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Communications Secretary questions newspaper association director over contents of personal email

(Fundamedios/IFEX) - 24 February 2012 - On 23 February 2012, the National Communication Secretary, Fernando Alvarado, interrupted the Radio Visión interview program “Buenos Días” with a phone call, saying that the interview by journalist Diego Oquendo had been too long and he had to refute the interviewee, Diego Cornejo, executive director of the Ecuadorian Newspapers Association (AEDEP).

The official admitted he had not listened to most of the interview, then went on to quote a personal email from Cornejo's wife as an example that there was “so much freedom of expression in the country” because she had allegedly “written an email calling for a demonstration against this 'bad government', including an incitement to overthrow President Correa and a request for his resignation”.

Cornejo said that his wife had not written any emails calling to overthrow Correa and added that “it is surprising that an email written by my wife Angelita García de Cornejo should reach his (Alvarado's) hands. We do things openly. The honest journalists of Ecuador, which do exist, do not hide what they do,” he added, pointing out how serious it was that the official should be reading emails that are not addressed to him.

Cornejo questioned Alvarado's phone call saying he had “wanted to defame him on air without granting him the right of reply”.

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