Puerto Rico


Report to the 72nd General Assembly

Mexico City, Mexico

October 13 – 17, 2016


In this period a formal climate of freedom of the press and of expression prevailed.

There should be mentioned, however, failed attempts by the Legislative Assembly to create a law on access to public information which is sought in the draft bill on Transparency and protected under the Constitution.

The last version of the proposed Transparency Law, project C.2944, leaves intact those laws and procedures that the media and the public have used to achieve transparency and seek documents from the government.

What is of concern is the attempt to create unnecessary governmental structures whose cost will be transferred to the requests for information.

Neither does there exist a statute on the time to deliver information.

Since there was created the Fiscal Control Board by the U.S. government to restructure the public debt and secure the budgets this body has been reluctant to be transparent with the media.

Access of television cameras in courtrooms has been re-established, on a pilot basis, although approval of the requests presented by the media is not guaranteed. That is what occurred in March, when the petition submitted by Televicentro news channel, Channel 4, to broadcast the preliminary hearing of the case of the child Lorenzo González Cacho, murdered six years ago, was denied.

The requests for digital and photographic access to civil and criminal proceedings in the courts are determined case by case. This procedure imposes a final charge on the media, as it has to be requested through the Supreme Court without the intervention of the court that presides over the proceedings. The Supreme Court is divided over this access issue, with the majority in favor of it.