IAPA rejects discriminatory statements by Peruvian Congress Speaker

Reaction of the Congress Speaker, Luis Galarreta, is a "clear act of intimidation of media and journalists in reprisal for news investigations."

MIAMI, Florida (My 30, 2018)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today criticized statements by the Speaker of the Peruvian Congress, Luis Galarreta, in support of a bill that would prohibit state advertising in privately-owned media, calling them "an act of intimidation of media and journalists in reprisal for news investigations."

The IAPA thus joined Peruvian press organizations that condemned Galarreta's statements issued after the press questioned the purchase that Congress made of technological equipment and electrical appliances.

Galarreta reacted uncomfortably and this was not the first time that in the face of press criticisms he has said that he would act for rapid approval of the law that would prohibit advertising in the "mermelera" press (who receives money). The questioned bill was submitted by Congressman Mauricio Mulder.

The chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Roberto Rock, stressed that the organization had already declared that beyond the unreasonable reactions of the legislator "what is important is to underscore the fact that the bill is discriminatory and harms the constitutional rights to freedom of the press and of commerce, in addition to affecting the economic sustainability of the media and infringing their independence."

Rock, editor of the Mexican news portal La Silla Rota, said that the Congressman's reaction is a "clear act of intimidation of media and journalists in reprisal for news investigations", among them the journalist Augusto Álvarez Rodrich of the newspaper La República.

"While I do not believe that the statements intimidate the press it is necessary to remind Congress that it cannot be wielding a law to discipline the press, whose task is precisely to question and control those in power", he added.

In March this year the IAPA took part in Lima in the international conference "Regulation of state advertising and its impact on informational freedoms" in which the bill was criticized for being contrary to press freedom and the precepts set out in the Declaration of Chapultepec and the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida.