Attacks on Ecuador’s media have soared in year since alleged coup attempt, report says

One year after the alleged attempted coup d’etat that shook Ecuador on Sept. 30, 2010 (known as 30S), Fundamedios published a report about attacks against the media and freedom of expression in the country. The report studies attacks before and after 30S, and shows a significant increase in the number of aggressions against journalists in the last year.

Fundamedios reports 211 attacks against journalists in the year since 30S, which account for “52 percent of all attacks against freedom of the press in Ecuador during the last four years.”

Perhaps most interesting among the findings is the identity of the offenders. The majority of aggressions — 143 — can be attributed to the Ecuadoran authorities. Of these, 100 were attributed to government officials, including police, who were responsible for 39 attacks. It’s important to note that police were the ones leading the rebellion, and in the 12 hours the offensive lasted, Fundamedios reported 32 violations against freedom of expression, nearly all of them conducted by police.

El Diario reported that during 30S, journalists reported being shoved, hit, beaten, maced, shot with rubber bullets, or having things such as rocks and water bottles thrown at them by police to deter them from covering the event. Several reporters were detained, many had their cameras confiscated or were forced to delete photos, and one reporter’s camera was set on fire. FULL STORY

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