This past February 6, Palacio penned an editorial in El Universo, "No to Lies," that would lead to his exile. It's no fluff piece — it calls Correa "the Dictator" eight times and ends, "A new president, maybe your enemy, could drag you to court for having ordered [your soldiers] to open fire whenever they want and without notice on a hospital full of civilians and innocent people."

Which, by the way, is what transpired, according to some firsthand testimony.

But in March, Correa — personally, not as president — accused Palacio and three El Universo board members of defamation. He demanded they pay $80 million and spend three years in jail. Correa, before the lawsuit, had packed the courts with judges loyal to him.

In June, he pushed through a national referendum, barely approved, that limits media ownership and stifles press coverage. He also started his own TV station. The next month, a judge awarded Correa half the total, $40 million, and sentenced the four to the full three years in jail.

Palacio and the others appealed, but the case came to a head last month when prosecutors demanded to know the source of a videotape that Palacio had obtained showing the president calling the police traitors. "I knew if they called me in, I would have to give up my sources or go to jail," he says. "So I jumped on a plane and came to Miami as a tourist."

Palacio has no idea when he will return home. "Correa calls everyone who's not on his side a traitor," Palacio says. "That's what he does to enemies."

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1 comments
Al895online
Al895online

Mr. Strouse,Your biased article fails to mention:1) Palacio's column accused Correa of "crimes against humanity"2) Private media ownership is highly concentrated in Ecuador, individual mediums are often owned by a single family3) Palacio said that in the video he obtained, Correa calls to shoot police officers in the chest, something that private media repeated, but it turned out to be false, as demonstrated by clearer videos (a simple google search for this video would have been sufficient research on your part)4) where did you get the figures that 51% consider 30-S to be a "fraud"? Sources? 5) more than 70% of Ecuadorians according to numerous polls approve of the government (remember, this is a key component of what "democracy" means)

In the future, please try to present both viewpoints fairly, and please consider doing more extensive research.

 
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