The obstacles keep coming for the distribution of Colombian-American Santiago Villa's documentary on President Rafael Correa. According to the Ecuadorian NGO Fundamedios, YouTube and Vimeo took down the video after the company Ares Rights brought a lawsuit for copyright infringement.
The Colombian Federation of Journalists (FECOLPER) called the closure of the newspaper El Liberal in the city of Popayán, Cauca on Saturday, Dec. 15, a blow to freedom of expression. The loss of the newspaper will leave the region hardest hit by unemployment, poverty and armed conflict without a newspaper, according to a statement from the organization.
Journalists unions in Bolivia rejected the Life and Disability Insurance Law for Press Workers enacted by President Evo Morales on Monday, Dec. 10, reported the website Los Tiempos. The proposed insurance would be paid for with one percent of the monthly total gross revenue of public and private media organizations and managed by a board with majority State representation, added the website.
The Institute for Press and Society, IPYS, described a recent change in the legislative decree that regulates the National Defense System as a "serious attack" on the right to access information, freedom of expression and transparency.
Colombia's struggle to end impunity for attacks on journalists got the lowest score on the Freedom of Expression and Access to Public Information Index, according to the Press Freedom Foundation (FLIP in Spanish) on Tuesday, Dec. 11.
A lawsuit brought against two journalists by a government official in Argentina sparked outcry from the media, according to the newspaper Clarín. The head of the Federal Revenue Administration (AFIP in Spanish), Ricardo Echegaray, sued journalists Matías Longoni and Luis Majul separately for "damages and harm," added the newspaper. The official asked for almost $275,000 in restitution from each.
The Ecuadorian media organization Fundamedios called for greater tolerance and mutual respect between state and private media in the Andean country, the group said on its website. According to Fundamedios, the polarized climate in which journalists practice their craft contributes to verbal abuse and insults between reporters.
The San Bernardo hospital in Argentina discharged the Bolivian journalist burned live on air, Fernando VIdal, on Monday, Dec. 10, after he received three surgeries, reported the newspaper El Tribuno. According to the journalist's son, Kim Romero, Vidal will hold a press conference on Wednesday, Dec. 12, and hopes to return to Bolivia within the next two weeks if doctors say he is ready to travel, the newspaper added.
Reactions were swift to the court's decision to suspend controversial articles in Argentina's new Media Law that would have required media giant Grupo Clarín to abandon some of its broadcast licenses last Friday, Dec. 7.
The director of a documentary about Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa refused to air his film on a U.S. television channel after an official requested the station makes some changes in their broadcast, according to Fundamedios.