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  • President Lenin Moreno visiting areas affected by protests in Quito, Ecuador Oct. 17, 2019.

    President Lenin Moreno visiting areas affected by protests in Quito, Ecuador Oct. 17, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 15 November 2019

Over the last month, Ecuadorian authorities have taken off several outlets that covered social protests.

International news network Russia Today (RT) on Friday denounced that Ecuador's public television operator took it off the air without providing reasons.

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"Without prior notice or explanation, Ecuador's National Telecommunications Corporation (CNT), which is the public provider of television services in the country, has cut off RT signal which was broadcasted through channel 778," Russia Today said. 

In October, during massive protests against President Lenin Moreno's austerity measures, the RT network broadcasted live what was happening in this Andean country.

Meanwhile, local mainstream media created an informative "blockade" against social movements and progressive parties.

On that occasion, Ecuador's Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo blamed Russia for promoting violence in her country and hinted that RT would be the instrument of an ongoing plot against her government.

"It is striking that protests were broadcasted live on the Russian government's public channel," Romo said and specified that RT made coverage of "everything that was happening on the streets."

People mobilized for peace, did we forget Ecuador? Lenin in Ecuador: hired snipers slaughter people in the streets to impose the IMF neoliberal policy package on blood and fire. OAS and Lima Group applaud the killing."
 

In making these accusations, however, Romo seemed unaware that other international media such as EFE, El Pais or La Vanguardia also made very thorough coverage of the Ecuadorean popular uprising.

The Ecuadorean government's decision to cut the RT off the air surprised even the Russian company's local journalists and anchors. 

"I am capable of understanding either people or governments do not agree with one outlet or another. However, the media exist to generate a public opinion. That is called pluralism and consists of being able to get information from different sources to draw conclusions. Censorship is not the way," Fernando Terranova, the RT anchor in Ecuador, said.

During the October protests, President Lenin Moreno's administration also banned Telesur Spanish Network from its state-controlled media company.

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