Director of press freedom group in Ecuador receives death threats after criticizing the government

The director of an organization that defends freedom of expression in Ecuador received death threats on Nov. 11, according to a report from the EFE news agency.

César Ricaurte, director of Fundamedios, claimed he received death threats after criticizing the Ecuadoran government during a hearing at the Inter American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, D.C.

Earlier, the federal government broadcast obligatory state messages during prime time television discrediting Ricaurte and Fundamedios, as well as accusing him of having ties to criminals, according to the organization.

"We hold the Ecuadoran government accountable for the safety of Fundamedios staff and executive director César Ricaurte," said Carlos Lauría, Senior Americas Program Coordinator with the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The minister of the interior said that protection had been ordered for the journalist César Ricaurte, reported EFE.