Costa Rica

Report to the Midyear Meeting
April 20-23,2021

During this period, no efforts have been made by the national government in favor of speedy processes of transparency and accountability - which resulted in a series of complaints to the Presidential House by journalists from different media due to the lack of a free-flowing relationship with the press.

The media have endured difficulties due to the lack of adequate means to obtain clear, accurate and timely information - and there were no regular press conferences on matters of public interest.

On several occasions - for about a year - Diario Extra published in each of its articles a red box exposing the public official who did not answer questions on various topics - such as migration statistics of people requesting refuge, data on foreigners infected with Covid-19, as well as vaccination issues, vehicle restrictions and business closures.

Diario Extra brought appeals for protection requesting respect for the information that public officials must provide regarding the bonus "Proteger."

On several occasions the Association of Journalists has expressed itself in support of different appeals - as well as the Ombudsman's Office.

The response times established for the different ministries are not being met, and the media and journalists do not get the answers within the time established by law.

On March 15, there was a ruling against a well-known journalist because she did not publish a right to reply on time in her television program. The penalty was an exorbitant amount - which was considered an inhibitory measure.

In this situation of crisis worsened by the pandemic, the media have been weakened due to the decline in advertising. The government has not implemented any economic incentives for this sector.