Public letter to Vice President Otto Sonnenholzner from PICHINCHA COMUNICACIONES E.P.

Given the expressions of the Vice President of the Republic, Otto Sonnenholzner, in dialogue with three journalists, on Wednesday night, January 29, 2020, in space # 60MinutosConOtto, we allowed ourselves to point out the following:

We are struck that the vice president of a country and owner of a radio station points out criminal responsibilities over a means of communication in the middle of three processes initiated by his Government. Unfortunately, that does not contribute to a clean process, without pressure and not with the corresponding impartiality. The pronouncement of the vice president – recognized by accredited jurists – influences the decisions of the entities that are under his authority.

We are surprised that he ensures that the Pichincha Universal radio has called for “insurgency, chaos, to dismiss a government.” There is no single evidence to prove it. We invoke public responsibility when issuing comments based on false premises and from assumptions created by second and third level officials. All of which, when working, constitutes pressure and harassment.

Mr. Vice President, you presided over AER and you know the meaning of radio work, the importance of listening and dissent, that the media are not directly responsible for the expressions of the guests and the citizens. On several occasions, before being Vice President, you defended freedom of expression and now you cannot say that we must “respond to the law”, because Arcotel DOES NOT REGULATE CONTENTS. And you should also know that if the Ministry of Defense had issued a report against any of the broadcasters of your property today you would be using our arguments in your favor.

For this reason, we cordially invite you to visit our station, participate in our opinion and information programs to learn about our professional, ethical and political behavior. You said it: denying an interview to a medium is a form of censorship that public officials cannot commit because article 18 of the Constitution clearly states it. You should know that we have invited all the ministers of your government, the President of the Republic, Lenín Moreno Garcés, but the refusal and silence are the recurring response.

We appeal to its status as a broadcaster and authority to avoid expressions that only make national understanding and reconciliation more difficult after what happened last October. We, neither now, nor before, nor in the future will accept, let alone increase, restrictions on freedom of expression, press and business.

For the above and in consideration of your esteem for professional practice and being part of a long tradition of broadcaster, we thank you for answering our requests.

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