Regional press at risk in Mexico, Honduras, Colombia and Brazil, the most dangerous countries for journalists in the Americas

“I need a gun,” is what a journalist requested as a safety measure to work in Veracruz, one of the most dangerous places for the Mexican press. After the request, Daniela Pastrana, of the Mexican organizationJournalists on Foot (Periodistas a Pie) responded to that journalist that a fire arm was not the solution, but her colleague from Veracruz insisted: “I don't want the gun to defend myself, but to make sure they don't catch me alive." The reporter's response came after five Mexican journalists were found dead wit

10th Austin Forum on Journalism in the Americas opens with call for end to impunity in crimes against journalists

The 10th annual Austin Forum on Journalism in the Americas kicked off the night of Sunday, May 20, with an examination of some of the major security issues facing journalists throughout the Americas. During the Forum's opening session, Frank La Rue, the United Nations' special rapporteur for freedom of expression, along with newspaper editors from Mexico and Guatemala, highlighted the risks of independent reporting in a region increasingly racked by violence, corruption and rampant impunity.

Kidnapped Mexican journalist found dead in Sonora; no official search ever conducted

One day after reporter Marcos Ávila was kidnapped by three armed men in the Mexican state of Sonora, authorities found the journalist's body strangled and with signs of torture. A message that has been attributed to drug-traffickers was found next to the body, reported the newspaper El Universal on the afternoon of Friday, May 18.

Shortcomings, controversies of Brazil's new information access law

Two days after the Brazilian information access law went into effect, the Forum on the Right of Access to Public Information (FDAIP in Portuguese) published a recounting of the law's shortcomings and controversies.

UN action plan offers strategy for protecting journalists

Highlighting the need to celebrate journalists' work as way of creating a country- and world-wide atmosphere respecting freedom of expression, Guy Berger, director of UNESCO's Division of Freedom of Expression and media development, briefly outlined the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity during the first day of the 10th annual Austin Forum on Journalism in the Americas.

Experts discuss safety and protection in cyberspace during 10th annual Austin Forum on Journalism in the Americas

During the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas' 10th annual Austin Forum on Journalism in the Americas, a panel of experts moderated by renowned Peruvian journalist Gustavo Gorriti, director of IDL-Reporteros, warned that while the Internet is an invaluable resource for journalists, it can also become a powerful tool that can be used against them if proper precautions are not taken. The panel, "Safety and Protection on Cyberspace: Threats and Vulnerabilities Facing Journalists and Online Media," was held Monday,

OAS Special Rapporteur says governments must protect journalists, as democracy demands a free press

“Protecting journalists is not a recommendation but an institutional obligation of the state," said the special rapporteur for freedom of expression of the Organization of American States, Catalina Botero, during her presentation at the 10th annual Austin Forum on Journalism in the Americas addressing Security and Protection for Journalists, held May 20-22 in Austin, Texas.

Governments increasingly use laws, lawsuits to restrict press freedom, say experts at 10th Austin Forum

Latin American journalists increasingly are facing legal threats to freedom of expression, according to experts on the panel "The Legal Threats to Press Freedom: From the Old Criminal Defamation Laws to the Newest Attempts to Regulate the Internet," during the 10th annual Austin Forum on Journalism in the Americas organized by the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas and the Open Society Fondations, held May 20-22 in Austin, Texas.

IAPA criticizes Venezuelan authorities' campaign against newspaper

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) has called on the Venezuelan government to end its defamation campaign against the newspaper Notitarde, IAPA announced on its website on Friday, May 18. According to IAPA, the campaign is a "a malicious discrediting maneuver" initiated by federal and state legislators of the ruling party.

Journalists at 10th Austin Forum call for solidarity in face of endemic violence in Latin America

The fifth panel of the 10th annual Austin Forum on Journalism in the Americas, moderated by Mónica González, director of the Center for Journalistic Investigation (CIPER in Spanish) in Chile, discussed the "Endemic Violence Against Journalists and Media in Latin America" and the need for journalists to ally with NGOs, working in a long-term commitment. Also, the necessity for a greater solidarity amongt journalists was emphasized.

Mexican police reporter kidnapped

Mexican authorities of the state of Sonora in northeastern Mexico, confirmed the kidnapping of a police beat journalist who covers local security and justice issues, on Thursday, May 17, reported the Associated Press.

Bolivian Senate proposes law to regulate social networks

The Bolivian Senate has proposed a bill that would regulate social networks, and would be attached to the Law to Fight Against Racism and All Forms of Discrimination, reported the news site Eju TV.