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Intruders threaten newspaper journalist in Ecuador

(Fundamedios/IFEX) - 26 September 2012 - On Sunday 23 September 2012, journalist Alejandro Escudero, of the weekly paper Independiente of the city of Nueva Loja, Amazon province in Sucumbíos, was threatened by two unidentified persons who, much to his surprise, burst into the paper's office.

The incident took place at approximately 11:30, while he was alone in the offices talking to his family who are in Quito. According to his testimony, the subjects walked in and surrounded him while asking for four issues of the weekly. The journalist replied that he did not have any and that the week's edition would arrive the next day.

One of the men stood in front of Escudero covering his face with a newspaper, while the second one stood behind him. "At that point one of the subjects said to me: 'stop sticking your head in where it smells bad'. The other one laughed and lifted his t-shirt showing me a gun at his waist. They slammed the door but said they would return the following day", he reported.

According to the journalist, the weekly paper has published articles on issues that have been covered by all the local media, so he does not know why he would be threatened. He said he did not know who was the source of the threat.

On Monday he filed a formal complaint at the Prosecutor's Office of Sucumbíos in the company of several colleagues from that province, requesting an investigation to find those responsible for the threat. The incident has been reported by several local media, which have rejected the threat publicly and expressed their support and solidarity with Escudero.

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