The Jamaican Parliament passed a bill on Nov. 5 that fully abolishes criminal defamation within the nation. The move is unprecedented in the Caribbean, where international and local organizations have pressured the region's governments to draft similar legislation.
Roberto Hernández and Layda Negrete, the producers of the Mexican documentary “Presumed Guilty,” are facing three different civil lawsuits for over two billion dollars in the Superior Court of Justice in Mexico City (TSJDF).
The detention of three Venezuelan reporters on Nov. 2 by the Military Police, which lasted over seven hours, continues to generate outrage among the media community after it was discovered that the government had summoned the journalists to the conference where they were detained.
So far this year, there have been 71 cases of censorship of journalists and media in Venezuela, meaning 87 percent more cases than there were over the same period last year, according to Venezuelan organizations that defend freedom of expression and information access that spoke about the situation in their country on Oct. 31 before the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) during its 149th session.
At least 15 articles of Ecuador's new Organic Penal Code, partially approved by the National Assembly, could limit freedom of expression and turn into a tool to persecute citizens critical of the government, according to a report published by NGO Fundamedios.
Ismael López, a Nicaraguan journalist with news site Confidencial and its sister TV show Esta Semana, has accused the Nicaraguan Army of spying on him, according to the independent English-language online newspaper The Nicaragua Dispatch.
The International Press Institute has urged the Caribbean countries of Aruba, Curaçao and Saint Martin to examine and change their criminal defamation laws.
Bolivian journalist Raúl Peñaranda had to quit his newspaper to save it.
The last six months represented the worst semester for journalists in the Americas in the last five years, according to the Inter American Press Association, news agency EFE reported. The killing of journalists and the various government measures that restrict access to information were some of the reasons that IAPA cited during its General Assembly, which took place in Denver last weekend.
The concentration of the media by “autocratic” governments is one of the “the greatest obstacles for the freedom of the press in the western hemisphere during the last six months of the year” and the killing of 14 journalists represents one of the highest numbers in the last 20 years, the Inter American Press Association noted during the conclusion of its 69th General Assembly in Denver last weekend.