Journalist flees Ecuador after clash with country’s president
Associated Press, August 29, 2011

An Ecuadorean journalist accused of libeling President Rafael Correa has fled the country.

Emilio Palacio issued a letter from Miami on Sunday saying he feared for his safety because of new pressures from what he called “the dictatorship.”

The alleged pressures include a new criminal charge for referring to a state television journalist as a fascist. Palacios says that “one would have to be blind not to understand that they want me behind bars.”

In July, a court sentenced Palacios and three executives of the newspaper Universo to three years in prison and $42 million in fines for libeling the president. They are appealing.

Correa denies trying to quash freedom of the press, saying he is only demanding fair reporting.