Just seven months from the upcoming presidential elections in Venezuela, attacks against the press have intensified, according to Reporters Without Borders.
A Bolivian journalist was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for defamation stemming from a article that linked a lawyer linked with corruption, reported the newspaper La Razón. This is the first criminal sentence against a reporter in Bolivia since 1997, added the news agency EFE.
Police in Montreal, Canada, raided a journalist's home after a hospital filed a criminal complaint alleging that the reporter had stolen medical documents, reported the QMI Agency.
An Argentine federal court convicted the newspaper Clarín for publishing an article that supposedly discriminates against women, reported the newspaper La Capital. Published on April, 5, 2009, the article, titled “The child factory: They conceive in numbers and obtain higher benefits from the state," was deemed "offensive" as it "inclined toward discrimination and psychological, sexual, and symbolic violence against women," reported the news agency UPI.
During a conference in Vienna, Austria, Bolivian President Evo Morales said there is "too much freedom of expression" in his country and that independent news outlets in Bolivia are his main opposition, reported the radio station FM Bolivia.
In yet another case of judicial censorship in Brazil, an injunction is preventing a journalist from criticizing the administration of the governor of the state of Mato Grosso, Silval Barbosa (PSDB), reported the news site Repórter MT.
The Embassy of Sweden in Guatemala accused two journalists of defamation for stating on television that the Swedish government finances terrorist groups in this Central American country, reported the Guatemalan Center of News Reports (CERIGUA in Spanish). One of the accused journalists, Sylvia Gereda, Gereda denied the accusation on her blog and said she has the documents to back up the statements made about Sweden.
On Sunday, March 11, the Ecuadorian Association of Newspaper Publishers (AEDEP in Spanish) asked President Rafael Correa to end his campaign against the press and to focus instead on real problems that Ecuador is facing, reported the newspaper El Diario.
Journalist Nelson Bocaranda criticized a presumed plan to discredit journalists who comment on controversial political events that happen in Venezuela, reported the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) on Monday, March 12.
The Brazilian Superior Court on Tuesday, March 6, ordered the publishing company Editora Abril to pay roughly $283,000 in damages to the senator and ex-president Fernando Collor de Mello, who claimed he was insulted in an article published by the magazine Veja, reported the news site G1. The publishing company can appeal the ruling.