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IAPA denies allegations in teleSUR report

(IAPA/IFEX) - Miami, October 7, 2010 - The president of the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), Alejandro Aguirre, today categorically denied allegations that the organization was involved in last Thursday's actions against Ecuador's President Rafael Correa as claimed by Congressman Eduardo Zambrano in a teleSUR interview.

"I emphatically deny that the IAPA held meetings with Ecuadorean news media or legislators to encourage acts against democracy in that country," declared Aguirre, editor of the Miami, Florida, Spanish-language newspaper Diario Las Américas. He added his regrets that the congressman was wrongly informed.

Aguirre was referring to remarks made by Zambrano, a member of Congress for the ruling Alianza País (Country Alliance) party, who told teleSUR that "about one month ago there was a group of seven opposition congressmen and among them two from the Sociedad Patriótica (Patriotic Society) party who went to New York and met with representatives of the IAPA and other organizations . . . they were conspiring." According to Zambrano, Ecuador's private news media took part in the September 30th attempt to overthrow and assassinate President Correa.

The IAPA president pointed out that the same day the organization had sent out a press release warning of the violation of press freedom implied by the order for private media to simulcast the state-owned network and strongly condemning any move aimed at destabilizing Ecuador's institutions and democratic order.

"IAPA's sole mission," Aguirre said, "is to see that governments respect freedom of the press and that is why we raise public awareness, and have monitoring and training programs, among others." On September 30th, members of the National Police took over an army installation in protest over a law passed by Congress that eliminates bonuses and promotions.

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