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Firings at Paraguay's state television channel spark accusations of an ideological purge

Paraguay's state-owned TV Pública fired 27 reporters on Tuesday, Sept. 4, according to Reporters Without Borders.

The unemployed reporters accused the station of ideological persecution and the existence of a black list that included the program directors of the show Micrófono Abierto (Open Mic), which reported on the public outcry over the June 22 " parliamentary coup" that removed former-President Fernando Lugo from office, according to the news agency Télam.

Workers for TV Pública also claimed that they had not been paid for the month of August and that security guards impeded a group of employees, who were not notified they were fired, from entering the station's offices, according to La Nación. Meanwhile, TV Pública announced its third director since Vice President Federico Franco assumed the presidency after Lugo's impeachment.

The Secretariat of Information and Communication for Development released a statement saying the station fired the workers due to a lack of funds to pay their salaries, according to La Nación de Paraguay. In August 2011, President Lugo created the state television channel with funds from the Spanish foundation Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science, and Culture. Financial support from the foundation supposedly expired on Aug. 31, according to the new government.

From Uruguay, ex-President Lugo accused the new administration of firing nearly two thousand employees for ideological reasons, reported the Venezuelan News Agency.

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.

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