Newspaper copies stolen in Ecuador, daily suspects attempt to muzzle story

Ecuadorian newspaper El Diario reported that unknown men impeded the circulation of their Feb. 25 edition in the cantons of Pedernales and Jama, in the northeastern province of Manabí. According to the newspaper, the package that contained the copies of the newspaper was held at the Pedernales terminal and taken away. Later, the cost of the issues was handed over to the team of people in charge of the newspaper's circulation.

Two stories on Pedernales and Jama cantons were published in that day's edition. One was about a group of students that was traveling to Cuba and the other was about the arrest of two men carrying cocaine in the area, the newspaper said.

According to non-profit Fundamedios, newspaper El Universo noted that the police suspects a possible connection between the incident and the family of one of the detained men. The newspaper also informed about some radio journalists in the area that received threats over the phone to keep them from reporting that story.

The prosecutor's office has started an investigation on this act to prevent the circulation of this newspaper, which has the largest circulation in the province, newspaper Hoy said.

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.