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Ecuador spikes telenovela

Gov-backed broadcaster drops 'Rosario'

Ecuador’s state-owned TC Television has dropped Colombian telenovela “Rosario Tijeras” a month after its debut on May 17, citing its violent content.

The skein, adapted from Jorge Franco’s eponymously titled bestseller, which was also made into a top-grossing pic in Colombia, follows a young girl who leads her two well-heeled admirers into the underworld of drugs while she wreaks havoc as a sicario, the Spanish word for hired assassin.

“We decided to unilaterally cancel ‘Rosario Tijeras’ and will assume any costs incurred,” says TC Television programming chief Alfredo Adum. “This telenovela did not help Ecuador in its ongoing campaign against sicarios.”

In real life, countries like Colombia are plagued by these underage killers, and Ecuador is pushing anti-crime measures. The skein was scrapped the same week the administration restricted the hours in which alcohol could be sold, along with other security measures.

Ratings were high for “Rosario Tijeras,” between 17 to 25 points, during its run but fortunately for TC, its replacement, the more benign and romantic Colombian telenovela “Dona Bella,” is posting equally high ratings. While TC Television’s move was hailed by parent and youth orgs, not everyone approves.

In statements to the local press, TV critic Cesar Ricaurte questioned the decision. “Why do they keep filling news programs with stories of violent crime and death then?” he asks.

This is not the first time a Colombian telenovela has been targeted. Last February, Panama’s government pressured local webs to push “Rosario Tijeras” and other Colombian drug cartel-themed novelas to later hours.

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