IS FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AT RISK IN ECUADOR?

With much pain and indignation we see in the news that renowned journalists in Ecuador have received envelopes with explosives, whose only purpose was to cause harm to them and their co-workers, since they received them in the media where they work.

They are very well known journalists with a long trajectory who have been very frontal in criticizing several government policies, crime rates, denouncing corruption cases, among others. It seems that Ecuador is currently under a regime of fear and chaos.

Freedom of expression is in red letters, bathed in innocent blood, among that of dozens of children who have died victims of stray bullets in cases of hired killings in our country.

It is really something unusual what is happening. What we used to see only in action movies in the cinema, today sadly is a terrible reality, it has surpassed everything and now we are living in a country where crime is the order of the day, and at any moment it can knock on our door.

We want to publicly express our solidarity with our journalist friends who received these explosive devices.

We raise our voice so that the authorities really put a stop to this wave of kidnappings, murders, assassinations, femicides, attacks, in short, the list is long.

Thanks to our GPT Chat (being the first time I use it, and I thought it was fantastic) I asked him to help me with the possible actions that journalists can take when they receive an envelope of strange origin. This is what he was able to tell me.

If a journalist receives an envelope bomb, it is important that they act immediately to protect themselves and those around them.

Steps journalists can take to keep themselves safe in such a situation:

  1. Leave the area: If the envelope bomb is discovered in a workplace or public area, the journalist should evacuate the area immediately and call for help.
  2. Alert the authorities: Once outside, the journalist should call 911 or the local bomb squad and inform them of the location of the envelope bomb. They should also give as many details as possible about the envelope, such as what it looks like and any suspicious markings or writing on it.
  3. Avoid tampering with the envelope: The reporter should not attempt to move or tamper with the bomb envelope in any way, as this could set off the bomb and cause damage.
  4. Follow instructions: If the authorities give specific instructions for staying safe, the journalist should follow them carefully and without hesitation.
  5. Seek medical attention: If the journalist has suffered any type of injury, he or she should seek medical attention immediately.

It is also important for journalists to have a safety plan in place beforehand. This may include training on how to identify suspicious packages and what to do if they encounter one. In addition, journalists can take steps to protect their personal information and avoid publishing controversial or sensitive material that could put them at risk.

This information is very valuable and allows us to identify possible channels for journalists to proceed, so that they do not find themselves in a very dangerous situation that could threaten their lives and the lives of their colleagues.

Some examples in the world of bomb envelopes

Unfortunately, there have been cases of journalists who have received envelope bombs. Here are some examples

In 2018, CNN’s New York offices received a package bomb that was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan. The package contained an explosive device and several more were also sent to prominent Democrats.

In 2014, an envelope bomb was sent to the Glasgow offices of the Scottish newspaper The Herald. The building was evacuated and explosive ordnance disposal experts carried out a controlled explosion.

In 2011, a package containing a small explosive device was sent to the offices of The Times of Malta. The device was defused by bomb disposal experts, and the police launched an investigation.

In 2008, a letter containing a suspicious powder and a threatening note was sent to the office of a radio broadcaster in Denver, Colorado. The building was evacuated and the powder was later found to be harmless.

In each of these cases, the recipients took immediate action to ensure their safety and the safety of others. They contacted the authorities, evacuated the building and carefully followed instructions.

While these incidents are troubling, it is important to remember that they are rare and that journalists can take steps to protect themselves and minimize risk.

We sincerely hope that this crime wave does not continue in Ecuador.

We ask that the authorities take immediate and drastic action to remove from the streets criminals and people who only want to intimidate and silence journalists who comply with their duties.

We call for immediate and drastic action by the authorities to remove from the streets criminals and people who only want to intimidate and silence journalists who do their job of informing society every day.

#Ecuador wants to live in peace.

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