09 March 2015


WHEREAS on July 25, 2014 during the session of the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino) Ecuadorean Congressman Octavio Villacreces presented a bill for the Communications Framework Law to the Political Affairs Committee of the body whose headquarters are in Panama WHEREAS the initiative seeks to draw up a Communications Law for the countries belonging to the Parlatino, titled “on the right to free access to communication” WHEREAS from the statement of motives we find an absolute lack of focus, in stating on its first page that “The news media … have impeded a participatory society being forged” WHEREAS the news media have always been and will be the first allies of the citizens in the construction of a participatory society and democracy, where freedom of the press and of expression are fundamental pillars of that democracy WHEREAS the legislative bill proposes imposing obligations concerning the manner that content should be presented in news media WHEREAS the legislative bill proposes the creation of a “Supervisory Body” and provides the government with the mechanisms of control to “monitor, warn and promote” concerning news media content WHEREAS an evaluation of the bill could become some manner of promoting self-censorship WHEREAS the bill is now under legislative review in the Parlatino, which could turn it into an effective law that would call on the local Congresses to replicate it THE IAPA MIDYEAR MEETING RESOLVES to urge governments committed to fight against self-censorship to seek to protect journalists and ensure that no legal framework establishes disproportionate obligations that could give rise to this intimidating effect to call upon all regional news media to remain alert to the future that this initiative harmful to regional press freedom could have