Ecuador threatens to sue OAS’ freedom of expression rapporteur after damning report

For the "shameless lies" contained within the reports of the Special Rapporteurship for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the non-profit Transparency International, Ecuador's minister of foreign affairs, Ricardo Patiño, announced that the federal government will take action and launch an "offensive strategy" against these entities, Fundamedios reported.

Patiño said they are preparing lawsuits with a team of national and international attorneys, and will soon make an announcement regarding the actions the country will take, the non-profit said.

We will no longer continue to accept this persecution that we've endured for so long (…) we will no longer accept that they persecute sovereign states and countries," Patiño said according to government news agency Andes.

The problems began when the Special Rapporteurship presented on April 17 its 2012 annual report on the state of freedom of expression in the region, in which it highlighted the improvements and challenges on the topic. The report listed more than 50 items regarding freedom of expression shortcomings in Ecuador, newspaper La Hora reported.

In response, Ecuador's president Rafael Correa threatened to permanently leave the Organization of American States (OAS), which he said was being "prostituted" by the hegemonic countries in the region, newspaper El Comercio reported.

Transparency International has also been critical of Ecuador. In its 2012 report, the non-profit named Ecuador one of the 10 least transparent countries in the continent, newspaper La Hora said.

The Ecuatorian government began to lash out against the OAS' Special Rapporteurship for Freedom of Expression on January 2012 when it presented before the OAS' Permanent Council a series of recommendations that, according to experts, sought to weaken the Rapporteurship. However, during the OAS' extraordinary general assembly last March, the governments of the region stood behind the Inter-American System on Human Rights and its freedom of expression rapporteurship.

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.