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Ecuador: Blogger Detained for Offenses Against Attorney General

The detainment [es] of Ecuadorian blogger Víctor Vizcaíno Luzuriaga for alleged offenses against Attorney General Washington Pesántez [es] became a trend [es] on Twitter, with strong reactions in the blogosphere and a harsh analysis regarding freedom of expression in Ecuador. The blogger was detained for the crime of offenses [es] against officials (Art. 231 from the Ecuadorian Criminal Code). Many have been commenting on the situation online with the Twitter hashtag #presoporopinar [es] (in English: detained for expressing his opinion).

The blogger was freed following the formalization of the judicial report. He would have argued “forgery of identity” to write off the offenses, but he affirmed that he was not the creator nor the author of the messages highlighted on said webpage, as The Guayaquil Times [es] reported.

Vizcaíno blogs La Plegaria de un Pagano [es] (currently set to private) and has a YouTube [es] page whose description is “A Youtube channel of open and frontal opposition to socialism and its declared stupidity.”  His Twitter account, (@victorvizcaino) with more than 600 followers contains his autobiography: [es]

Busco ser inmortal a punta de egoismo e individualismo pese a una pulsión de muerte buscadora del bien común, aun creo que podré, aunque sea de forma virtual.

I look to be immortal to the point of egoism and individuality despite an impulse of death seeking the common good, I still I believe I can, but in virtual form.

blog plegaria de un pagano

From his blog, he wrote an article about the Attorney General's actions; the post was entitled “Washington Pesantes… criminal, accessory to criminals and f**got” [es]. The blog post accuses the wife of Ecuadorian Attorney General, Washington Pesantes, of running over a Colombian girl [es] and later accuses the General of a series of acts such as “crook” and “homosexual.” His post states:

Todo ha quedado frío, es impresionante descubrir el poder del dinero y el miedo de algunos medios junto a la población general

Everything has become cold, it's impressive to discover the power of money and the fear of certain mediums in conjunction with the general public

Vizcaíno defines his blog as “proudly Guayaquileño, right-wing and liberal with news, current events, opinions, politics, poetry, science, psychoanalysis and more.” [es] The site contains publications, videos and photo montages in which Vizcaíno questions the “regime” of Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, and his collaborators, among them Attorney General Pesántez.

The blogger is also a member of the Libertarian Movement (that has a Facebook page) [es], which supports the ‘No’ in the referendum from May 7. Ecuador Inmediato [es] indicates that the investigations against Vizcaíno began over a year ago.

Eduardo Palacios, in the Tecnodatum [es] blog explains:

Vizcaíno es el primer bloguero ecuatoriano en ser detenido por las opiniones expresadas de su blog

Vizcaíno is the first Ecuadorian blogger to be detained for opinions expressed on his blog

Blogger Varth Deider [es] on the blog entitled Comentarios del lado oscuro [es] (Comments from the dark side) defends the anonymity of blogger identities.

Es como el caso de este blog en donde los posts, en su mayoría, están suscritos por un tal Varth Deider, personaje imaginario sin cédula de identidad o ciudadanía. Cualquiera que sepa la clave de este blog podría publicar textos los cuales saldrían publicados con dicho nombre.

Hasta donde yo se, cualquier persona con acceso a la clave del sitio “laplegariadeunpagano.com” puede publicar bajo el seudónimo de “Víctor Vizcaíno”; porque, sépanlo señores, en los blogs se firma con seudónimos.

It's like the case of this blog where the posts, in their majority, are written under one Varth Deider, an imaginary character without an identity card or citizenship. Whoever knows the password to this blog could publish text that would be published under said name.

For all I know, anybody with access to the site “laplegariadeunpagano.com” could be published under the pseudonym of “Víctor Vizcaíno”; because, take note people, blogs are signed with pseudonyms.

The blog balconperegrino, in its post “Aterrizó el buitre negro sobre la blogosfera” [es], comments:

en ningún país democrático se persiguen juicios por “ofensas” contra funcionarios del Estado, pues eso atenta contra la esencia misma de la democracia, que es la libertad de cada ciudadano para emitir juicios y criterios sobre la labor de sus supuestos representantes.
Arrestar por una supuesta ofensa verbal es propio de un país que se regodea en el subdesarrollo. Un país de operetta, de soldaditos de plomo, de provocado analfabetismo, de gobernantes con delirio de grandeza, un banana republic a fin de cuentas.

In no democratic country is anyone persecuted for “offenses” against State officials [es], as that goes against the very essence of democracy, which is the liberty of each citizen to voice judgments and criticisms about  the work of his or her supposed representatives. To arrest someone for a supposed verbal offense is characteristic of a country that takes great pleasure in underdevelopment. An operettist country, of tin soldiers, provoked illiteracy, leaders with delusions of grandeur, a banana republic in the end.

Elinternet.es denounces the detention in their post, “Signs of blocking free speech on the Internet from Ecuador.” [es]

Este hecho que busca silenciar la voz de un Ciber Activista y blogger opositor en el Ecuador es condenado por el equipo directivo del portal el internet es, y exiguimos que se respeten las garantias de libertad de expresion en el Ecuador, y que se realice una investigacion contra el Fiscal Pensantes quien ha enviado a este Blogger Ecuatoriano (de la ciudad de Guayaquil) a la capital (Quito) para investigaciones.

This act that looks to silence the voice of a cyber activist and opposition blogger in Ecuador is condemned by the executive team of the portal el internet es, and we demand that the guarantees of freedom of expression in Ecuador are respected, and that an investigation is started against General Pensantes who has sent this Ecuadorian blogger (from the city of Guayaquil) to the capital (Quito) for further investigations.

Not all bloggers share this opinion. Lola Cienfuegos (@lolacienfuegos) tweets:

El susodicho bloguero Víctor Vizcaíno es el mismo que denuncié en mi blog como farsante en este post http://tinyurl.com

The aforementioned blogger Víctor Vizcaíno is the same that I denounced in my blog as a fraud in this post http://tinyurl.com [es]

Alfred Naranjo (@anaranjoc) alludes to one of Vizcaíno's posts to show his disagreement:

otra perla de Mr. Vizcaino http://twitter.com/#!/victorvizcaino/status/20868641028 #presoporopinar

Nevertheless, far beyond the positions in favor or against the Ecuadorian blogger, Tweeters show their concern for topics like freedom of expression and censorship. Víctor Sánchez (@vicosanz) comments:

#presoporopinar chuta ahora si las cárceles van a estar abarrotadas!!

#presoporopinar shoot, now prisons are going to be jam packed!!

Rafael Méndez Meneses (@kevinhurlt) defends:

#presoporopinar una cosa es criticar, otra cosa es iinsultar. Una cosa es injuriar, otra cosa es opinar #nodefiendanloindefendible

#presoporopinar one thing is to criticize, another is to insult. One thing is to slander, another is to give your opinion #nodefiendanloindefendible

Carlos Miguel F-C (@CarlosMiguelFC) contributes:

“sto NO ES diario online, NO SOY comunicador social y NO TENGO xq ser imparcial” (blog de @victorvizcaino #presoporopinar)”

“this IS NOT an online daily, I AM NOT a social communicator and I DO NOT HAVE a reason to be impartial” (@victorvizcaino‘s blog #presoporopinar)”

User @menospons poses the real question:

Me pregunto cuantos blogueros habrán corrido a proteger sus blogs hoy para q no les pase lo de @victorvizcaino #presoporopinar?

I ask myself how many bloggers will have run to protect their blogs today so that that which happened to @victorvizcaino doesn't happen to them? #presoporopinar

Eduardo Yaguar (@eyaguar) shares a concern:

RT @palulo: ¿El siguiente podría ser un twittero? #Libertadexpresion #presoporopinar // Maestro, acaso seré yo?

RT @palulo: Can the next one be a Twitter user? #Libertadexpresion #presoporopinar // Hey man, perhaps it will be me?

Fabian Pozo (@fabianpozo) comments on the paradox of the blogger's detainment on the Day of Freedom of Expression [es]:

#presoporopinar el bloguero Victor Vizcaino, justo en el dia de la libertad de expresion!!

#presoporopinar blogger Victor Vizcaino, on the day of freedom of expression of all days!!

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