Puerto Rican judge orders journalist to reveal confidential source

Journalist organizations condemned a court order that forces a Puerto Rican journalist to reveal the identity of a confidential source, reported the newspaper El Nuevo Día.

Judge Katherine Silvestri, from a court in San Juan, ordered journalist Cándida Cotto to reveal the identity of the confidential source she used when reporting on the 2010 strike in the University of Puerto Rico, according to the weekly Claridad.

The newspaper and the journalist were sued by the former university chancellor and the chancellor's spouse for defamation and slander and attributing the declarations to an anonymous source, according to the court resolution.

The Journalists Association of Puerto Rico considered the court decision “a dangerous precedent against freedom of the press,” and that it could have repercussions in that public figures may intimidate journalists and their potential sources of information, according to an announcement by this organization on Wednesday, May 23.

The newspaper Nuevo Día said that in at least one previous case, the court requested the journalist to turn in tape recordings and interviews about a former peasant leader.