Security guards block reporters from covering a signing ceremony at a public university in Ecuador

In the most recent friction between the media and the Ecuadorian government, several security guards and an official blocked a group of reporters from covering a meeting between the Minister of Labor Relations and the National University at Loja Workers Union in the southern city of Loja, on Nov. 12, reported Fundamedios.

According to photojournalist Alejandra Sánchez, of the newspaper El Mercurio, when the reporters tried to enter the room where the signing would take place security guards blocked their path, claiming it was a private event, added Fundamedios.

Minutes later, the Ministry's regional director, Soledad Cárdenas, told the reporters they should cover the event from outside the room, Sánchez said, adding that she was shoved by a guard when she tried to take a photograph, according to the newspaper La Hora. The official told the province's governor that the decision was made on orders from the Ministry in Quito, the nation's capital, added the newspaper.

Ecuadorian journalists have said they encounter several different obstacles to reporting the country, especially since President Rafael Correa prohibited public officials from giving statements to private media. At the end of September, a reporter was kept from a meeting with Correa after the Secretary of Communciation complained that the journalist's questions could make some of the officials uncomfortable.

Actions like this prompted the International Press Institute to declare a press freedom crisis in Ecuador.

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.