01 September 2023

IAPA Bot: Ecuador in Red Amid the Electoral Process

Ecuador, in the middle of the electoral process, has been painted red on the heat map of SIP Bot, a tool that monitors press freedom in the American continent. An Ecuavisa team was assaulted while reporting on robberies in a hospital in Guayaquil, and, in addition, criminals broke into the studios of Montecristi Radio and stole several pieces of equipment, including the central console.

At the same time, Ecuadorian journalists Andersson Boscán and Luis Vivanco of the digital media La Posta requested precautionary measures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) to protect their safety and work team. Boscán left the country in July after receiving death threats.

On August 9, presidential candidate and journalist Fernando Villavicencio was murdered and his successor, journalist Christian Zurita, announced after the first round of elections that he will leave the country for security reasons.

At a meeting in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, journalists' associations denounced the State's increased attacks against the Bolivian press. They mentioned examples such as the closing of Página Siete due to government pressures and the closing of three radio stations in the Sud Yungas province, from which equipment and licenses were withdrawn.

The Inter American Press Association repudiated the request of the Attorney General of Guatemala to use public force against demonstrators and to censor criticism of her administration on social media. Fortunately, the Constitutional Court rejected her request, defending freedom of expression.

On the other hand, the American journalist Evan Gershkovich of the Wall Street Journal appealed to extend his preventive detention in Russia until the end of November. The journalist was arrested in March and is the first American journalist arrested for espionage in Russia since Soviet times.

In Cuba, Article 19 sounded the alarm. Independent journalists and activists face repression by the State, including arbitrary detentions, interrogations, house arrest, Internet suppression, harassment, and forced exile.

IAPA Bot is an artificial intelligence tool of the Inter American Press Association that monitors press freedom violations in real time. It tracks information published in the media, Google News, Twitter, and from a selection of IAPA notes and denunciations. In addition, it contains a heat map that allows observing the press freedom climate in each country, a button to make complaints, and a menu that highlights the statements of government leaders, citizens' conversations, and relevant events.

IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. It comprises more than 1,300 publications in the Western Hemisphere, based in Miami, Florida, United States.