Ecuador’s president sues journalists for book alleging nepotism
President Rafael Correa has initiated a lawsuit against two journalists who published a book alleging corrupt dealings that benefited the leader’s older brother, El Diario reports. According to La Hora, the suit is for $10 million.
Juan Carlos Calderón and Christian Zurita are the targets of the suit for their book Big Brother, which narrates their investigation into millions of dollars in alleged contracts with companies linked to Fabricio Correa, the president’s brother, El Comercio explains.
In an interview published on Confirmado.net, Zurita said the suit did not scare them and they would fight it in court. “The president can fine us money that we don’t have and jail us, but we will never hide the ‘historical truth’ in the book Big Brother, which has documented information about contracts that Fabricio Correa signed with the government,” he said.
The director of the Fundamedios media monitoring group, César Ricaurte, said the situation was “serious,” because “it means continuing down the road towards prosecuting opinions and investigative journalism. With this, the president sends a signal that this is going to be the way forward,” he said, quoted by El Universo.
A UNESCO report released last week on the media in Ecuador stressed the need to repeal libel laws and modernize the rules governing free expression, at a time when tensions between the media and the government are near an all-time high.
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» Fundamedios (Presidente de la República demanda por daño moral a dos periodistas de investigación)
» Centro Knight (Presidente de Ecuador arrecia críticas contra la prensa en medio de crecientes denuncias de censura)
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