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Journalist says government pressure behind cancellation of his programme

(Fundamedios/IFEX) - 28 June 2012 - Journalist Jaime Cedillo denounced that on 18 June he was notified that his news programme Libertad de Expresión would be cancelled. The program was broadcast daily by radio station Nexo 97.7 FM in the city of Cuenca, located 442 km south of Quito.

Cedillo said that at approximately 6:30 a.m. on 18 June, before his programme went on air, Radio Nexo's manager told him they had decided to take the programme off the air because a warning had been issued by national government officials to the effect that the station's frequency would not be renewed.

The journalist pointed out that he is a "new victim of this government's intolerance, which has applied pressure (by saying) it would not renew the frequency" if he continued to broadcast the programme he had presented since 2009 and in which, he confessed, he had been very critical of the authorities in general. "Perhaps this was uncomfortable for the government," he said.

Meanwhile, Carlos Rubio, Radio Nexo's manager, denied that that the government had exerted pressure of any other kind and said they decided to cancel the programme because it no longer adhered to the station's editorial line."We concluded that it was no longer suitable to continue broadcasting the programme. Jaime has a lot of experience, I have great respect for him and he is my friend, but I no longer agreed with his kind of journalism," Rubio commented.

Cedillo currently edits the magazine El Observador and has worked as a journalist for 30 years at other local media outlets, such as El Mercurio and La Voz de Tomebamba radio station, among others. His colleagues are in agreement that he is a critical journalist, but that he always attempts to be fair in his investigations.

For example, Martha Cardoso, La Voz de Tomebamba's news director, described Cedillo as a good person and a journalist who tends to be critical and a very good researcher. "He analyses issues and problems in depth," she said.

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