Bolivia accuses media owners of violating journalists’ free expression rights

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  • November 12, 2010

By Maira Magro

The Bolivian government accused the Inter American Press Assocation (IAPA) – a group of media companies in the region – of “censoring and violating the freedom of expression of journalists and workers throughout its history,” Los Tiempos reports.

“The owners of the print media are those who are reported to have most impeded journalists’ freedom of opinion and expression,” said the government’s press secretary, Iván Canelas, during a press conference last week.

The declarations were in response to a recent IAPA resolution that criticized the Bolivian government for “promoting laws that restrict freedom of expression.”

“[IAPA] doesn’t have the moral standing to talk about freedom of expression,” Canelas said, quoted by the AFP. He added that journalist and media worker unions are some of those that suffer the most due to a lack of legal and social compliance by media owners. “Not only are they paid starvation wages, but they are not paid benefits when they are fired in an arbitrary or indiscriminate way and they do not have a pension scheme,” he said.

Canelas also accused IAPA of having supported dictatorships in the past, Prensa Latina adds.

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.