Ecuador revokes Shuar radio broadcast license

QUITO, Ecuador - Ecuador has revoked the broadcast license for an Indigenous radio station in the Amazon region over accusations it incited violence during protests in October.

Station director Pepe Acacho said Wednesday that radio Arutam continues to broadcast to the Shuar Indian community in spite of the revocation.

The Shuar put up barbed-wire roadblocks on highway bridges in Ecuador's southeastern jungles in October to protest proposed legislation they said would allow mining on Indian lands without their consent and lead to the privatization of water.

After a protester was killed, President Rafael Correa backed away from the proposal and withdrew police from the restive area.

"We are going to be on alert, in constant communication with our followers," said Acacho, also a Shuar leader. "We've warned before about persecution by the government against our Indigenous movement, especially against the Shuar Federation."

Also on Wednesday, nationwide TV broadcaster Teleamazonas filed a new appeal against a three-day shutdown by Ecuador's telecommunication regulator.

The station, which went off the air Tuesday, has been highly critical of what its news anchor has suggested are Correa's autocratic tendencies.

Correa said Wednesday that he did not have any influence over the decision by regulators to sanction Teleamazonas for allegedly reporting false information.

The June broadcast cited by the regulator claimed Ecuador's natural gas exploration in the Gulf of Guayaquil being done jointly with Venezuela's state oil company could force the suspension of fishing for six months.

Teleamazonas's vice president of news, Carlos Jijon, insisted Wednesday that the suspension was politically motivated.

"I have the right to suspect that the decision to close Teleamazonas was not made by the superintendent of telecommunications but instead by the president of Ecuador," he said.

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