After almost four years of debate, with 108 votes in favor and 26 against, the Ecuadorian National Assembly passed a controversial Law of Communications propelled by President Rafael Correa.
The law creates a Council of Content Regulation “in order to craft and implement communications policies and regulate media,” as Tania Lara reports on the Centro Knight blog.
As an article [es] on DW explains, the Council on Content Regulation “will have power in spheres such as access to information, content and time slots, development of regulations and reports for the allocation of frequencies, among others. The council will regulate media content that is discriminatory or related to violence. For the media that broadcasts this content, the council would be able to impose sanctions that range from public apologies on behalf of the editors to heavy economic fines.”
The law [es] also prohibits “media lynching,” the spread of information “destined to discredit a person or legal entity or reduce their public credibility.” The regulation also distributes radio and television frequencies, “reserving 33% of these frequencies for public media operations, 33% for private media operations and 34% for community media operations.”
Andrés Páez (@andrespaezid) [es], an assemblyman of the opposition, labeled July 14, 2013, the day that the law was passed, as a “day of mourning”:
Mercy Castro (@Mercy2ACastr) [es], journalist for the daily La Hora, a private written publication, wrote in an outrage:
On the other hand, Isabella Buchelli B. (@IsaBuchelli) [es] reacted as follows:
Gabriela Rivadeneira (@gabrielaespais) [es], President of the National Assembly, appeared content upon the passage of the law:
The Correa administration has been characterized by the use of defamation laws to sue journalists and long official messages that interfere with the programming of independent media, according to report by the Committee for the Protection of Journalists.
Last year the Committee for the Protection of Journalists published this video about “Confrontation in Ecuador under Correa”:
The law, which contains 119 articles, now needs to be ratified by President Correa.