By Ingrid Bachmann
At the end of its 66th Assembly, the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) decided to send 22 resolutions, the majority dealing with press freedom, to government officials and inter-American organizations.
The final report includes analyses of the media environment in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Panama, Peru, Venezuela, and Mexico.
The report also discussed the “renewed efforts” by countries to regulate the media and control information. In this sense, Guatemalan Gonzalo Marroquín, the new IAPA president, said that presidents Hugo Chávez (Venezuela), Rafael Correa (Ecuador), Cristina Fernández (Argentina), and Evo Morales (Bolivia) were “intolerant,” and charged them with creating laws that go against press freedom.
Laws that open the door to government control over media content are already on the books in Argentina, Bolivia, and Venezuela, and IAPA expressed concern with similar initiatives in Brazil, Ecuador, and Uruguay.
The report also urges freedom of expression monitors at the OAS and the UN to take action against these laws, saying that legal censorship and restrictions on the free practice of journalism violate an internationally recognized human right.
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.