Brazil, Chile and the United States tumbled dramatically in the 2011-2012 Press Freedom Index that Reporters Without Borders released Wednesday, Jan. 25. Brazil dropped 41 places to no. 99, Chile plummeted 47 places to no. 80, and the United States fell 27 spots to no. 47.
The Chilean government announced that it will withdraw the "Hinzpeter Bill," a proposal that would have permitted authorities to demand media companies turn over their archives to the police without a warrant, reported ANSA.
Journalists asked the Chilean Attorney General Office to investigate attacks on reporters during the on-going protests in the South American country, reported Prensa.com.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF in French) denounced destructive attacks on media outlets in Chile, forcing some to close, reported the Press and Society Institute (IPYS in Spanish) on Nov. 29.
Despite the denouncements of international organizations and charges of kidnapping and torturing two photographers, Chilean security forces continue to crack down on the practice of freedom of expression. On Nov. 21, police intimidated and attacked journalists covering a protest against a tribute to a former member of the military dictatorship, reported the website Opera Mundi.
On Nov. 1, an explosive detonated in front of the building of a newspaper publishing company in Chile, according to the news agency EFE. No one was injured in the explosion, although several windows were destroyed. The company, Copesa, publishes the Chilean newspapers La Tercera, La Cuarta, and La Hora, as well as the magazine Que Pasa.
A new organization uniting 10 foreign correspondent associations in South America was created on Oct. 26 in Santiago, Chile, reported the news agency DPA.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF in French) expressed concern about possible attacks by Chilean security forces against freedom of information on the eve of more student protests on Oct. 18.
The Chilean Association of Foreign Correspondents issued a formal complaint against the Chilean police for kidnapping and attacking journalists on Friday, Oct. 14, reported the newspaper El Comercio. This is the first accusation of kidnapping and targeting of journalists by the police since the end of the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship in 1990, reported the newspaper Folha de São Paulo.
Reporters Without Borders and the Journalists Union of Chile condemned the increasing violence against journalists in Chile, reported Nación.cl and the news agency EFE.