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Fundamedios reports increased hostility towards media in first quarter of 2012

(Fundamedios/IFEX) - 5 April 2012 - During the first quarter of the year, in the period between January and March 2012, FUNDAMEDIOS' Network to Monitor Threats against Press Freedom registered a total of 53 aggressions against the media, journalists and members of the public who were exercising their right to freedom of expression.

This figure is evidence of a substantial increase in aggressiveness against media professionals and establishes the first quarter of this year as the most violent, compared to previous ones, during which the Network registered in the same time period 21 attacks in 2009, 34 in 2010 and 42 in 2011.

The data show that the most frequent types of aggression in this first quarter were statements made by officials and public figures, accounting for 16.98%, followed by impairment of coverage, accounting for 15.09%.

Therefore, the main aggressors during this first quarter of the year were public officials accounting for 56.6% of aggressions. The President of the Republic initiated 20.75% of the attacks, while 15% include aggressions from unions, civil associations, violent groups, mobs, political supporters or protesters.

In this context, the Network reported cases of intimidation by public officials and an increase of the stigmatizing discourse against the media by the Executive, despite the pardon announced during the most emblematic legal processes, i.e. against El Universo and journalists Juan Carlos Calderon and Christian Zurita.

We should highlight that several of the attacks brought on by these groups took place within the framework of the hearing for the review of facts in the El Universo case. This is why February had the greatest number of aggressions, a total of 22 cases, followed by March with 18 and January with 13.

Read the full report:
Ecuador_Fundamedios_trimester_report2012_eng.pdf (102 KB)

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