Cites positive points in the bill headed for Senate approval
Miami (April 16, 2010).- The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today lauded the approval by Brazil’s lower house on April 13th of a bill that guarantees citizens their right to information as guaranteed by the country’s 1988 constitution. The bill is now headed to the Senate for final approval.
IAPA President Alejandro Aguirre, editor of the Miami, Florida, Spanish-language newspaper Diario Las Américas expressed the organization’s anticipation that the bill will soon become a law and “allow Brazilians to access the information that is their right and that allows them to make informed decisions. This bill, broad in its application to the three branches of government, for the first time requires transparency at all levels of government – municipal, state and national; this certainly establishes a precedent for countries to follow “.
The bill represents a compromise following a yearlong debate among legislators, professional organizations, NGOs and civil society. The IAPA praises ANJ and its president, Judith Brito, of the São Paulo newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, for its efforts in making this bill a reality.
Ricardo Pedreira, Executive Director of Brazil’s National Association of Newspapers stated, “The Chamber of Deputies is to be congratulated for passing the bill. We hope it will be approved quickly by the Senate and enacted by the President of the Republic. Governments are accountable to citizens, they are obligated to transparently provide society with information of public interest. A society is only truly democratic when its citizens have free access to the information of their interest.”
The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org