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President discredits Ecuadorian journalist reporting on oil exploitation

A young man holding a sign that reads in Spanish
A young man holding a sign that reads in Spanish "We are all Yasuní," joins others in protest against oil drilling in the Amazon reserve, Yasuní National Park

AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa

On September 7, 2013, President Rafael Correa belittled student Miguel Molina during Weekly National Broadcast N° 338, over an opinion article written by Molina on the government's decision to start oil exploitation procedures in areas near and in Yasuní National Park. In the broadcast, personal pictures of Molina taken from his Facebook account were shown to the public.

“These people are trying to fool you. This is really serious, how they try to position their lies over and over (…) Do not forget this name: Miguel Molina”. Correa ranted about an opinion article called “Quito on Fire”, which was published in Diario Hoy on Sunday, September 1, 2013.

Molina criticized the Police repression during the public protests against oil exploitation in Yasuní National Park. Correa indicated “they are trying to fool us…this guy is not even in Ecuador right now… he sent the article from Spain…This is simple corruption!”. Afterwards, a video, in which were personal pictures of Molina, was shown. The pictures had been downloaded from his Facebook account and showed some places where Molina had traveled in the past.

Molina wrote a public letter to the President in which he indicated that “the video shown during the Weekly National Broadcast, that surely was prepared by your Secretariat of Communications, showed pictures that were taken from my personal Facebook account without my consent. Even worse, I am presented as a “political schemer disguised as an environmentalist”.

Molina said, “My political beliefs are undoubtedly linked to my personal principles. I think that human beings are, by nature, political beings. Politics affect all of us. That is my link to Ecuador and its politics, this is why I have my country in my mind wherever I go. My article “Quito on Fire”, Mr. President, was published as an opinion article, it is not a news report or a chronicle. Diario Hoy published because it is our right as citizens to freely express ourselves”.

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