Ecuador's El Universo Case

In July 2011, Ecuador's President Rafael Correa charged the three owners and one journalist of the daily newspaper El Universo with defamation for an opinion article written by columnist Emilio Palacio.

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  1. According to a special report by the Committee to Protect Journalists, since President Correa took office, he has built a network of more than 15 state-owned media outlets, and he has brought to court—and won—several defamation cases, including the case against El Universo. 

    Fundamedios, an organization working to protect press freedom in Ecuador, registered 156 aggressions against freedom of expression in 2011, the most of all Andean countries for that year. A Washington Post opinion article called Correa’s attempts to quash press freedom “the most comprehensive and ruthless assault on free media underway in the Western hemisphere.”
  2. Translation: "The court is deliberating. Our arguments were convincing. We hope that justice will prevail. Take heart!"
  3. Translation: "In Ecuador, yesterday the judges confirmed the Mayan prophecy. El Universo (the universe) will end in 2012. Thank God the Mayans were talking about that 'Universo.'"
  4. Caso El Universo, sentencia ratificada. Ecuador
  5. Translation: "It is really embarrassing to know that in Ecuador there is no justice and democracy is in full decline, I can only say that nobody is eternal in this world and that even the worst tyrants in the world have fallen .... my solidarity with El Universo ...."
  6. Translation: "Today, justice's dependency on the executive powers was confirmed! There is no justice in Ecuador."
  7. Translation: "The number of people this newspaper has hurt is amazing!"
  8. Translation: "@MashiRafael complete support!! No more news with lies we want to see and hear only the truth."
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