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Judge in Ecuador orders newspaper to correct headline

On June 17, 2013, an action presented by National Ombudsman Ramiro Rivadeneira against Diario Hoy was accepted at court by Judge Verónica Medina. The action was based on an article headline that read “Correa says that gay marriage is just a fad”, which was taken from an article published by the AFP news agency. According to the national ombdusman, the headline “was not duly verified” and “twists the truth”, while “affecting the rights of the LGBTI community”.

The judge determined that the right to receive verified and true information had been violated, and ordered the newspaper to apologize, in particular to the LGBTI community. Also, it ordered that Diario Hoy correct the information according to terms set by Rivadeneira.

On 13 June 2013, the 20th Criminal Court of Pichincha admitted the action, which requested “a motivated decision must declare that the right to receive true and verified information has been violated, as well as the right to correction. Diario Hoy must correct the information published on 31 May 2013, as article 66(7) of the Constitution mandates".

Prior to the presentation of the legal action, Rivadeneria sent a letter to Diario Hoy, indicating that “the situation worries us, since it violates the rights of the LGBTI community due to the imprecise nature of the information published. Therefore, Diario Hoy must rectify it immediately".

From 31 May 2013, the National Secretariat for Communication (SECOM), started a campaign against Diario Hoy. Via national broadcasts on radio and TV the government accused Diario Hoy that it had “twisted” the headline. The National Secretary of Communication, Fernando Alvarado, wrote in a note on 31 May that the "headline was not coherent with the truth, (...) and that it misleads readers while modifying the note by AFP in an unethical fashion”.

Diario Hoy publicly rejected the idea that the headline was measleading and said that “SECOM indicates that we based our information on a source we actually never used”.

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