Columnist in Ecuador cries censorship when paper sits on his critique of local police chief

columnist in Ecuador claimed censorship when his newspaper decided not to publish one of his pieces, saying they wanted to "avoid legal trouble," according to the organization Fundamedios.

Andrés Campos, columnist for the newspaper El Correo in Machala, a city in the southeast of the Ecuadorian capital Quito, said that this was the first time that one of his opinion pieces was censored in the four years he had worked for the newspaper, reported the newspaper Hoy.

Andrés Carvajal, editor in chief of the newspaper El Correo, said that the article contained false accusations and the paper preferred not to publish it, reported the newspaper El Diario.

The columnist believed that the decision was based on the owners' fear of legal reprisals similar to those faced by the newspaper El Universo, whose owners were sentenced to three years in prison and to pay damages amounting to $40 million after publishing an opinion piece critical of President Rafael Correa.

The unpublished article accused a local police chief of abusing his power, reported Fundamedios.