Fragile Ecuador government closes critical media

AFP:

Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa announced Saturday he is seeking to definitively shut down a private television station that he accused of "espionage" on his office.

The station Teleamazonas, a private broadcaster that has been critical of Correa and his government, has already been fined multiple times for breaking broadcasting law, notably for reporting opposition charges of voter fraud during April's general elections.

This week the station broadcast a secretly recorded conversation between Correa and a Quito lawmaker -- seemingly the last straw for Correa, who has sought the station's closure for months.

"I ask that Teleamazonas... is finally closed," Correa said on his own weekly television and radio show Saturday.

"They have spied on a meeting in the office of the president -- that's an attack on national security.... We will not accept these things," said Correa.

Also Saturday, Correa ordered that the pan-American Telemundo talk show helmed by wildly popular Peruvian host Laura Bozzo be taken off Ecuadorian airwaves, describing the show as "junk" and "corruptive." Within minutes of the order the show's broadcast in Ecuador was terminated.

Earlier this month the leftist leader, a strong ally of regional firebrand leaders Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Evo Morales of Bolivia, proposed further restrictions of press freedoms by calling for controls of media "excesses."

...

So, the government of Ecuador is not strong enough to stand up to criticism and must shut it down? How pitiful Correa's hold on power is that he cannot tolerate any criticism? Chavez, Morales and Correa must be the weakest governments in South America. Chavez is even afraid of US planes chasing narco terrorist in another country. How did South America get so many emasculated leaders?

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