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Ecuador: Turning a Deaf Ear and Repression

LADB Article ID: 79777
Category/Department: Ecuador
Date: 2015-09-25
By: Luis Ángel Saavedra

Results of the uprising Ecuadoran indigenous peoples organized in August tallied 201 persons arrested by national police or Army, 130 taken to prison, and 111 legal action opened against people charged with aggression, resisting arrest, blocking public spaces, and sabotage, according to data from the legal department of the Confederación de Nacionalidades Indígenas del Ecuador (CONAIE). Some 62 people were put under preventative detention for 30 days although sentences were reversed with alternatives to incarceration. Those in custody will have to stand trial, and one has already been sentenced to two months in prison. CONAIE also reported 168 persons wounded, 48 of whom needed surgery or sutures. Two people each lost an eye. Meanwhile, President Rafael Correa continues determined to ignore protests in the country. He activated his propaganda machine in an effort to convince the citizenry that the news disseminated by independent media is false. The government now owns four of the 10 national television networks. Two are owned by Mexican magnate Ángel González, who, according to his own statements, is only interested in the business aspect, even though the Constitution prohibits foreigners from owning national media or also owning other nonmedia businesses. Of the four remaining media outlets, only two question government actions and disseminate news about the magnitude of the indigenous uprising. The other two are aligned with the government.

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