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Two television programmes taken off the air

(IPYS/IFEX) - On 7 September 2009, the directors of Cablenoticias (CN3) TV station's programs "Foro Petrolero" and "Bajo la Lupa" were informed by the station's administrator, Rubén Peñaherrera, that the weekly programs would no longer be broadcast.

The first program, created by Ecuador's Oil Opinion Forum (FOPEC), had been produced in Quito for the last ten years and dealt with issues affecting the country's oil sector.

It had recently criticized agreements signed by the State with companies such as Petrochina and others, because they were not previously put up for bid.

Jorge Pareja Cucalón, FOPEC's president and the program's presenter, told Fundamedios that Peñaherrera said that they had decided to cancel the program "because of reprogramming".

Pareja admitted that he had been advised by persons close to the government not to criticize the current authorities. He pointed out that this measure will prevent the public from receiving any technical information about the oil sector.

"Bajo la Lupa", which was presented by Joyce de Ginatta, president of the Inter-American Business Federation, had been produced in Guayaquil for the last six years. It dealt with financial and social issues.

According to De Ginatta, Peñaherrera came to find her to let her know that the program would be broadcast for the last time on 13 September because "they did not like its contents".

Cablenoticias is one of the media outlets which was seized by the state on 8 July 2008 from Grupo Isaías, which owed money to the government after the collapse of its banking institution.

Fundamedios and IPYS recall that the government undertook not to intervene in the editorial lines of the four Grupo Isaías television stations that it seized. This has not been complied with in practice. Fundamedios and IPYS demand that these stations' status regarding ownership should be defined. Either they should be sold, or the state should clarify their editorial and administrative standing.

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