Positive steps in Ecuador under new president but press remains wary

July 12, 2018 12:30 PM ET

Quito, July 12, 2018-- President Lenín Moreno's administration has dramatically diverged from that of his predecessor, Rafael Correa, including by pledging to scale back Ecuador's restrictive media law, but the country's press remains cautious as it waits for change, the Committee to Protect Journalists found in its report, "The U-turn: Moreno steers Ecuador away from Correa's media repression," released today.

The Moreno administration has made positive inroads including sidelining the Supercom regulator, working to improve relations with the press, encouraging investigative journalism, and vowing to reform the repressive Communications Law, CPJ's report finds. Numerous journalists in Ecuador described a honeymoon period between Moreno's government and the media, but said they remain wary after a lengthy period under Correa, whose policies created editorial and financial havoc for independent news organizations.

"Journalists in Ecuador spent a decade battling one of the most repressive media environments in Latin America under former President Rafael Correa," said CPJ Central and South America Program Coordinator Natalie Southwick. "Under President Lenín Moreno, the rhetoric toward media in the country has shifted dramatically, but there is still a long way to go to rebuild a truly free press. Authorities must show these are not just empty promises and take concrete steps to reform Ecuador's harsh media laws and create an environment where journalists no longer live and work in fear."

The report, written by Southwick and CPJ Andes Correspondent John Otis, includes recommendations to Ecuadorean authorities and Twitter.

To mark the report's launch, CPJ co-hosted a press conference in Quito with local civil society group Fundamedios, and met with members of the National Assembly and a EU delegation. CPJ is also scheduled to meet with U.S. embassy officials.

Note to Editors:

The U-turn: Moreno steers Ecuador away from Correa's media repression is available on CPJ's website in English and Spanish. For press inquiries, email [email protected]

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CPJ is an independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide.

Media contacts:

Bebe Santa-Wood

Communications Associate

[email protected]

212-300-9032

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