EspañolOn Tuesday, October 2, the Ecuadorian Communication Secretariat forcibly interrupted the regular broadcast of television channel Teleamazonas.
The interruption, known as transmisión en cadena (emergency broadcast), lasted seven minutes. During the broadcast, officials refuted comments made the previous day by María Josefa Coronel, host of the talk show Desayuno 24 Horas. During the program, the Ecuadorian journalist discussed the police’s violent repression of protesters during recent demonstrations.
Police officials were interviewed during the seven-minute broadcast, where they questioned Coronel’s decision not to comment on the violence directed at police from protesters.
Ecuadorian police representatives described Coronel’s comments as “inadmissible” and questioned her judgement. “To suggest the federal government is training police to assault citizens is a defamatory statement and completely out of line,” said the broadcast.
Once Teleamazona’s regular transmission was restored, María Coronel addressed the government’s statements. “A big salute to all the people who are forced to confront war. We said it from the beginning; we’ve always said it: do you reject my opinion? You have every right to reject it. If you do not like the comments, at least recognize that we have the right to express our opinion.”
These sorts of network interruptions are not unfamiliar throughout South America, including Venezuela, where former President Hugo Chávez would often take over the airwaves to address the public.