“The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) expressed concern over the public speech of the President of Costa Rica, Rodrigo Chaves, and the administrative actions against the newspaper La Nación and one of its companies. The organization said it would remain vigilant in the case and urged the President to suspend what appears to be an act of indirect intimidation and a campaign to discredit the newspaper.
The Ministry of Health suspended on July 8 the sanitary permit to operate Parque Viva, an events center owned by Grupo La Nación, after receiving anonymous complaints and an evaluation in which it determined that access for firefighters and Red Cross vehicles was difficult. The measure occurred two days after President Chaves, who took office in May, presented during a press conference data on the purchase of bonds issued by La Nación S. A. in the stock market between 2013 and 2014 and questioned the economic situation of the company, as denounced by the newspaper.
IAPA president, Jorge Canahuati, noted, ‘The administrative actions against one of the companies that give economic stability to the newspaper were taken two days after the President criticized the media.’ Canahuati, CEO of Grupo Opsa of Honduras, added: ‘We are concerned that we could be facing an indirect retaliation. Our experience indicates that freedom of the press is often attacked indirectly to ‘discipline’ a media outlet through tax audits or by discriminating against them with official advertising, among other forms of indirect censorship.’”