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Ecuadorian state orders liquidation of newspaper, two months after it ends print circulation

Hoy/facebook

On August 26, 2014, the company that publishes Hoynewspaper, Edimpres SA, suspended all their operations after a decision made by the Superintendence of Companies to liquidate the company. With this, the newspaper has been unable to continue editing both the daily digital edition and the weekend print edition.

Speaking to Fundamedios, Diego Ordóñez, the newspaper's attorney, said that on the afternoon of August 26, the paper was visited by a liquidator appointed by the Superintendence, who has already taken up his post in the office and ordered Hoy to suspend all activity.

Ordóñez explained that the company had decided to go into voluntary liquidation, appointing its current director, Jaime Mantilla as the liquidator. However, that was not accepted. "The Edimpres administration learned via an article published in El Telégrafo that the Superintendence had appointed a liquidator", said the attorney. He also questioned why they never received an official notification. In that sense, Ordóñez also said he was surprised by the speed at which the process was being carried out.

On August 22, the state newspaper El Telégrafo, in the article entitled “A disolución 730 empresas por incumplir la ley" reported that "the Superintendence of Companies will dissolve 730 companies that in the last 2 years (2012 and 2013) reported losses of 50% or more of their capital, according to the financial statements, and that within 30 days have not remedied the cause for the dissolution, under Article 361 of the Companies Act." Among them was named Edimpres.

In a later edition of August 24, the head of the controlling entity, Suad Mansour told El Telégrafo that Edimpres has been dissolved by losses and the disclaimers provided by the defense were not sufficient. She also said that once the company is dissolved, they should not continue operating, and that they can only collect debts and pay salaries.

On June 27, Hoy announced the permanent suspension of its daily print edition, citing a "permanent advertising boycott" and the difficult scenario for the press after the implementation of the Communications Law, as the reasons. After this came a smear campaign from the government against the newspaper, with the issuance of mandatory broadcasts, as well as notes from the state media to discredit the newspaper company. In addition to that, the journal was forced to pay a fine of USD 57,800 imposed by the Superintendence of Communication, for allegedly not publishing their circulation number in 17 editions.

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