This article first appeared in Swissinfo on May 3, 2021.
The National Union of Journalists (UNP) of Ecuador took advantage of Monday’s commemoration of World Press Freedom Day to reject attacks on journalists who denounce corruption cases in the Andean nation.
In a statement, the UNP noted that those who harass on social networks seek that journalists stop their work, “which most of the time is linked to the denunciation of corruption cases”.
And added that in the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil (southwest) “journalists are harassed with the digital campaign of aggressions and stigmatization called ‘Enemy of Guayaquil’, with montages of journalists holding a poster with insults”.
In this campaign he detailed that “have been targeted the director of “Diario Expreso”, Galo Martínez Leisker; the journalist of “Diario Expreso”, Blanca Moncada; the journalist of TC Televisión, Rafael Cuesta Caputi; the journalists of Ecuavisa María Isabel Crespo and Tania Tinoco; the journalist of the” Posta” Andersson Boscán and the director of radio Sucre, Gabriel Arroba”.
Recently, Karen Minda, youtuber of the page “La Voz del Pueblo”, received death threats for publishing a series of reports on alleged irregularities in the Transit Commission of Guayas, reads the letter.
Likewise, journalist Nicolás Méndez, of Radio Mía and Sonovisión, received in recent days death threats from a false profile for publications on alleged cases of corruption.
They join other journalists from different media in the country who have been attacked since last year, he said.
Almost 20 days before a new government takes office in Ecuador, on World Press Freedom Day, the UNP hopes that respect for freedom of expression, one of whose greatest symbols is in journalistic work, “will be a daily practice in the country”.
“This practice must be expressed in the absolute consideration for journalism, in the provision of adequate tools for journalists to carry out their work, with due protection, guaranteed by national and international laws, particularly for those who investigate corruption cases, and in the respective investigation and punishment of harassers” he said.
In commemorating World Press Freedom Day, the head of state, Lenín Moreno, noted on Twitter that “freedom is lived and practiced” and pointed out that during his administration the so-called Gag Law was reformed, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists was created, and the Chapultepec Declaration was signed, among other actions.
Regarding this news, as BH Compliance team, we believe that the work of the media in the fight against corruption is fundamental. However, the associated risks for journalists can be high. In this regard, the development of sophisticated reporting channels with guarantees such as non-retaliation and anonymity are becoming increasingly important.