The National Journalists Union (CONAPE in Spanish) and the Journalists Syndicate of Panama on Tuesday called on the new owners of the newspaper publishing company Editora Panamá América (EPASA) to stop firing journalists, adding that the groups would continue to vigilantly monitor the situation.
The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) applauded the Jan. 18 legal reform that increased the statute of limitations for crimes against journalists in Colombia -- a change that is considered a step forward in the fight against impunity, reported Vanguardia and Terra.
President Rafael Correa has proposed holding a popular vote on limiting bank investment in media companies in order to “avoid conflicts of interest,” AFP and EFE report. The referendum, which also includes judicial reforms, is now being analyzed by the Constitutional Court to confirm its legality.
Former TV executive José Enrique Crousillat, who was convicted of selling his station’s editorial line during the regime of President Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), was returned to prison after being released for health reasons and later turning fugitive.
Peruvian writer and journalist Mario Vargas Llosa, the 2010 Nobel Laureate in Literature, defended the importance of “free journalism” and stressed the role of the Latin American press in helping diminish the “horrors of the authoritarian past” and supporting the consolidation of democracy, AFP and El Nuevo Diario report.
A controversial bill that included up to four years of prison for those who “insult” the president or other elected officials was withdrawn by the president of Panama’s National Assembly, José Muñoz, EFE and Terra report.
The Inter-American Human Rights Commission on Jan. 11 condemned the harassment against community radio stations in Honduras by police and government officials, reported Univisión.
The Constitutional Court of Peru ruled that media outlets cannot make public secretly recorded phone calls when their content “affects personal or family privacy, or the private life of the intercepted party or third parties, unless it is of public interest or import,” Perú 21 reports.
Soldiers in Argentina’s Gendarmerie police force raided the offices of Papel Prensa, the country’s top newsprint producer and the focal point of an ongoing conflict between the government and Clarín and La Nación, the two largest domestic dailies, EFE and DiarioJornada report.
Laureano Márquez will be one of the journalists to receive an International Press Freedom Award from the Committee to Project Journalists (CPJ) in November for having “risked their freedom and security to report the truth as they see it in their countries.”