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International and local human rights NGOs derided by Ecuador's president

On 4 May 2013, President Rafael Correa disparaged the human rights organization Freedom House and the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression for its recent reports on Ecuador, which he characterized as "manipulated".

Regarding Freedom House, whose report places Ecuador among those countries without a free press, the president asserted that "this is the strategy of the American right; fund these NGOs and through them destabilize progressive governments". In a video shown during his Saturday program, Correa stated that "it is funded by the American extreme right, created during World War II. It is an essential mainstay of the Cold War that has never questioned the facts of Guantanamo, for example, and which in our case openly declared itself against the Popular Consultation (...) It spouts the same discourse as the IAPA, Fundamedios and AEDEP. What else could be expected!"

"The American extreme right ... Even Bush blushed about Freedom House. It is embarrassing that the newspapers should publish that nonsense, that is manipulation. They should have reliable, verified and representative sources", said the President.

He also questioned why, for World Press Freedom Day, the National Union of Journalists, UNP, organized an event in which journalists painted sentences alluding to freedom of expression. The act was also attended by the Ambassador of the United States, Adam Namm, who wrote a quote from Thomas Jefferson: "The only security of all is in a free press”. Correa disparaged Thomas Jefferson, whom he described as a "slaver". Referring to the painted wall on the exterior of the UNP premises he said "... That damn wall. I will take it down some day! Or just keep it there; nobody pays any attention to it anyway”.

Foreign Minister Patiño called the U.S. Ambassador to express the government's discomfort saying he had participated in "a political act" and written Jefferson's quote next to caricatures that the minister described as "offensive to the president”.

The president also hinted that the U.S. Embassy had financed the act and added: "The clowns got together, the usual journalists, the oligarchy, the meddling ambassadors, in order to report, clandestinely, that in this country there is no freedom of expression (...), and if you see them all together, clowns, other clowns who act as journalists and even the ambassadors who are surely financing them, as they finance Fundamedios".

The UNP requested on 6 May that the president should recind the insinuation that "an embassy had financed this act" and invited him to present the evidence on which he based such a claim.

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