Four years after the social outbreak of 2018 in Nicaragua, more than 120 journalists have gone into exile, at least 20 media have been confiscated, there are no printed newspapers circulating in the country and six journalists have received sentences ranging from 7 to 13 years in prison, with fines in the millions. However, the independent Nicaraguan press continues to fight for freedom, both from inside the country and in exile.
Over the past decade, press freedom around the world is deteriorating and the list of countries facing issues has been growing. With the testimonial of seven journalists from Asia and Latin America, ISOJ 2022 debated the state of press freedom and the serious situation reporters are recently facing in India, Hong Kong, Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.
As violence against journalists has increased in Latin America, several countries have created protection mechanisms designed to implement safety measures for journalists reporting attacks or threats against them.
The main responsibilities of a journalist should be to report reality as it is and to serve as a counterweight to power without being afraid to take a stand in the face of acts of authoritarianism, human rights violations and corruption, said the journalist in a conversation with the managing editor of El País, Borja Echevarría.
Founded by a group of lawyers specializing in the defense of freedom of expression, the Tornavoz nonprofit will remunerate lawyers who work in cases received by the organization, in addition to providing technical assistance to the defense. The idea is for the remuneration to “strengthen the interest of lawyers in this area of practice,” Taís Gasparian, one of the directors and founders of the nonprofit, said.
After a significant ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IHR Court) in favor of four Indigenous community radios in Guatemala, the Indigenous communities of that country want the State to respect their rights and to legally recognize their radio stations, so they can continue to transmit their culture and help their community in their native language.
Lawyers pointed out the key role played by the support of organizations defending freedom of expression during the journalist's trial. They hope his case sets a precedent for asylum requests from persecuted journalists, so these are taken more seriously by immigration courts.
The president of the Council of Ministers of Peru (PCM), Aníbal Torres allegedly tried to interfere with the allocation of state advertising for a government school campaign, requesting the exclusion of the media from Grupo El Comercio. Experts and organizations spoke out.
Peruvian journalist Gustavo Gorriti, in an interview with LatAm Journalism Review (LJR), analyzes the relationship between the current Peruvian president Pedro Castillo and the traditional press or "concentrated press" and the independent press, from his turbulent career as a presidential candidate to his shaky first months of government.
The Venezuelan courts handed over the headquarters of the independent traditional newspaper El Nacional to congressman and former president of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, as part of a multi-million dollar civil compensation defamation lawsuit filed against the newspaper and its directors. “It is the newspaper's most important asset,” Miguel Henrique Otero, director of El Nacional, told LJR.