By Maira Magro
The prosecution of Bolivia has sued three journalists for "using the media to induce people to commit crimes," stemming from a case of violence and racism against indigenous peasants in the city of Sucre on May 24, 2008, reported Erbol.
Roger González, director of Channel 13 of TV Universitária; Delfín Ustares, former television presenter for the network Bolivisión; and Daniel Villavicencio, of the newspaper Correo del Sur, are accused of allegedly “instigating public delinquency" for writing about an incident in which at least 18 peasants were taken hostage, physically attacked, humiliated, and forced, while half-naked, to shout insults against the Bolivian government in a public plaza in Sucre. The incident was supposedly started by groups, in opposition to President Evo Morales, that were trying to prevent proposed changes to the Constitution. The peasants were to going to meet with Morales for a regional civic celebration, explained O Globo.
The press said that the journalists were being persecuted just for covering the incident and reporting the news, and news organizations accused the prosecution of being excessive and arbitrary, according to the newspaper La Razón. Journalists from Sucre demonstrated Wednesday, Sept. 1, on behalf of their accused colleagues, reported Correo del Sur.
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.