Ecuador: how an authoritarian government is fooling the entire world

Guess what? The Government of Rafael Correa actually is totally against free-speech and we got proofs on that

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The Ecuadorian government received international visibility when in 2012 it agreed to grant Wikileaks founder Julian Assange political asylum and host him in Ecuador's London embassy. Ecuador has since been widely praised for standing up to the United States to defend the freedom of the press and freedom of expression.

However, the reality is not consistent with this image Ecuador seeks to project. Journalists inside the country face oppressive laws, huge fines and lawsuits for reporting on government corruption. Digital and physical surveillance of journalists and activists is in fact getting worse.

We will analyze some of the existing leaks that prove such activities. We will also give a first-hand account from someone who had to literally run away from Ecuador for publishing leaked materials proving illegal espionage against journalists and citizens.

Is Ecuador really interested in free speech? We don't think so and we will tell you why.

The talk will be divided as the following:

1. The lie: Wikileaks and free speech advocacy

Analysis of current situation and recent past in an international scope.

2. The truth: Surveillance, oppressive laws and huge fees

Analysis of recent cases of freedom of speech suppression in the country (lawsuits, fines, political pressure, surveillance).

Analysis of already published leaks proving attacks on freedom of speech, expression and personal privacy.

Analysis of government public discourse to legitimate such actions.

3. A new leak

A new leak will be published during the talk: a secret document providing strong evidence that the government of Ecuador is not interested in free speech at all - or even freedom itself.


Bethany Horne grew up in Ecuador. She worked there for the state newspaper, El Telégrafo, and later for the Free/Libre Open Knowledge Society, a research group operating out of a state university to develop policy for the Ecuadorian government. In 2013, she published a feature article in Newsweek magazine about Ecuador's oil drilling in the Amazon and human rights violations against local indigenous groups. As a result of this publication, she became a target of state surveillance. She now lives in Berlin.

Pedro Noel is co-editor at Associated Whistleblowing Press (AWP). Working on leaks since 2010, took part in more than 30 disclosures of leaked materials and performed analysis on leaked material denouncing wrongdoing and information of public interest in more than 15 countries. He is currently staff of Ecuador Transparente, a digital whistleblowing platform that in August 2015 published 31 pieces of secret information belonging to the Ecuadorian intelligence body.

Talk ID
Hall 2
7 p.m.
Ethics, Society & Politics
Type of
Pedro Noel
Bethany Horne
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