Reply to article: “NGO alert: Ecuadorian government orders press freedom group to disband (5th September 2015) by Carlos Abad, Ecuadorian Ambassador to the UK
17 de Septiembre de 2015 - 11h14
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The article “NGO alert: Ecuadorian government orders press freedom group to disband” 9th September 2015, states that “The Ecuadorian government has issued the NGO with an order to close down” This is not correct. In fact, the NGO Fundamedios received an official letter from the Ministry of Communication, informing them of the beginning of an administrative procedure into its activities.
It is incorrect to report that something has happened, when in fact it is only one possible outcome of an investigation. Nor has Fundamedios ever been warned to “stop issuing alerts”, as the article claims. A request made to the NGO on June 2015 urged it to comply with its own statutes, specifically those articles relating to a prohibition of involvement in political affairs, which is exclusively the power of political parties.
Ecuador has clear rules distinguishing the role of political parties from NGOs. These have their origins in trying to stop foreign and domestic actors carrying out political activities outside of the clearly defined rules.
The investigation is a result of allegations of breaches of these rules and of Fundamedios engaging in “partisan political activities”. For example, calls by Fundamedios for people to attend protests against the “regime” and opposed to new taxes on the wealthy would appear to fall outside its remit as a media watchdog.
There was also a request for Fundamedios to disclose its sources of financing. This NGO has also not complied with this request so an administrative process has been initiated. Fundamedios has received significant resources from the National Endowment for Democracy and USAID, US government funded groups long accused of funding opposition movements in Latin America. The USA Ambassador in Ecuador has admitted the USAID funding.
Regarding the alleged “excessive use of force by police and military against mass protest, I recommend that The Guardians readers refer to my previous letter published be the newspaper, in the following link: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/27/the-right-to-protest-in-ecuador-is-absolutely-granted , in order to get a real picture of a country that is being portrayed in a hostile and biased manner.
Ambassador of Ecuador to the UK
TO VIEW FULL LETTER: LETTER TO READERS EDITOR THE GUARDIAN 16/09/2015
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