Press Freedom Index: Most Latin American countries fall in rankings, but Cuba improves

Reporters Without Borders released its annual press freedom index on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010, according to Radio Free Europe.

While Latin American countries like Guatemala, Brazil, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Chile and the Dominican Republic actually improved in the rankings, others, like Nicaragua, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, Honduras, Colombia, Panama and Uruguay dropped, according to the index's close-up on the Americas.

Caribbean countries like Haiti improved on the index, while Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago fell.

Also, for the first time since the index began in 2002, Cuba is not among the bottom 10 countries. While journalists still have to deal with censorship on a daily basis, Reporters Without Borders said, the improvement in ranking is due mostly to the release of imprisoned journalists and activists that began in Cuba this summer.

Reporters Without Borders lumped Mexico in with Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia as countries "either openly at war or in a civil war or some other kind of internal conflict" where "we see a situation of permanent chaos and a culture of violence and impunity taking root in which the press has become a favourite target. These are among the most dangerous countries in the world."

See here for more details about the Press Freedom Index 2010.

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.