06 October 2015


WHEREAS the executive branch of the government continues to place its advertising in an increasingly arbitrary manner, ignoring the Supreme Court rulings that require government advertising to be placed in accordance with objective, reasonable guidelines so as not to undermine freedom of expression WHEREAS the amount of money that the government spends on advertising continues to increase every year, to the point where it now stands at unprecedented proportions; and this advertising is used as a means of reward and punishment, in what is tantamount to indirect censorship WHEREAS this amount now totals 2.014 billion Argentine pesos in this electoral year; this is 68% over the originally budgeted amount of 1.2 billion pesos, and after just eight months has already equaled last year’s amount WHEREAS the government continues to selectively enforce laws and regulations for the purpose of disciplining and harassing media outlets not aligned with the government WHEREAS the government continues to restrict, and to discriminate in granting, access to public information, and it also continues to avoid giving presidential press conferences WHEREAS the public media continue to be used as government media outlets, often for the purpose of stigmatizing dissident voices; thus far this year, the Argentine president has used the state-owned network on 40 occasions beyond what is called for in the corresponding law WHEREAS the government agencies responsible for tax collection (AFIP), financial reporting (UIF), oversight of audiovisual media (AFSCA), and regulation of telecommunications (AFTIC), among others, are used as tools for retaliating against critical media outlets. WHEREAS these actions blatantly and directly violate the American Convention on Human Rights and Article 7 of the Declaration of Chapultepec, which states: “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.” THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE IAPA RESOLVES To urge the government to end its arbitrary and discriminatory practices in placing government advertising, in enforcing laws and regulations, in assigning frequencies, and in providing access to public information, among other matters To call on the government to conduct its relationship with the media in an equitable, pluralistic, and transparent matter, and to refrain from using public resources and agencies as means of reward or punishment To ask the administration that is elected in this year’s elections to correct these deviations and thereby reinstate full respect for freedom of expression and the people’s right to be informed.