El Salvador

This period is characterized by the election process and the attitude of the authorities, the opposition party’s candidates and the left-wing FMLN which has dealt with medial outlets, especially the newspapers, in an orthodox way. The FMLN candidate to the presidency has said that his “political opponent” is not the party ARENA, now in office, but the media outlets, thus he encourages his followers to assault reporters. Reporters from El Diario de Hoy have defined the FMLN as one of the main obstacles which stops them from doing their job and discredits them constantly. On the other hand, the FMLN has asked the editor to change his mind on the party and its candidates. La Prensa Gráfica reported disagreements with the FMLN candidate, who has refused to participate in interviews and forums organized by said newspaper. Between June and August, National Civil Police (PNC) delegates threatened two journalists of La Prensa Gráfica in retaliation for investigating the irregularities of the PNC Chief, Francisco Rovira. They were forced to reveal their data collection and not to publish it. La Prensa Gráfica published their reports. Mr Rovira stepped down. The Federal Attorney General and the National Audit Office are now investigating the case to monitor the reports of such newspaper. In late August, two weeks after publishing the case, La Prensa Gráfica facilities were attacked by two criminals, who stole the editorial director’s laptop. These individuals entered the room and only took the computer which was full of valuable information about the case and similar ongoing cases. In July, La Prensa Gráfica copy editors in the city of San Miguel were threatened by an individual who said to be close to a drug-traffickers group called Los Perrones, who operates throughout Central America. The newspaper gave in-depth analysis on the drug-traffickers group, which is even now pursued by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Police have arrested several drug-traffickers and their investigations are going on. Two draft bills on Freedom of Information have been presented. Contradictorily, the FMLN has presented the first to the El Salvador Parliament. The second has been supported by one of the most respected institutions in El Salvador, the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUSADES). FUSADES proposal includes much of the IAPA meeting in May last year in which it remarked the importance of a law on that matter.