By Maira Magro
A Buenos Aires judge has ruled that demonstrators cannot block access to AGR, a printing company owned by the Clarín media group, and said the Security Ministry must take steps to guarantee the company’s ability to print, Clarín and La Nación newspapers report.
On Dec. 13, six protestors put locks on AGR’s gates, blocking the truck traffic for seven days. Their actions stopped the distribution of Viva magazine, a Sunday insert in Clarín newspaper, and Rumbos, a Sunday insert for 19 regional newspapers. The activists have also staged hunger strikes.
According to the state news agency Télam, the protestors are part of a group of 119 workers who were fired by AGR in 2004. The courts have ruled that the workers must be rehired, but the union members have accused Clarín of disregarding the decision. Clarín says the strikes are a political attack against the company by a leader of the Buenos Aires Provincial Graphics Federation, Hugo Moyano – an ally of President Cristina Fernández.
The ruling states that the rights of citizens to protest cannot violate the rights of others to freedom of expression – which , according to the judge, applies to a media company like AGR.
Clarín and La Nación were also affected by a different protest last month, when truckers purposefully delayed the circulation of both newspapers.
Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.