Report to the 74th General Assembly
Oct 19 to 22
Salta, Argentina
The proximity of the electoral year, and the increase in criticism from the opposition due to the economic situation and the fiscal deficit, have unleashed certain nervous behavior on the part of the national government – which is reflected in its relations with the media. As a demonstrative fact, neither the President, nor his ministers or legislators attended the celebration of El País's 100th anniversary.

Javier Miranda – president of the ruling Broad Front party, attacked the newspaper El Observador for a headline that read: "40% of households are at risk of falling into poverty", according to the study "Dynamics of the welfare of social classes in recent years." The report states that between 2004 and 2016 there was a sharp reduction in poverty (from 60% to 21%), but warns that many of those who climbed the social ladder are in a situation of vulnerability.

Miranda described the information as "totally manipulated and violating human rights, contrary to Article 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights, which states that there is a right to freedom of expression without prior censorship, but that the recipients of the information have the right to have reliable information." It was a whimsical interpretation of Article 13, in an attempt to introduce the argument of truthful information.

At a meeting of the Executive Council of the Inter-American Masonic Confederation, President Tabaré Vázquez said he did not want to blame the media, but pointed out that there is a link between violence and the media, wondering if the latter are the "cause or symptom" of violence.

On April 11, the Supreme Court of Justice declared as unconstitutional certain aspects of Article 143 of the Media Law dedicated to regulate the distribution of free television and radio advertising spaces for national, legislative, ballot and municipal elections. The provision favored with more free space the slogan that obtained more votes in the previous elections. The appeal was filed by the Independent Party because it "violates the principle of equality" and "hinders minorities' access to power.

On April 25 - when President Vázquez was inaugurating an educational center in La Teja neighborhood, Tomer Urwicz – a journalist from El País, asked him about the change of DNA (electoral promise) in education. The president laughed and kept going. When he asked him another question about hiring a colleague to read a presidential message on Cadena de Radio y Televisión, the president did not answer either and said: "Who are you running an errand for?"

On July 31, in a parliamentary commission, Chancellor Nin Novoa referred to the Law of Public Access to Information – annoyed by the requests and the way it is being applied. "We have received requests for access to public information from people who want to do a doctorate. Well, let them look for it! We are not going to do the doctorate for them!"

The law was used by journalists from the weekly Búsqueda to find out about the personal expenses of the country's former vice president, Raúl Sendic, using a credit card from the main state-owned company – which later led to his resignation.

On August 5, Foreign Minister Novoa accused Gustavo Toledo – a Radio Del Oeste journalist, of being part of the opposition for asking him about the fiscal deficit – withdrawing at once from the interview.

On August 17, Javier Miranda – president of the Broad Front party, questioned as yellowish the press coverage of the scandal of the Uruguayan Football Association and the dissemination of "press leaks" involving government officials. "We spent the entire last week seeing press leaks from clandestine and edited recordings of people who accuse each other of spurious business, and so fall the Undersecretary of the Ministry of the Interior (brother of the President) and the son of the President."

On October 1, President Vázquez – in a message on the Presidency's website with the introduction: "Uruguayans have the right to receive and also be informed of good news," said he had received a letter announcing that the Minister of Economy, Danilo Astori, was recognized by Global Markets magazine as the best in Latin America. It was later learned that Global Markets is not a magazine but a bulletin of the International Monetary Fund, in whose Regional Advisory Group the president participates.