Ecuadoran government shutters radio station after refusal to pay license fee

The Ecuadoran Attorney General and judicial police seized transmission equipment and closed the radio station Perla Orense on Jan. 7, in the southwestern El Oro province, reported Fundamedios.

"Agents raided the station, breaking glass, tables, kicking and beating, and taking things," Guillermo Serrano, director of D"Nany & Services, told Fundamedios. The company operates the frequency 89.5 FM Perla Orense, whose operating license is owned by Bananera Filadelfia.

The raid was carried out by 16 police officers and technicians from the Telecommunications Superintendency when Bananera Filadelfia delayed payment on the license concession because authorities did not issue licenses from previous payments, Serrano told the newspaper Hoy.

The director asserted that there are other radio stations in the same situation and suspects that his station was closed due to its opinion programming, which presents frequent complaints against the mayor of El Guabo, John Franco Aguilar, reported the newspaper El Universo.