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Television correspondents threatened by unidentified individuals

(Fundamedios/IFEX) - On 17 January 2012, journalists Hubel and Alcibiades Onofre, correspondents for the television stations Gama and TC Televisión, which were seized by the state, were verbally attacked and threatened by unidentified individuals in the city of Babahoyo (304 kilometres from Quito). The brothers attributed the incident to the broadcast of a news report that romantically linked a woman accused of being the mastermind behind a triple murder to a member of the national assembly, Galo Lara, of the Sociedad Patriótica party.

Hubel Onofre told FUNDAMEDIOS that on 17 January, at approximately 2:00 p.m., he and his brother were returning to their home in Babahoyo when a Hyundai Tucson vehicle with three people on board approached. According to the journalist, who is a correspondent for the Gama television station, the vehicle's occupants insulted and threatened them saying, "Just wait and see, you sons of . . . "

Hubel Onofre said this is the first time he and his brother have received these kinds of threats. He believes they could be related to the fact that a day earlier the journalist had broadcast, via their respective television stations, reports that romantically linked the woman accused of a triple murder to the national assembly member.

"We are scared. The television stations do not provide us with any type of insurance because we work as correspondents, but we'll keep on working because we love our profession," Hubel Onofre said.

The journalists planned to file a formal complaint with the Public Prosecutor's Office so that the threats would be investigated.

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