Three Ecuadorian television channels were the recipients of letter bombs, one of which exploded in the hands of a journalist on Monday March 20, injuring him superficially.
A journalist from regional and private TV Ecuavisa, in Guayaquil (southwest), received an envelope containing a USB key which exploded after being inserted into a computer, the channel said on its website.
He was superficially wounded in one hand and in the face, said the head of the criminal police, Xavier Chango.
The explosion, which occurred in the newsroom, caused no other injuries or material damage.
According to him, the explosive used could be “RDX”, “a military type explosive”.
The envelope also contained a threatening letter.
The prosecutor's office said in a statement that a letter bomb containing
"a USB key with the same characteristics"
had also been sent to the public channels TC Television, in Guayaquil, and Teleamazonas, in the capital Quito.
The press freedom organization Fundamedios pointed out that
"the same modus operandi was used"
with "letterheaded envelopes" with names.
Fundamedios considers these attacks as
“a new escalation of violence against the press: disturbing, unacceptable, violating freedom of expression and requiring the immediate intervention of the State”
"Attempts to intimidate"
In a statement, the government, through its Communication Secretariat (Segcom), expressed its solidarity, rejecting
“categorically any type of violent acts”
“attempts to intimidate journalists and the media”
The Ecuadorian human rights watchdog said it was concerned about these attacks on the media
"in a context of growing insecurity in Ecuador"
Last year in Ecuador, the national channel RTS was the target of fire, and in 2020 an explosive device targeted the premises of the television channel Teleamazonas.
Plagued by drug trafficking, the port of Guayaquil, Ecuador's second city, is now one of the most violent areas in the country.
Gangs and criminal groups, some of which are linked to Mexican cartels, are vying for control of the drug trafficking routes.
Explosive attacks have targeted security forces there in recent months.
Located between Colombia and Peru, the world's largest producers of cocaine, Ecuador has gone from being a simple transit country to that of an important distribution center to Europe and the United States.
Drug seizures continue to rise, and the rate of violent deaths has fallen from 14 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2021 to 25 in 2022.