Bolivian president issues decree ordering media to be more patriotic and support country's maritime claim against Chile

Bolivia's president, Evo Morales, ordered the country's media to show more patriotism and support the government's strategy of bringing Chile before an international court in order to obtain access to the Pacific Ocean, according to El Deber.

Bolivia lost its coastline in a war with Chile in 1879, and in recent years Bolivia has sought to recover the land using an aggressive international strategy, explained the news agency AFP and the English news site Inside Costa Rica.

In a decree published Thursday, May 12, the president established a series of measures requiring the media to promote patriotic education, according to the news agency EFE. "The print media, public agencies, and military units must publish in all their publications and websites messages aimed at promoting and strengthening patriotic civic education and enhance the patriotic fervor of the maritime claim," the decree said.

Television and radio also must broadcast a military hymn on Mondays and Fridays at the end of their transmission, added La Razón. The “Naval March” contains a verse that says “Bolivia soon will have its sea again."

The decree instructs the Ministry of Communications to develop messages to promote patriotic education, which then can be used as guidelines for the media, said Los Tiempos.

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.