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Journalist kidnapped and beaten in Ecuador

(Fundamedios/IFEX) - 18 December 2012 - On Wednesday, 9 December 2012, journalist Ángel Arregui, of television station Sacha TV in La Joya de los Sachas - located 300km northeast of Quito - was kidnapped and beaten by unidentified persons who, after leaving him on the highway, warned him that the attack had been punishment for "messing with the boss."

Rafael Rodas, the TV station's owner, told Fundamedios that the journalist, who works for the outlet's news program, left the station to go home at about 22:00. He said that an hour later he received a call from a Fire Department lieutenant who informed him that the journalist had been beaten, that his belongings had been stolen and that he had been abandoned near kilometer 26 of the Sacha-Lago Agrio highway. He was taken to a health center.

Rodas said that when Ángel had arrived home from work he saw a red car with no license plates that seemed to be waiting for him. Two persons got out of the car and forced the journalist into it.

"Ángel told me that the kidnappers said two things: 'You will see what will happen to you for meddling with our boss and not letting him work in peace. This is a warning because the boss wants to talk to you'," said Rodas, who stated he is unaware of the identity of the perpetrators and the reasons for the aggression, but has not ruled out that it is related to the journalist's work. However, he did not mention any partocular investigation or research subject that could have triggered the attack.

Arregui is recovering from the beating. The attack left him unable to work for 21 days, confirmed Rodas, who did not go into details about the case to avoid interfering with the authorities' investigations.

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