Freedom of expression advocates are looking for answers after a British journalist hoping to cover the World Trade Organization conference in Buenos Aires was deported from Argentina. At dawn on Dec. 8, Sally Burch was sent back to Quito, Ecuador where she works as executive-editor at Agencia Latinoamericana de Información. According to the Guardian, she was included on a list of 63 people banned from attending the conference from Dec. 10 to 13.
Three Latin American journalists appear on the Committee to Protect Journalist’s (CPJ) annual census of journalists imprisoned around the world. Guatemalan Jerson Antonio Xitumul Morales, Ecuadoran Enrique Rosales Ortega and Venezuelan Braulio Jatar are three of the 262 journalists imprisoned around the world, according to the census, which was published Dec. 13.
In Mexico, journalists live under the terror of violence and although the government has created mechanisms to protect these professionals, impunity and insecurity continue in the country. These are some of the conclusions of David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and Edison Lanza, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), after a one-week mission to Mexico.
Colombia’s Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP for its acronym in Spanish) rejected threats against journalists Jineth Bedoya Lima and Salud Hernández Mora, as well as political and social leaders, allegedly proffered by a block of the illegal armed group Águilas Negras. The organization also demanded that authorities guarantee protection so that the journalists can continue with their work.
Venezuelan journalist Jesús Medina announced on Nov. 23 that he left his country due to threats against him and his family because of his work. In early November, Medina went missing for two days in what he says was an abduction due to his reporting on how Tocorón prison in northern Venezuela is allegedly controlled by prisoners.
A decision by the Federal Supreme Court of Brazil (STF for its acronym in Portuguese) maintained the censorship of the blog of carioca journalist Marcelo Auler. Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes denied the continuation of a complaint filed by the journalist, who requested an injunction to suspend a sentence that prevents the publication of two of his reports.
Peruvian and North American citizen Miguel Arévalo Ramírez has filed several suits against Peruvian journalists and media for aggravated defamation, Ojo Público reported on Nov. 7. Ramírez filed the complaint against the media outlets for having reported the investigations against him by the Peruvian Police Department's Anti-Drug Directorate (Dirandro), the Peruvian Anti-Drug Prosecutor's Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and asks for US $210 million in reparation.
Through his Twitter account, Medina said he was tortured and threatened with death. He thanked the press, his colleagues and all those who pressured for him to be found. "I was born again to continue reporting the truth and to fight more for my country, Venezuela," Medina wrote, adding that he was currently being sheltered.
For harassing, persecuting, censoring and establishing legal frameworks against Venezuelan journalists and media, the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) condemned the practices of the Nicolás Maduro’s government against the freedoms of the press and of expression.
The "Forbidden Stories" project launched Oct. 31 by Reporters Without Borders (RSF for its acronym in French) and the Freedom Voices Network aims to protect the stories of journalists who are at risk or under threat for doing their jobs: to report.