CHILE WHEREAS press freedom in Chile is living through moments of special significance as legislation on freedom of opinion and information and the practice of journalism draws into the final stage following a decade of discussion WHEREAS this delay is worrisome in spite of Chile’s signing of Declaration of Chapultepec as well as resolutions adverse to the country issued by the Inter-American Human Rights Commission of the Organization of American States in matters concerning freedom of the press and information WHEREAS despite advances in the bill, the Chamber of Deputies has hindered its approval and a number of legislators seem intent on delving deeply into the most controversial aspects of the bill proposed during its extensive discussion WHEREAS important political sectors insist on objecting to work of investigative journalism and its contribution to the fight against corruption and drug trafficking on the grounds of the necessity of preserving and protecting privacy and family life, without due distinction given to significant developments relevant to society WHEREAS access to official information in Chile is precarious because the decision to provide it is, in the final instance, up to the administrative authority from which it is sought. This constraint seriously hampers the knowledge of many administrative decisions and certainly does not contribute to the fight against corruption WHEREAS attempts to enable the government to meddle in purely commercial matters of news organizations must be rejected, such as the law compelling newspapers and magazine to publish their circulation figures. There is the danger that these administrative entities can use this obligation as a basis for future interference in the internal management and commercial strategies of news organizations under the pretext of seeking to verify compliance with this requirement WHEREAS Principle 3 of the Declaration of Chapultepec says, “the authorities must be compelled by law to make available in a timely and reasonable manner the information generated by the public sector; no journalist may be forced to reveal his or her sources of information,” Principle 7 says, “tariff and exchange policies, licenses for the importation of paper or news gathering equipment, the assigning of radio and television frequencies and the granting or withdrawal of government advertising may not be used to reward or punish the media or individual journalists,” and Principle 10 says, “no news medium nor journalist may be punished for publishing the truth or criticizing or denouncing the government.” WHEREAS these type of measures, coupled with other initiatives concerning changes in the control of news organizations, portray a deteriorating legal situation for the Chilean press concerning its other functions in society, particularly regarding its importance to safeguard all other individual freedoms. WHEREAS with passage of the new press law, provisions in Article 6 and subsequent clauses of the Law on Internal State Security regarding contempt would be repealed WHEREAS Chilean journalist Alejandra Matus was charged in 1999 Under terms of Article 6 (b) of the Law on Internal State Security with contempt for publishing her “Black Book of Chilean Justice,” which was seized on judicial order, forcing her to leave the country in fear of possible reprisals, and that journalist Paula Afani was put on trial for refusing to reveal her news sources for a story on drug trafficking and money laundering THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to call on President Ricardo Lagos and Congress to approve legislation that effectively ensures freedom of expression in Chile and prevents political interference into the media’s commercial activities.