Por Liliana Honorato
On Tuesday, July 31, the Ecuadorian magazine Vanguardia was once again raided as a public official from the Ministry of Labor Relations who confiscated the magazine's computers, furniture, and equipment. During the raid, the journalists of the magazine, which opposes President Rafael Correa's government, were not allowed to back up or save their research, reported the news outlet Voz de América and the newspaper El Comercio.
The raid on the magazine stemmed from a $20,800 lawsuit, reported the newspaper El Universo. In December 2010, Vanguardia was raided, again due to alleged fines. This time the fines are related to labor sanctions, such as for “not exhibiting work rules in a visible place in the office,” reported the Ecuadorian NGO Fundamedios.
According to Iván Flores, Vanguardia's publisher, the magazine received the notification a day before the raid, which didn't allow enough time to reply, reported Europa Press. When trying to stop the raid, Carlos del Pozo, the magazine's lawyer and legal adviser, "was forced out by the police" and arrested, added the newspaper La Hora.
This magazine is only one of the many news outlets that have been closed by the government of President Correa, who has a tense relationship with the Ecuadorian press.
Despite the raid, Vanguardia's journalists said that they would still publish the next edition, reported Ecuavisa. The magazine's employees "will work from their houses if necessary," said Juan Carlos Calderón, one of Vanguardia's directors, reported El Comercio.
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.