Emilio Palacio

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Blog   |   Ecuador

In Ecuador, a crushed and silenced democracy

El Universo staff members carry a mock coffin to protest the court ruling that upheld the verdict against their colleagues. (AFP/Camilo Pareja)

The sentence against Ecuadoran newspaper El Universo, its opinion editor, Emilio Palacio Urrutia, and its three top executives, Carlos Eduardo Pérez Barriga, César Enrique Pérez Barriga, and Carlos Nicolás Pérez Lapentti, for supposed offenses against Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa in Palacio's article "NO to lies," is a worn-out manifestation of the perverse concept of public freedoms that certain elected governments manipulate. They pervert their legitimacy with an authoritarian self-assuredness that permeates their exercise of power.

Alerts   |   Ecuador

El Universo verdict bad precedent for free press in Americas

Police and Correa supporters outside court. (AP/Dolores Ochoa)

New York, February 16, 2012--Today's decision by Ecuador's highest court to uphold the criminal libel conviction brought by President Rafael Correa against El Universo represents a serious blow to freedom of expression and a setback for democracy, the Committee to Protect Journalists said. 

February 16, 2012 5:52 PM ET

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Statements   |   Ecuador

Ecuadoran appeals court upholds libel conviction

New York, September 20, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is dismayed by an Ecuadoran appeals court ruling today upholding a criminal libel conviction against four El Universo newspaper managers in a case brought by President Rafael Correa. 

Reports   |   Ecuador

Confrontation, repression in Correa's Ecuador

Rafael Correa's administration has led Ecuador into a new era of widespread repression by pre-empting private news broadcasts, enacting restrictive legal measures, smearing critics, and filing debilitating defamation lawsuits. A CPJ special report by Carlos Lauría

President Rafael Correa rips a copy of the  national daily La Hora during a conference in Cotacachi County. Correa has taken an aggressive stance toward news media. (El Universo)

Alerts   |   Ecuador

Ecuadoran editor and executives sentenced to prison

President Correa won his defamation suit but is appealing for more damages. (AP/Dolores Ochoa)

New York, July 21, 2011--An editor and three executives from the Ecuadoran news daily El Universo were sentenced to three years in prison and $40 million in fines on Wednesday for defaming President Rafael Correa, according to local news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the sentence today and called on Ecuadoran authorities to bring the country's press law into compliance with international standards on freedom of expression. 

Statements   |   Ecuador

CPJ alarmed by defamation sentence in Ecuador

New York, July 21, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists strongly condemns a sentence issued Wednesday in a libel case brought by Ecuador's president which sets an alarming precedent for suppressing free expression. The sentence, which is being appealed, calls for three years imprisonment each for three executives and an editor, in addition to $40 million in fines.

Alerts   |   Ecuador

Ecuadoran president sues critical news daily for defamation

New York, March 31, 2011--The critical Ecuadoran daily El Universo, three of its executives, and its opinion editor could face jail time and hefty fines in a defamation complaint filed by President Rafael Correa last week. Correa should immediately drop the defamation suit and bring the country's press law into compliance with international standards on freedom of expression, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.   

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