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Journalist Mauricio Funes fired

(PROBIDAD/IFEX) - At 6:00 p.m. (local time) on 18 February 2005, Canal 12 television station's general manager informed journalist Mauricio Funes that the owners of the station's parent company, AZTECA, had decided to terminate his contract as of 19 February.

In an interview with a local newspaper, Funes said the decision to fire him was unjustified. The station's general manager apparently told Funes, "They [AZTECA-Mexico] just told me to tell you that your contract was over and that they thank you for your work. That was all."

On the morning of 18 February, demonstrators staged a protest against the closure of the "La Entrevista al Día" programme and the recent firing of several Canal 12 staff members. Through its actions, AZTECA has violated not only its journalists' labour rights, but also the right of Salvadoran citizens to be informed.

Funes thanked those who have shown their support for him. He said during an interview that he was planning to initiate a new project and would not give up after so many years of work. He characterised the action against him as a "strike against democracy in El Salvador."

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