A civil court in Ecuador ordered two journalists to pay President Rafael Correa more than $2 million in damages for a book entitled “The Big Brother.”
Judge Mercedes Pontilla ordered journalists Juan Carlos Calderon and Christian Zurita to pay Mr. Correa $1 million each and an additional $100,000 for legal costs.
The journalists co-wrote the book that is based on an allegation that government contracts worth about $170 million were awarded to businesses linked to Fabricio Correa, the president’s older brother.
Another journalist, Emilio Palacio, had to flee the country and is now seeking asylum in the USA,
Ecuador newspaper columnist facing prison, fines at home seeks US asylum in Miami hearing
Palacio was chief opinion writer for the opposition El Universo newspaper when he was sued for libel by President Correa. He and the paper’s three owners and the newspaper itself were fined $42 million because of a February 2011 column titled “No To Lies.” The four men were also sentenced to three years each in prison.
It’s only the beginning, folks.