With three laws already limiting the media, Bolivian president wants more control over press

Bolivian President Evo Morales proposed regulating the media and modifying the Press Law leading up to the Plurinational Summit, which will take place in December in the city of Cochabamba, reported the radio station FM Bolivia.

The Plurinational Summit was set to address 10 topics before freedom of the press was added to the docket at the last minute by organizations complaining about the "misuse of the freedom of the press," according to the newspaper Los Tiempos.

Bolivian press organizations denounced the decision, noting that Bolivia already has three laws limiting the free exercise of the press supported by President Morales between 2010 and 2011. They include the Electoral Regulation Law, the Law to Fight against Racism and All Forms of Discrimination Law, and the General Telecommunications Law.

"When the State [...] wants to defend itself against the lies in the media, they say there's no freedom of expression; when some media companies try to the confuse the public, they say there is freedom of expression. This and other reasons are why social movements have decided to include the topic in communication in the national debate," Morales said, according to the newspaper La Razón. Morales added that the Media Law will seek to control the content in the media.

"The practice of journalism and freedom of expression are regulated by the Press Law of 1925 and clearly recognized by the Political Constitution of the State," read a joint statement from the National Association of the Press, the Association of Journalists from La Paz, the National Association of Bolivian Journalists, and the Bolivian Association of Radio Broadcasters, rejecting the president's proposal.