Miami (October 21, 2021) - Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua are the countries with the worst results in the "Chapultepec Index 2021", a barometer of the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) that measures levels of freedom of the press and expression in the Americas, while Uruguay and Chile continue to be the best located and most reliable countries on that scale.
The report was released on Wednesday during the 77th IAPA General Assembly, held from October 19 to 22. See here the main graphs.
The IAPA indicator is based on the institutional actions of the powers of the State in the area of freedom of expression, in 22 nations of the hemisphere.
This year's ranking took into account more than 200 reports by experts from those countries, during the period between July 30, 2020 and August 1, 2021. The methodological and statistical work is in charge of the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, from Caracas, Venezuela.
The results of this second edition of the Chapultepec Index show a general score in the region of 55.61 points, out of a maximum of 100, which represents a slight improvement in the hemisphere, in relation to last year's Index, which averaged 51.42 points.
Uruguay and Chile are located on the fringe of countries with freedom of expression. It is followed in the "Low Restriction" category by Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Canada, Costa Rica, Peru, Paraguay, Panama, the United States and Honduras.
In the "Partial restriction" band, still above the global average, is Colombia.
Below the average, also in "Partial restriction", are Argentina, Bolivia, Mexico and Guatemala. In the category of "High restriction" are El Salvador and Brazil.
In the zone of countries "Without freedom of expression", located in the red strip, are Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela. Between the best valued country and the worst valued country, Uruguay and Venezuela, there is a gap of 78.39 points.
The Chapultepec Index weighs various types of indicators. For example, in the "Media Control" Dimension, Mexico appears relatively highly valued, however, its rating in terms of "Violence and Impunity against journalists and the media" is alarming. During the period 12 Mexican journalists were assassinated.
In the "Dimension of Violence and Impunity against journalists and the media", none of the 22 nations achieves full freedom. Despite the institutional efforts and the will to maintain a climate of freedom of expression in the best valued nations, Uruguay and Chile, these were not exempt from episodes of attacks against communicators and the media.
The worst institutional score in freedom of expression and of the press is taken by Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela, the last three countries in the barometer for the second consecutive year. Without political changes, arrests, judicial prosecutions and violence against the press increased, aggravated by homicides against two journalists in Venezuela and the forced displacement of other journalists in Nicaragua. Prison as a measure of censorship is the common factor in these nations.
Political changes led to improvements in freedom of expression in some countries. The Dominican Republic, which rose 10 places, Ecuador, which rose four and the United States, which rose three places stand out. The country that fell the most on the scale compared to the previous year was Argentina.
In the graphs that are shared with this information, it is possible to see how the actions of the authorities impact different aspects.
For the development of the Chapultepec Index, the IAPA has counted on the valuable contribution of Grupo Sura and Fundación Bolívar, both companies from Colombia, and Edward and Karen Seaton from the United States. The first publication of the Chapultepec Index was made during the 76th IAPA General Assembly in October 2020.
The Chapultepec Index is prepared within the framework of the principles of freedom of the press and expression that the IAPA includes in its Declaration of Chapultepec and the Declaration of Salta.
The IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 publications from the Western Hemisphere; and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.