The Inter-American Press Association considers that some Latin American countries discredit journalism with the help of social networks and other government media
This Friday, the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) presented the report ” Conclusions of the Mid-Year Meeting “, where one of the outstanding issues was the harassment exercised against journalists from Latin America by governments, emphasizing countries such as Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, and Mexico.
During the presentation of results, the IAPA declared that the leaders Nayib Bukele, from El Salvador; Jaír Bolsonaro, ruler of Brazil; Andrés Manuel López Obrador, president of Mexico, and Alberto Fernández, of Argentina, are the authorities that most harass the development of journalism in their respective nations.
Nations such as Bolivia, Cuba, Venezuela, El Salvador, and Nicaragua were also mentioned as regions where governments use their own media and social networks to dismiss journalistic work, arguing that these types of acts are a clear violation of freedom of expression. In addition, they put journalists at risk of being attacked.
The organization emphasized the continuous objective of political power to “discredit and stigmatize the practice of journalism” which can lead to violent actions against practitioners of this fundamental profession, since in 2020 the murder of 8 journalists was reported, of which, 4 were in Mexico, where one more remain as a disappeared person, while in Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Honduras one was also murdered in each nation.
All the victims were assassinated in the exercise of their profession, for which the IAPA also took the opportunity to highlight the seriousness of the situation and request the governments to ensure that these crimes do not remain unpunished. In the case of Honduras, it was reported that 29 journalists went to the General Directorate of the Protection System for being victims of constant violence and threats.
Some of the murdered journalists were Jaime Castaño, Israel Vázquez, Jesús Alfonso Piñuelas and Arturo Alba Medina, all from Mexico; Andrés Felipe Guevara, from Colombia; Efraín Ruales, from Ecuador; Mario Ortega, a resident of Guatemala and the Honduran Pedro Arcángel Canelas, while Pablo Romero Chavez is the Mexican journalist who continues to be missing.
Regarding the mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, the IAPA described the program as “incapable of functioning as an effective national coordinating body” and rather than protecting, it places journalists at greater risk.
” The murder and disappearance of journalists and media workers constitute an extreme form of censorship (…) The lack of justice and impunity encourages other acts of violence, leads to self-censorship as a defense mechanism, ” which in turn At the same time, it generates an ” inhibitory effect on the exercise of freedom of expression,” the IAPA concluded.