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Journalists receive death threats

(Fundamedios/IFEX) - On 23 November 2010, sports journalist Rómulo Barcos received a death threat from an unidentified individual during a demonstration against the lack of safety in the city of Guayaquil. The demonstration took place in one of the city's main squares after the murder of Bruno Barcos Betancourt, the journalist's son.

Barcos told Fundamedios that on the day of the march an unidentified man whom he did not manage to see approached him and said, "I know where you live, be careful."

Barcos said that he has received several other death threats since his son was killed by criminals on 20 November.

In a separate incident, on 25 November, Canal Uno television station journalist Hugo Gavilánez said he has received several death threats via telephone calls over the last four months. It is believed that the individuals behind the threats could be members of one of the criminal gangs that operate in Guayaquil.

Gavilánez told Fundamedios that the threatening calls are a result of his strong criticisms against crime broadcast by the television station's news programs. He said he has been insisting on the need to increase the sentences applied to delinquents.

Gavilánez has been included in the Victims and Witnesses Protection Program provided by the Prosecutor's Office and is being given police protection.

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