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Correa steps up fight with press in Ecuador; hacking alleged on both sides

The following is a CPJ Blog post by Sara Rafsky, CPJ Americas Research Associate:

Seven months after Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa flirted with the idea of offering asylum to former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, intercepted communications and leaked emails are again making headlines in the Andean country. This time, the story is not about international surveillance but a window onto the latest front in the ever-escalating war between the president and his critics.

Last week, the Ecuadoran state-run daily El Telégrafo published an article alleging an international plan to destabilize the government and quoting emails between opposition politician Martha Roldós and employees of the United States-based organizations Washington Office on Latin America and Open Society Foundations, as well as the U.S. government's National Endowment for Democracy. Named as co-conspirators were the prominent Latin American journalists Gonzalo Guillén, Juan Carlos Calderón, Cristian Zurita and Giannina Segnini. What was the basis of this nefarious plot? According to El Telégrafo, Roldós's desire to create an independent news outlet in Ecuador and the organizations' interest in potentially funding the venture. The emails allude to Correa's dismal record on press freedom, which includes criminal defamation lawsuits against journalists and one of the most restrictive communications laws in the hemisphere.

Read the full story on CPJ's site.

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