Daule sector, Salitre canton, Guayas province.

On October 26, Félix Amaya - a journalist with the digital media Ecuador Chequea - was shot at close range in his left leg with a rubber bullet fired by a member of the National Police.

On October 26, Teleamazonas television journalist Fausto Yépez and cameraman Javier Argüello were attacked and intimidated by a group of demonstrators while they were covering the protests in Santo Domingo Square in Quito's Historic Center.

On October 27, Gonzalo Rojas - a journalist of the Cotopaxi Indigenous and Peasant Movement (MICC) channel - died after losing his balance and falling from a moving vehicle while filming the demonstrations in the Toacaso sector.

On November 17, during a press conference improvised by President Lasso while he was visiting the Vicente Rocafuerte school in Guayaquil, journalist Jorge Escobar - of RTS channel - asked the president about the Pandora Papers case, but the signal was suddenly cut off by personnel of the Department of Communication.

On December 10, journalist Anderson Boscan received death threats against him and his family via anonymous telephone calls. The journalist published the threats in his newspaper La Posta.

On December 21, Paúl Romero - journalist of Ecuavisa television channel - was insulted and threatened on social networks after a TV report made public the assets of several generals of the National Police.

On December 26, the Wambra digital media's Twitter account was hacked for several hours.

On January 11, journalist Juan Alcivar - of JAR TV - received several death threats after reporting on the situation of the mother of soccer player Cristian Ramírez.

On January 17, the Fundamedios portal denounced systematic attacks on the media via various social networks. Journalist Tania Tinoco of Ecuavisa and the Fundamedios portal were subjected to insults for their defense of press freedom.

On March 4, journalist Belgica Pérez - of Frecuencia Latina - was physically and verbally attacked by Paúl Cargua - first civil authority of Huigra. After the attack, the Chimborazo government announced Cargua's dismissal from his post.

On March 7, journalist Jaime Cedillo - of the digital media El Observador, of Cuenca - was the victim of an attack. Hooded men threw yellow paint at his vehicle and home. This is not the first time Cedillo has been attacked; two months ago, another unknown person threw acid on his vehicle while it was parked.

On March 16, in a letter addressed to the president of LigaPro, Miguel Ángel Loor, the Ecuadorian Association of Newspaper Publishers (AEDEP) presented a complaint against the decision by the Professional Soccer League of Ecuador to prevent photojournalists from entering stadiums.

On March 28, a group of supporters of the mayor of Guayaquil, Cynthia Viteri, protested outside the headquarters of the newspaper Expreso, following an investigation by the newspaper into the assets and the acquisition of several plots of land by Joaquín Villamar - former spouse of Viteri.