Resolution of the 71th General Assembly
Charleston, South Carolina
October 2 – 6, 2015
WHEREAS there is under debate in the Senate a bill titled "Extended Responsibility of the Producer" that would establish a new system of dealing with waste through a restrictive environmental management instrument of an obligatory nature for several categories of products, including "newspapers and magazines"
WHEREAS the main obligation that is intended to impose upon all news or publishing companies that sell newspapers or magazines in Chile would be to comply with the waste management objectives established by the Environment Ministry in a Supreme Decree, and that each publishing company should organize and fund the collection of waste materials from the printing of media throughout the country
WHEREAS the bill would require newspapers and magazines to obtain the authorization of the Environment Ministry to be able to sell their products, which goes against the constitutional right to issue opinion and to inform without prior censorship
WHEREAS among the sanctions for failure to comply with this law there would be established fines of $5,000,000 and $7,600,000 and the prohibition of selling the products so long as the sanction was in effect, which is contrary to the standards of freedom of expression, as the Superintendency of the Environment would be the body empowered to regulate and give follow-up to compliance with the obligations and the applications of the sanctions
WHEREAS news companies in Chile have historically committed to protect the environment, effected through individual and joint practices in this regard
WHEREAS news companies have applied in Chile a successful system of recycling of waste, a product of a consistent and long-dating policy of commitment to the environment
WHEREAS Principle 5 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states: "Prior censorship, restrictions on the circulation of the media or dissemination of their reports, forced publication of information, the imposition of obstacles to the free flow of news, and restrictions on the activities and movements of journalists directly contradict freedom of the press."
THE IAPA GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLVES
to urge the Chilean government and Senate to exempt newspapers and magazines from being subject to the application of these rules or alternatively to establish a special system applicable to them in which there is guaranteed the unrestricted exercise of freedom of expression and of the press and where there cannot be imposed the proposed sanctions that harm these guarantees
to raise an alert about the seriousness that these rules have for freedom of expression that, under the pretext of meeting the needs of environmental conservation or those of another kind, put in danger the continuity of the news media and the legitimate exercise of press freedom
to warn an alert about the seriousness for freedom of expression that is represented by the imposition of administrative measures that authorize the creation or determine the closure of news media, going against the basic principle of maintaining news media and having them freely available.