The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) has said several existing and proposed laws in Bolivia could reduce press freedom in the country.
Bolivian President Evo Morales’ administration has proposed a Telecommunications Law that requires TV and radio stations to broadcast presidential speeches, which IAPA President Gonzalo Marroquín calls “an abuse of power which restricts freedom of the press.” “An imposition of this kind is to give license to the government to air propaganda without limits,” he said.
This same law would also decrease the length of broadcast frequency licenses from 20 years to 10.
IAPA also was concerned with the implementation of the Law to Fight against Racism and All Forms of Discrimination, finalized earlier this year, which, in spite of “laudable” goals, “hides in its articles a real threat to and gag on” the media, said IAPA representative Claudio Paolillo.
However, IAPA praised President Morales’ work towards amending the Electoral Systems Law, which currently bars judicial candidates from campaigning and media outlets from publishing any unofficial information about the election or opining about the races.
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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.