President Lenin Moreno is proposing a re-write of Ecuador’s controversial communication law, including the elimination of the media policing agency, Supercom.
According to Moreno, the current law, which was passed during the administration of former president Rafael Correa, was designed to punish news media that disagreed with the government.
“Freedom of expression is a right that should not be the object of control or surveillance, but of protection by the state,” he said during his Monday night address to the nation. “As the law is now written, its primary objective is to control the media, not to protect free speech, and we will change this.”
Moreno said that the media watchdog agency, Supercom, will be eliminated entirely. Supercom handed out fines to print and electronic media for violating policies of the communication law. In more than one case, it fined newspapers for not publishing information the government deemed to be in the “national interest.”
The president also said that the government is considering the sale of newspapers, tv and radio stations that it owns, most of which were seized for non-payment of taxes.