Constitution forces banks to sell off stock in Ecuador’s media

  • By Guest
  • October 22, 2010

By Ingrid Bachmann

In order to comply with the constitution, banks had until this week to divest their stakes in the country’s media outlets leading to ownership changes for at least two TV stations, BBC Mundo and El Comercio report.

The Eljuri and Egas investment groups sold their shares in ETV Telerama and Teleamazonas, respectively, as part of the controversial process, Hoy explains.

The 2008 constitution says banks cannot in any way fund a media company, which EFE says is a “well-aimed blow to the media power of various bankers.”

Fidel Egas, one of those most affected by the article, told Hoy that the rule is “media persecution from the government.” The authorities know that “we cannot be controlled the way they control other media outlets by buying advertising,” the banker said, cited by El Comercio.

According to BBC Mundo, the constitutional article affects 118 bankers with connections to 201 media outlets. The Banking Board is waiting until Oct. 30 for reports on whether or not media outlets are complying with the rule, El Telégrafo adds.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.

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