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Journalist receives death threat after publishing article

(Fundamedios/IFEX) - On 22 March 2011, journalist Antonio Medrano, a correspondent for the newspapers "El Universo" and "Súper" in the city of Babahoyo, 340 km west of Quito, received a phone call from an unidentified person who threatened to kill him telling him he would have to "face the consequences" for an article he published about constant complaints from users of the Provincial Transportation Council over the abundance of unofficial representatives and requests for bribes inside the institution, which is headed by engineer Aldo Loqui.

Medrano told Fundamedios that on 22 March at midday he received a call from an unknown cellphone number. The caller insulted him and told him he would have to "face the consequences" for having written that piece. Two hours later he received another threatening call from a Transportation Department employee who criticized him for his work and said: "You publish nonsense for nothing . . . engineer Loqui is gathering information on you (. . .) The transit representatives are already collecting money to have you killed."

The journalist said he has filed a complaint at the Prosecutor's Office and that he feels calm, because he feels the public supports him. "The people know my work and know that what I write is true," said Medrano. He currently has no police protection.

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