Government of Ecuador uses illegally obtained information to attack journalist and Fundamedios
Dec 3, Quito: On 26 November 2015, the segment “Desenmascarando” of State TV station EcuadorTV's news program, accused former journalist Martín Pallares of being the “new political actor against the government”, stating that the journalist went to the USA to seek funding from right-wing extremist organizations, for which Fundamedios served as a nexus. The program quoted information from “a blog”, (tripamishqui.com) which reports information about meetings and private conversations that could only have been obtained through the monitoring or intervention of emails and other communications.
The 11 minute-long segment questioned the presence of Pallares, along with the directors of Fundamedios César Ricaurte and Mauricio Alarcón, in a hearing on the situation of freedoms in Venezuela before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The report stated: “The question is what was Pallares doing at this hearing? Well, according to a blog, he was there with the intention of seeking funding for a journalism project that is opposed to the approval of a constitutional amendment, and for this he met with representatives of US NGOs close to the extreme right, such as Human Rights Watch and NED." According to State TV, the blog also mentioned that Pallares met with the financiers of Fundamedios.
On 26 November, the former Communications Secretary, Fernando Alvarado, wrote to Pallares on Twitter, and using the hashtag #vendepatrias (a term that means someone who sells out his country), sent him the link to a site that lists organizations that are funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and have alleged links to the CIA. The site also includes an article published by the government newspaper El Telégrafo in January 2014 titled “US NED will finance media project in Ecuador”, which states that former assemblywoman and activist Martha Roldós was promoting “a series of actions to generate media opposition against the Ecuadorian government” and that “the project has no media or journalistic purpose, but to sustain the political opposition”. At the time, Roldós reported being the victim of a smear campaign orchestrated by the official media and that the information on which the government media were based was obtained illegally.
Fundamedios' directors reject the comments and insults expressed in this segment and denounce the monitoring and/or interception of private emails and conversations.
This is not the first time that this program has tried to discredit Fundamedios. In September of this year the organization was accused of being funded by the CIA, of sending information to the United States and having reached an “internal loss of prestige that has borne its fruits abroad”. Fundamedios has repeatedly requested (11 times over the last few weeks), that its right to rectification and reply against false, inaccurate and baseless accusations should be complied with. Neither the TV stations managed by the government nor other government-owned media have complied with this constitutional obligation.
The Oslo Times