Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Freedom of Speech in Ecuador

In 2011 Rafael Correa, current president of Ecuador, sued one of the national newspapers for 40 million dollars because of an article that accused him of being guilty for the death of 2 policemen on September 30th 2010 and also called him a “persona non-grata”, which means he is a diplomatic representative unacceptable to an accrediting government. He also sued the journalist, Emilio Palacio, for the same amount of money. He had to flee out of the country to find refugee in the United States so as not to end up in jail.
This situation made Ecuador known worldwide as a country where there is no freedom of speech.
This month the president asked the intelligent forces of Ecuador to investigate two men who insulted him via twitter. They answered claiming their right to speak out their minds. True, they can write anything they want on twitter. And so does the president.
It is not the first time the president asks for people who attack him on twitter to be investigated. He actually uses his account to answer insults and scare people off because apparently everybody has to like him and if they show that they don’t, there are risks of which I know nothing about.
Honestly, I think people who are against him use public media and technology as a way of provoking him. Knowing he’ll react like this, because he has done so before, it is a good way making him lose votes in the upcoming elections. After all, for some reason on twitter you can only see what Rafael Correa answered, but not what he is answering to. But isn't it weird that the accounts of those men who insulted the president were closed? 
The man says one thing and then does another. 
I don’t know what intentions Rafael Correa has, I don’t know if he intends to control the media in the whole country. After all he already forced some newspapers and TV stations to close. I hope he doesn’t. I wonder what people would do in such a situation.
Once in 2010 he managed to keep the whole country blind of what was happening in the country for almost 24 hours. What happened on September 30th in Ecuador is still a blur for everyone.
What can people do? When he is actually helping the country's economy and improving education and hospitals and helping the poor, can one really focus in the fact that he is slowly getting control of the entire media?
On Emilio Palacio's situation, he got the help of the United States and managed to get the attention of the Inter-american Commission of Human Rights, which is what stopped the entire lawsuit.
He is slowly taking away one of our most important human rights. And what is such a weak country to do when he finally makes it?
It isn't even a fact that he is leading the country into some sort of communism, I don't really see it coming. But every once in a while he does something else that makes people wonder. This time he asked to investigate people who insulted him on twitter, what comes next? If I don't vote for him will I be investigated? Personally, I just don't know what to expect.
He is currently running for president, and he is going to win.

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