EcuadorAmericas News News April 10, 2020 Find out more RSF_en Two months before Assange’s extradition hearing, RSF calls for his release on humanitarian grounds and for US Espionage Act charges to be dropped The 60-day prison sentence passed by the high court of the central province of Cotopaxi on Nelson Fueltala, the correspondent of the La Gaceta daily newspaper and Radio Latacunga, for insulting the mayor of Pujilí was disproportionate and liable to encourage self-censorship, Reporters Without Borders said today.“This court’s ruling is both grossly unjust and dangerous,” the press freedom organisation said. “It is unjust because prison sentences should never be passed in this kind of case. It is dangerous because it poses a threat to free expression for the Ecuadorean press and, as a result, fosters self-censorship. We hope the supreme court will overturn this decision and, in the process, establish a legal precedent.”A report Fueltala wrote for the 2 June 2006 issue of La Gaceta quoted comments by then municipal commissioner Ricardo Estrella criticising Pujilí mayor Marcelo Arroyo Ruiz. The mayor brought a complaint before a local court, which acquitted Fueltala.His acquittal was overturned on 6 March by the high court, which ordered Fueltala to pay 70 dollars in damages and sentenced him to 60 days in prison. The ruling has triggered an outcry in the Ecuadorean media. The municipal commission called it “a violation of human rights in a democratic country.”Fueltala’s lawyer, Luis Carrillo, immediately appealed to the supreme court in Quito, which agreed on 13 March to consider the case although it has not yet set a date. Fueltala does not have to begin serving the sentence as long as the appeal is pending.Journalists demonstrated in support of press freedom outside the town hall on 28 March. They were joined by police, and together they continued the protest outside the Cotopaxi provincial high court building. Coronavirus: State measures must not allow surveillance of journalists and their sources December 24, 2019 Find out more Receive email alerts EcuadorAmericas Coronavirus “information heroes” – journalism that saves lives Follow the news on Ecuador June 15, 2020 Find out more Help by sharing this information News to go further April 2, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Court imposes “unjust and dangerous” prison sentence on provincial newspaper correspondent News Organisation
Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, is encouraging members of the Consular Corps to assist in attracting investment from the global trading community, in the development of Jamaica’s global transshipment and logistics hub. Mr. Hylton extended the invitation during an awards dinner hosted by the Consular Corps of Jamaica for visiting directors of the World Federation of Consuls at the Wyndham Hotel in Kingston on Friday (January 25). “We know that this logistics hub, will extend the reach and borders of our traditional industries while facilitating the growth and development of new and diversified industries that will move the country further up the global value chain. We invite your partnership and support as we seek to take our big idea to the world,” he said. “You can help us in a number of ways, spread the word, tell your network of influencers in your respective jurisdictions that Jamaica is a global asset. Tell them that we are open for their ideas and their investments; tell them that there is a first mover advantage if they move now and if they do so quickly,” he added. [RELATED: Logistics Hub to Stimulate and Sustain Growth – Minister Hylton] Mr. Hylton said the development of the hub, which is estimated to cost between US$7 billion and US$8 billion, over a five to 10 year period, is being spearheaded by the Government in an effort to position Jamaica to take advantage of the anticipated increased maritime activities, expected to result from the expansion of the Panama Canal by 2015. The Minister said the development of the hub would make it the fourth such facility globally, along with those in Singapore, Dubai, United Arab Emirates and Rotterdam, Netherlands. Central to the development are: dredging of the Kingston Harbour; expansion of the Port of Kingston; development of the Caymanas Economic Zone, a transshipment commodity port, and Vernamfield in Clarendon as an air-cargo and passenger facility; and establishment of a dry dock facility. The Minister highlighted that Jamaica is ideally positioned for the establishment of the hub, based on its location, midway between North and South America, and in relative proximity to the Panama Canal. He said the island is already a major transshipment corridor and is the leading transshipment point for containerized cargo to the Caribbean, North and South America. Mr. Hylton said the plan is to expand the current infrastructure and to add new facilities, services and arrangements in order to create a cohesive network of logistics and shipping facilities that will position Jamaica to become the fourth such facility. “Jamaica’s surplus of professional and skilled workforce will be a primary factor in the success of Jamaica’s logistics hub and the corollary initiative such as the establishment of an international financial services centre. We will also be relying on our robust and expansive telecommunications infrastructure across the island as well as our extensive subsea fibre network,” he added. The newly elected board of directors of the World Federation of Consuls, a global network of Consular Associations created to support and improve the status, legitimacy and effectiveness of all consular officers in all receiving States, has been in Jamaica from January 23 to 26 for its second board meeting of which Arnold Foote has been presiding over.
State Minister for Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Julian Robinson, is confident that the proposed Venture Capital Development Fund, which will target financing for newly established businesses, will be in place by year end.Speaking at the opening session of the University of Technology’s 18th annual students’ conference at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston on Wednesday, March 20, Mr. Robinson assured that the initiative will facilitate access to private equity financing by fledging entrepreneurs encountering challenges accessing funds through traditional sources, such as commercial banks.“We are acutely aware that some of you may not be able to go to a bank and borrow money and that is a huge hindrance in allowing you to build and develop those ideas. I am very confident that before the end of the year we will be in a position to announce the start of the new venture capital fund facility,” he said.Mr. Robinson also reiterated the government’s commitment in facilitating information and communication technology access to as many persons as possible, noting that this is imperative in an era of “rapidly changing technological advances”, globally.The State Minister said this commitment will be fulfilled through the Universal Service Fund (USF), which has already established over 100 Community Access Points (CAPs) in schools, post offices, churches, and community centres islandwide, equipped with computers and internet connectivity.By O. Rodger Hutchinson, JIS Reporter