Prominent Haitian journalist Michele Montas, along with three former political prisoners, has filed a criminal lawsuit against former dictator Jean Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, accusing him of torture, illegal detention, and violations of civil and political rights, reported the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The Nicaraguan newspaper El Nuevo Diario reported that its journalists were threatened after publishing articles about supposed corruption in the government of President Daniel Ortega, according to the local press. The cases of corruption and nepotism are related to the Finance Ministry and the equivalent of the IRS, the newspaper said.
Bolivian prosecutor Marcelo Soza has ordered the media to reveal the source of a video in which a key witness in a terrorism investigation was allegedly paid to flee the country, Jornadanet reports.
Clarín and La Nación newspapers report that for five hours, 50 demonstrators obstructed the circulation of their Saturday editions by blocking trucks leaving the papers’ printing plants. The Argentine Association of Journalistic Entities (ADEPA) called this “one of the most serious attacks on press freedom in recent times in Argentina.”
Radio Faluma Bimetu/Coco Dulce, a station serving the Afro-Caribbean Garifuna community in the Honduran coastal city of Triunfo de la Cruz, suspended transmissions this weekend due to “increasing threats and hostility” in the lead up to local elections, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) reports.
The National Journalists Union (CONAPE in Spanish) and the Journalists Syndicate of Panama on Tuesday called on the new owners of the newspaper publishing company Editora Panamá América (EPASA) to stop firing journalists, adding that the groups would continue to vigilantly monitor the situation.
After a bomb was thrown at the offices of Channel 9 in the Paraguayan capital of Asunción, the Paraguayan Journalists’ Union (SPP) has said last week’s attack is diverting attention from “unjustified firings, union persecution, black lists,” and violations of worker rights at the station. The union urged the authorities to investigate the station’s management.
A judge in Mexico City ruled that Contralínea magazine be fined for publishing stories about contracts awarded by state-owned oil giant Pemex to private companies, stating the matter “is not of public interest,” SDP Noticias reports.
Residents of Posadas, capital of Misiones province (NE Argentina), demonstrated over the weekend in favor of freedom of expression, responding to last week’s closure of Channel 4. Ten military police officers went to the station Jan. 12 to enforce a court order to suspend its broadcasts. (See other stories here, in Spanish.)
Peruvian writer and journalist Mario Vargas Llosa, the 2010 Nobel Laureate in Literature, defended the importance of “free journalism” and stressed the role of the Latin American press in helping diminish the “horrors of the authoritarian past” and supporting the consolidation of democracy, AFP and El Nuevo Diario report.