ARGENTINA II

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Resolution of the 70th General Assembly

Santiago, Chile

October 17 – 21, 2014


WHEREAS

five years ago Argentina's Law on Audiovisual Communication Services was passed amid a strong national government attack against the country's independent media;

WHEREAS

the Supreme Court of Justice of the Argentine Nation has argued that the application of this rule may indirectly harm the freedom of speech in absence of public policies on transparency in matters of government advertising, if the media are subsidized by the State, if public media are at the service of government interests, or if the parties responsible for applying the rule are not transparent, independent, technical bodies equal under the law;

WHEREAS

the aforementioned enforcement authority has demonstrated a clear hostility, in word and deed, against some of the media, thus altering the necessary unbiasedness and moderation that should guide those responsible for controlling the radio-electric spectrum;

WHEREAS

the technical and independence requirements are also being questioned because the body is controlled by the political authorities – its leader has disclosed his membership in the ruling party and has not established his professional competencies in the subject matters he is to regulate-;

WHEREAS

the aforementioned authority still shows different standards when applying the law on media – it recently announced a forced restructuring of the Clarin Group, even though the previous, voluntary self-restructuring had been approved by it-;

WHEREAS

in the above case the guarantee of a due process was not respected both in the substantiation of the measure – whose proceeding was objected on the basis of irregularities by the agency directors – and in relation to the aforementioned Group's constitutional right of defense;

WHEREAS

such behavior violates article 13 of the San José de Costa Rica Agreement and the principles of the Chapultepec Declaration,

THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF IAPA RESOLVES

To reject the selective application – such as the reward and punishment system – of the law on audiovisual media services and other legislation on the part of the officials involved;

To reject the forced restructuring of the Clarin Group announced by the head of the AFSCA, on grounds of the absence of a due process and the discriminatory treatment on the part of this agency;

To demand from the Argentine Executive Power that it abide by the conditions imposed by the ruling of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Argentine Nation, in particular with regard to the equal treatment and unbiased application of therule;

To request the Argentine Judicial and Legislative Branches to arbitrate the measures so as to ensure compliance with these provisions and prevent this type of de facto actions, which are blatant restrictions on the freedom of expression.


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