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In two incidents, government harasses opposition media in Ecuador

The indigenous leader and former director of the radio station La Voz de Arutam, José Acacho, was arrested and accused of sabotage and terrorism for allegedly using the station to incite anti-government protests, Fundamedios reports via IFEX. During the 2009 demonstrations, one teacher was killed and 40 soldiers were wounded.

The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) called the arrest “illegal” and an “escalation of the political persecution of the indigenous sector” to favor economic interests that are allied with the government.

Elsewhere in the country, the authorities interrupted an opposition morning news broadcast on Teleamazonas for the third time in 15 days and replaced it with content critical of the program and its host, La República reports.

Press freedom defenders in Ecuador told the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) that the government is abusing parts of the broadcast law that allow for rebuttals. “The government can't just bully its way onto the air,” says the CPJ’s Carlos Lauría.

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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