Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the Committee’s Ranking Member, issued a joint statement expressing their concern about the erosion of freedom of expression in Ecuador after the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, ordered the closure of Fundamedios, an Ecuadorian non-governmental organization dedicated to media transparency.

Chairman Royce, Ranking Member Engel said: “The decision to close Fundamedios is yet another example of the Correa Administration’s continued attack on a free and independent press. Time and time again, President Correa has chosen to crack down on press freedom by forcing media outlets to issue corrections, pay fines, and retract stories. In this difficult environment, Fundamedios has bravely defended the Ecuadorian press. As a result, the Correa Administration made the politically motivated decision to close Fundamedios.  We strongly condemn this action.

“While the Correa government would  have the international community think otherwise, the United States Congress is not alone in expressing concerns about press freedom in Ecuador. Over the years, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has been clear that press freedom is under attack in the country. We urge heads of state throughout the region to stand with the Ecuadorian people and condemn the forced closure of Fundamedios and all attempts to erode press freedoms across our hemisphere."