Blog, Ecuador, Latin America: Week in Review

Ecuadoran Journalist Emilio Palacio Flees Country

August 29, 2011 By Staff

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Former columnist for Ecuadoran daily El Universo Emilio Palacio, who is tied up in a high profile lawsuit brought by President Rafael Correa, has fled his home country. Palacio said in a letter posted to his Twitter account from Miami Sunday that he left Ecuador due to renewed threats against his freedom of expression. The alleged threats included a new lawsuit for libel for calling state journalists “fascists,” and the threat of a separate lawsuit for perjury, brought by a minister whose name Palacio said he could not remember. Palacio also said that authorities were pressuring him to name one of his anonymous sources in the police. Referring to elected President Rafael Correa as a “dictator,” Palacio said he feared he would wind up in prison. Correa won a lawsuit against Palacio and three executives of El Universo in July for libel that brought penalties of three years in prison and $42 million in fines. The defendants are appealing the decision, which was condemned by organizations supporting freedom of the press, including the Committee to Protect Journalists. Correa says he is treated unfairly by the Ecuadoran press.

Read more from the Associated Press.

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

  • More than 230,000 people have been displaced by Mexico’s drug war, about half whom are seeking refuge in the United States. Yet the U.S. government approves very few Mexican asylum applications. Raisa Camargo explores why in this report from El Paso.

Headlines from the Western Hemisphere

North America


  • Cuban folksinger Pablo Milanés, who identifies strongly with the Cuban Revolution, played a concert in Miami on Saturday.
  • The murder of a Haitian official and kidnapping of a U.S. citizen in Port-au-Prince prompted American authorities to issue a safety warning over the weekend.

Central America

  • Guatemala’s Constitutional Court approved the extradition of former President Alfonso Portillo to the United States, where he faces money laundering charges.
  • Indian Commerce Secretary Rahul Kullar will visit Panama and Colombia this week, where he will discuss the possibility of signing free trade agreements with the two countries.
  • A former Nicaraguan official said Friday that the country’s Sandinista government was behind the bomb that killed three journalists and four rebels at a 1984 news conference in neighboring Costa Rica.
  • Honduras recognized Palestine as an independent state Friday.


Southern Cone

Image: AteoP_23 @ Flickr.

Subscribe to Today in Latin America by Email