Government harassment and criminal violence are harming press freedom and weakening democracy, the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) concludes in a report presented at the closure of its 65th general assembly in Buenos Aires.
IAPA expressed dismay over the excessive increase of violence against journalists. Sixteen reporters were killed in the last six months (eight in Mexico, three in Honduras, two each in Guatemala and Colombia and one in El Salvador), “the highest figure in recent years,” the Associated Press explains. IAPA also called for governments to take “urgent measures” to ensure the safety of journalists in those countries.
IAPA President Enrique Santos said several countries in the region are establishing a legal framework “to implement laws that seek to weaken independent media and to increase government control,” EFE adds.
The session also included several reports that condemned governments and criminal organizations for attacking media and journalists, AFP adds. The hardest reports pointed to Argentina, Bolivia, Cuba, Ecuador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela. According to IAPA, only Uruguay made laws during the period that favor the press, by decriminalizing libel and slander.
Source:Knight Center for Journalism