04 April 2014

Puerto Rico

There has been a normal climate of press freedom in this period. The most important development has been progress in the program of access by news photographers and their audio and video equipment, and cell phones and tablets, authorized by the Puerto Rico Supreme Court for the coverage and live broadcasting of trials. A greater opening by the Supreme Court had been sought in July last year by the Association of Journalists, the Ultramarine Press Club, the Associations of New Photographers and the Center for Press Freedom. The Supreme Court then authorized the start of a pilot plan with coverage of civil cases in two courtrooms of the San Juan Court. Due to this plan on December 4, 2013 it was possible to carry out coverage of the sentencing of the former mayor of the town of Cidra, Ángel Malavé, found guilty on nine charges of lascivious acts against several municipal employees. On January 15 the Court authorized the live broadcast of a hearing on controversial proposed changes to the system of pensions of the country’s judges. On February 6 the press had access to the sentencing of real estate broker Pablo Casellas, found guilty by a jury of having murdered his wife, Carmen Paredes.