Ecuadorian magazine raided by the government sues President Correa for moral damages

By Liliana Honorato

On Thursday, Aug. 30, the Ecuadorian magazine Vanguardia sued President Rafael Correa for $2 million in moral damages, along with the court costs and lawyer's fees, reported Europa Press and the newspaper El Comercio.

According to the Press and Society Institute, "the magazine Vanguardia is one of the most critical of the current Ecuadorian government." On July 31, the government raided the magazine's offices for the second time since 2010 for alleged labor sanctions. The Ministry of Labor Relations seized computers, furniture and equipment from Vanguardia's office, giving the publication only a one-day notice.

Executive president of Vanguardia, Francisco Vivianco, and his lawyer, Carlos del Pozo, presented the lawsuit at the Civil Chamber of the National Court of Justice in the capital, Quito, claiming that the fines they requested were to repair the "damage caused to the magazine's image and the prestige of its associates," reported CRE Satelital.

President Correa tweeted that the lawsuit demonstrated a double standard, according to the state-run ANDES news agency.

President Correa is known for his complicated relationship with the press. The closure of Vanguardia is only one of several media outlets shuttered during his term in office.

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.