ALBAWABA - A journalist from Ecuador's private television station sustained injuries to his hands and face after a disk drive mailed to him by unknown senders exploded in his computer.
International media outlets reported that in the coastal city of Guayaquil, journalist Lenin Artide received an envelope with a flash drive that exploded when he inserted it into a computer, injuring his hand and face on Monday.
Later, Interior Minister Juan Zapata announced that the letter bombs were sent to five journalists working in various television and radio stations in Ecuador.
Letter bombs were sent to at least five journalists working in TV and radio stations in violence-plagued Ecuador Monday, one of which exploded without causing serious injury, Interior Minister Juan Zapata said. #EcuadorTV #letterbomb https://t.co/d6gYoH4rey— ANews (@anews) March 21, 2023
The prosecution began investigating what it branded as the "crime of terrorism," without revealing why news stations and journalists were being targeted.
No details were immediately available on the perpetrator.
According to the minister, police intercepted another parcel addressed to a third journalist at the courier company before it reached its destination.
Letter bombs were sent to at least five journalists working in TV and radio stations in Ecuador yesterday, one of which exploded, the country's Interior Minister has said https://t.co/tt6G6PD0Px— RTÉ News (@rtenews) March 21, 2023
News reports said that a forth letter bomb was sent to the offices of TC Ecuadorian television, but no further details were disclosed.
Zapata considered the movements a clear message to silence journalists.
In turn, the Ecuadorean government voiced its categorical rejection of any form of violence against journalists and media outlets.
Letter bombs were sent to at least five journalists at TV and radio stations in violence-plagued Ecuador on Monday, one of which exploded without causing serious injuryhttps://t.co/IzEzs72JSy pic.twitter.com/fsdAT6OZjJ— AFP News Agency (@AFP) March 21, 2023
Ecuador, which is located between Colombia and Peru, is the largest producer of cocaine in the world.
The country saw a jump in murder rates from 14 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2021 to 25 per 100,000 in 2022.