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Journalist accused of terrorism threatened once again

UPDATE: Journalist sued by mayor denounces new agression (Fundamedios, 29 November 2012)

(Fundamedios/IFEX) - Journalist Juan Alcívar, a correspondent for the daily "La Hora" in the city of La Concordia, has reported that, since 13 June 2011, he has constantly been receiving death threats for having published articles that refer to a power struggle between the local authorities. The journalist believes the local mayor, Walter Ocampo, is behind the threats.

Alcívar told Fundamedios that he began to receive threatening telephone calls and text messages after publishing information about a conflict between Ocampo and six local councillors who have tried to get the mayor dismissed from his position.

"They are always calling me. I'm terrified to pick up the phone . . . I receive messages saying, 'We're going to have you put in jail if you keep around with the mayor. Stop writing crap'," Alcívar said. He noted that, in the beginning, someone with a hoarse voice called him and said he was going to be killed, but that it failed to really frighten him because the attacks against him have been so frequent.

In addition to the threats, on 26 June a flyer was circulated via e-mail and in print form lampooning and discrediting the professionalism of both Alcívar and another journalist, Manuel Toro, a correspondent for the daily "El Universo". The flyer said that the journalists were lying to the population in the articles they had published.

It is worth noting that Alcívar was threatened previously, as well as being physically and verbally attacked, after being accused of being involved in a terrorist act against a public official. He was alleged to have thrown a teargas canister inside a fairground during a visit to the area by President Rafael Correa on 19 July 2010.

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