Dignitaries, heads of states, journalists and advocates arrived in San José, Costa Rica yesterday, Thursday, May 2, for the welcoming reception of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization’s World Press Freedom Day conference.
With six countries listed without a free press, including three countries with some of the highest levels of impunity in the world for press crimes, Latin American freedom of expression is at its lowest levels since 1989.
On Thursday, May 2, the press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF in French) published an open letter to United States President Barack Obama urging him to use his visit to Mexico this week to strike a firm commitment to protect freedom of expression and end impunity for press crimes in the troubled country.
For the "shameless lies" contained within the reports of the Special Rapporteurship for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the non-profit Transparency International, Ecuador's minister of foreign affairs, Ricardo Patiño, announced that the federal government will take action and launch an "offensive strategy" against these entities, Fundamedios reported.
The decision by a judge to try a team of journalists from a Panamanian newspaper has been called “an alert for media that call out possible irregularities in public administration” by the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) in a press release.
Facing the possibility that three more cases of killed journalists might expire this year, the Freedom of the Press Foundation, FLIP, demanded that Colombia's Attorney General take all the necessary steps to bring the cases to justice, said the organization in a statement.
The director and staff of freedom of the press organization Article 19 in Mexico received on April 19 a letter containing threats.
Various journalists have claimed that their coverage was restricted during the recent elections in Venezuela, won by Hugo Chávez’s designated successor Nicolás Maduro. According to the Press and Society Institute (IPYS), some local journalists had problems getting into voting centers and were impeded by the authorities.
Colombian journalist Yesid Toro has been forced to leave his city after threats against his life, reported the newspaper El Espectador. Threats against judicial reporters are not uncommon in Cali Colombia; however, on this occasion members of the Judicial Investigations Section (SIJIN) of the National Police recommended that he leave the city, added the newspaper.
On April 8, El Periódico, one of the principal independent newspapers in Guatemala, published an extensive and unflattering portrait of Vice President Roxana Baldetti.