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Despite criticizing the press, Bolivian President Evo Morales approves bill giving journalists life insurance

Although Bolivian President Evo Morales accused the press of distorting information on the same day the country celebrated Journalists' Day, on Thursday, May 10, the president said that freedom of the press in the country is "guaranteed" and approved a bill giving journalists life insurance, reported the news agency EFE, the newspaper La Razón, and the radio station FM Bolivia.

According to the newspaper Opinión, the life insurance will be paid for through one percent of the advertising revenue from private news outlets, and the resources will be accessible to press employees that can prove their accreditation to local federations of press workers.

Bolivian press workers had requested the bill's approval back in March, after the killing of two journalists on February 25 in the city of El Alto. That killing of sibling journalists led to the creation of a decree that guarantees transportation for journalists working at night.

President Morales is known for criticizing the Bolivian press and for exploring ways of regulating news media. As stated by the newspaper Los Tiempos, “Morales has said many times that the press is his greatest 'enemy' and his main opponent." Morales' supporters are considered the most frequent perpetrators of verbal and physical attacks against journalists in Bolivia. In 2011, 46 attacks against journalists were recorded. Morales said the attacks were simply reactions against lies.

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