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Government supporters start campaign opposing international press and human rights organisations

(Fundamedios/IFEX) - 27 February 2012 - A group of supporters of Ecuadorian president, Rafael Correa, known by the name, has initiated a campaign called “No more attacks against Ecuador" in opposition to the worldwide press.

The campaign is a movement against the national and international media, and organizations that defend freedom of expression all over the world, because of their rejection of the ratification of the conviction against the newspaper "El Universo", its directors Carlos, Nicolás and César Pérez, and its opinion editor Emilio Palacio. They were all sentenced to three years in prison and the payment of US$40 million.

The campaign has the support of some public officials. The Secretary of the Public Administration, Vinicio Alvarado, sent an email inviting people to join the campaign, arguing that “we cannot allow that a certain press's interests deteriorate the image of Ecuador worldwide”.

The campaign aims to get 20 thousand supporters to endorse a letter addressed to the Washington Post, New York Times, L.A. Times, Miami Herald, WAN- IFRA, IAPA, Fundamedios, the IACHR Rapporteur's Office on the Freedom of Expression, Reporters without Borders, Diario "El Universo", Ecuavisa, Teleamazonas and “all those organizations and think-tanks that, either through disinformation or deliberate political action, aim to affect the process of social development with freedom and dignity enjoyed in our Ecuador today”. The petition is online here.

The letter, which highlights the achievements of Rafael Correa's government as a way to bring out the freedoms enjoyed in the country, states that these media and organizations “talk without knowing us and defend a local newspaper without living here”. It stresses that "El Universo" is interested in “money, its power, but never the truth” and that those who have pronounced themselves in favor of the newspaper “in error or bad faith”, have done so “without delving into the reality of this country”.

The letter also warns the same media and organizations that “Ecuadorians, in the millions, with the indivisible spirit of the homeland, defend our image, our good name and the dignity of this sovereign people”. was the same group that promoted a campaign against Fundamedios and its executive director, César Ricaurte, aiming to collect 10.000 signatures against a demand that had been allegedly presented before the IACHR. The campaign, however, got less than 7,000 supporters even though attempts were made to convince public officials to join it, and official outlets and state-owned media were used to promote it.

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