IAPA Midyear Meeting 2017

Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala

March 31 – April 3


The existence of denunciations by social organizations of pressures from those in power against news media has given rise to questions about governmental interference in press freedom. A corollary of this situation is the refusal of Paraguayan President Horacio Cartes to accept journalistic questions, which has sharpened since he made public his intention to seek re-election through a needed amendment to the Constitution.

In this context there is added the government initiative to pay owners of radio stations for them to broadcast news favorable to the government. This explicit offer was made by Paraguayan Vice President Juan Afara in February.

In February journalists in Misiones province denounced pressures put on them to air in radio programs and on social media all the activities of the Colorado Party and of President Cartes, otherwise they would cease getting support from the Yacyretá Bi-national Entity.

Also in February, at a meeting held in the offices of the Paraguayan Vice President with the participation of the head of the Presidency's Information and Communication Secretariat (Sicom), Fabrizo Caligaris; the president of the National Telecommunications Council (Conatel), Teresita Palacios; Senator Liliam Samaniego; ANR Congressmen Pedro Aliana and Tomás Rivas, and the Vice President an offer was made to remunerate with official advertising the owners of inland radio stations that broadcast "good news" about the government. This was communicated to the Union of Radio Stations of Paraguay so as to inform them of what had been decided and subsequently the government formed the Community Radio Stations of the North Commission in Concepción province.

In March the justice system ordered that Vilmar Acosta Marques, former mayor of Ypejhú, will have to go on public trial for the murder of ABC Color correspondent Pablo Medina and his companion, Antonia Almada, on October 16, 2014.