The people of Ecuador are rising up to refound their country as a pluri-national homeland for all. This inspiring movement, with Ecuador's indigenous peoples at its heart, is part of the revolution spreading across the Americas, laying the groundwork for a new, fairer, world. Ecuador Rising aims to bring news and analysis of events unfolding in Ecuador to english speakers.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Ecuador's Correa says to fight media corruption

QUITO (Reuters) - Ecuador's government plans to crack down on media companies that used corruption to get state-issued radio and television concessions, President Rafael Correa said on Saturday.

The announcement by the leftist Ecuadorean leader came amid fears a probe into radio and television frequencies could be used to punish his critics. Correa has clashed with the media, accusing some of favoring the opposition and business groups.

"Even if the costs are high we will correct all this corruption that has led to the awarding of radio and television frequencies," Correa said during his weekly media address.

"Be ready, because this fight against corruption... will be called an attempt against freedom of speech," he said.

Ecuador's national assembly, dominated by Correa's party, ordered the probe into media frequencies last year. Government officials have said the state could remove concessions awarded to private companies if corruption is proven.

Correa, who has vowed to push more radical socialist policies since his April re-election, said the probe was aimed at media who made a business out of selling frequencies and used political influence to get government concessions.

He added that it would not target political opponents or infringe on press freedoms.

But there are concerns that Correa may follow in the footsteps of his leftist ally, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who threatened this week to close a top anti-government television station for fomenting civil unrest.

Ecuadorean media regulators are investigating Teleamazonas, a private broadcaster often critical of Correa's government, for reporting opposition charges of vote fraud in the April 26 general election.

The station broadcast live shots of opposition politicians storming a computer data company they said was manipulating electoral results. It could be fined or its license temporarily suspended if found guilty of violating the media law.

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