Ecuador’s info access law doesn’t do enough, citizen groups say

By Ingrid Bachmann

This week marks the sixth anniversary of the country’s transparency and information access law, but some say the way it works in practice leaves much to be desired, BBC Mundo reports.

A recent study by the Fundamedios media monitoring group said that only 10 percent of its requests resulted in complete information and that few public institutions publish annual reports that fully comply with the law. (This contradicts official government statements. President Rafael Correa says the law is followed 93 percent of the time.)

Fundamedios Director César Ricaurte suggests the law should be changed. “If journalists don’t have access to that information, obviously, the quality of information will be affected,” he says, quoted by La Hora.

In an opinion column for Hoy newspaper, Ricaurte argued that the media also has a responsibility to press for a new law. “They were the ones who pushed for the law’s passage six years ago, and they should now push even harder to revive an essential democratic tool,” he said.

The executive director of Participación Ciudadana (Citizen Participation), Ruth Hidalgo, also says that citizens have grown accustomed to a culture of little transparency and see the lack of public information as normal, BBC Mundo 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.