Broadcasters say election reforms threaten free expression in Mexico

The International Association of Broadcasters (IAB) says changes that give more power to the authorities to regulate the media’s role in elections violate freedom of expression, restrict citizen’s access to media, and promote censorship, EFE reports.

Since 2007, the Federal Election Institute (IFE in Spanish) has had authority to regulate radio and TV ads during elections. According to El Economista, at the end of June 2011, IFE announced several new rules decreasing deadlines, increasing administrative requirements, and strengthening the right to reply laws that the AIR called “arbitrary,” “risky,” and outside the purview of the organization.

The IFE defended its new rules and the powers it was granted by the 2007 reform, which it said guarantees equal access to broadcast media by candidates and political parties, and denied that it was engaged in censorship or freedom of expression violations, Crónica explains.

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.