Venezuela's new minister of communication and information, Tania Díaz, swore in the first 75 "communication guerrillas," members of school youth groups formed to “democratize” information and counterattack “the power of private media." See stories (in Spanish) by El Universal and El Nacional.
Enrique Lazo Flores, editor of the newspaper La Región, in the southern city of Ilo, Moquegua, was accused of attacking the honor of a regional politician Renato Ascuña Chavera, the Crónica Viva site reports. The prison sentence was suspended, but organizations denounced it as a serious threat to freedom of expression.
Ramón Ángeles Zalpa, a correspondent for Cambio de Michoacán newspaper, was last seen Tuesday, April 6, when he left his home for a local university where he is also a professor, Article 19 reports.
José Carlos Stachowiak, host of a police program on cable TV in Ponta Grossa, Paraná, made grave threats on the air against a journalism student who wrote a blog post criticizing his work. See the video in this post Querido Leitor (Dear Reader), by local journalist Rosana Hermann.
Businessman Aldo Zuccolillo, editor of the newspaper ABC Color, was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine plus interest to indemnify a judge who the newspaper had criticized for acquitting former President Luis González Macchi of embezzlement, ABC Color reports.
Two suspects, ages 19 and 20, were arrested in Caleta Olivia, in Santa Cruz province, accused of setting fire to journalist Adela Gómez's car last week, Clarín reports. However, a judge released them because of inconsistent evidence against them.
José Alemán, a correspondent for Tiempo newspaper and Radio América, decided to leave the country after two armed men broke into his home and fired their guns in his bedroom last Sunday in the town of San Marcos, Ocotepeque, the Committee to Protect Journalists reports.
In response to the recent debate over TV content, several members of Parliament have proposed measures to censor and regulate media. The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) has expressed concern about possible governmental interference in the media's editorial decisions.
Twitter users in Mexico City have angered authorities by tweeting the locations of roadside Breathalyzer checkpoints, and kidnappers and drug traffickers are using Facebook and MySpace to communicate. Federal lawmakers have responded by proposing a bill to restrict social networking sites and to create a police force to monitor them, GlobalPost reports.
Adding to a litany of recent attacks on press freedom, the Ministry of Communications and Information plans to ask prosecutors to punish Tal Cual for an editorial describing a Venezuela without President Hugo Chávez, ABC.es reports.