Argentina II

WHEREAS after four years of there having been passed in Argentina the Law on Audiovisual Communication Services, known as the media law, there has been produced in the country an increasing process of official control of news media WHEREAS this law includes restrictions that are not in line with the Pact of San José, Costa Rica and violate freedom of expression, such as the arbitrary limitation of media that do not use broadcast frequencies or discrimination in coverage of official and private voices, affecting their sustainability and reach to the public WHEREAS some articles in this law are under review by the Argentine Supreme Court following a formal complaint of unconstitutionality made by the Grupo Clarín group for regarding them as affecting the rights of freedom of expression, of equality under the law, of property and non-retroactivity of the law, among others WHEREAS members of the executive branch of government have been conducting a strong pressure campaign and even discrediting of any judicial entity that intervenes in this matter WHEREAS the Argentine government continues to show different standards at the time of applying the media law, leading to the strong suspicion that it is only aiming to move against independent media WHEREAS a group of pro-government members of Congress introduced there a bill for  the expropriation of shares of Papel Prensa and turn the government into the major shareholder and controller of the largest newsprint factory in the country WHEREAS the Argentine government promoted the enactment of a new Capital Markets Law that empowers officials of the executive branch to take over companies and remove their directors without a court order and there were concrete threats in this regard against leading news media companies WHEREAS these attitudes violate Article 13 of the Pact of San José, Costa Rica and the principles of the Declaration of Chapultepec THE IAPA GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLVES to reiterate to the three branches of the Argentine government that the Law on Audiovisual Communication Services carries with it assumptions of indirect censorship in terms of the Pact of San José, Costa Rica, as it affects the sustainability of privately-owned media, it restricts without any technical basis the functioning of media that do not use broadcast frequencies, as cable and audiovisual ones, it favors official voices to the impairment of the others, and it arbitrarily discriminates among various media   to reject the selective application, as a system of rewarding and punishing, of that and other laws on the part of the officials involved to ask the executive branch of the Argentine government to end the pressures on the judiciary that threaten its role as guarantor of constitutional rights to ask the National Congress to avoid giving control of the manufacture of newsprint to the government of the day, which would lead to abuses similar to those applying to official advertising to urge the authorities to prevent the use of the Capital Markets Law to take over control of media companies, which constitutes a clear violation of press freedom.