Opposition Ecuador journalist to beg in streets to pay libel

An Ecuadorean opposition journalist convicted of libeling President Rafael Correa says he is broke and must take up a public collection to pay the $141,000 judgment.

Fernando Villavicencio displayed a collection box at a Thursday news conference and said he is collecting the money in the streets to satisfy what he calls Correa's appetite for "hate and vengeance."

Villavicencio was prosecuted for criminal libel for claiming the president staged an attack on a hospital where he had holed up during a 2010 police rebellion in order to gain public sympathy.

The journalist currently faces bankruptcy proceedings.

Correa also won criminal libel cases against El Universo newspaper for $40 million and against two other journalists for $2 million. He decided not to try to collect in those two cases.