Chile: Journalist Felipe Soto Cortés is convicted of criminal defamation

  • Source: CPJ
  • January 30, 2023

"Chilean authorities should not contest journalist Felipe Soto Cortés’ appeal of a recent criminal defamation conviction and should stop using criminal defamation laws against members of the press, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Friday [Jan. 27]. On Jan. 11, a criminal court judge in the southern city of Concepción convicted Soto, editor of the independent news website Resumen, of defaming public official Rodrigo Daroch, according to news reports and Soto, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app.

On Jan. 18, the court sentenced Soto to a suspended 61-day prison term and a fine of 680,000 Chilean pesos (US $847). The journalist is required to report his whereabouts to the police every month for the next year, he told CPJ. The lawsuit stemmed from a July 5, 2022, article in Resumen alleging that Daroch, who heads the fish and aquaculture unit of the Bío Bío state government, was earning excessive pay while working for the state as well as local town governments.

Soto said his lawyer had appealed the verdict."

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