Miami (November 17, 2021) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) is calling on the government of Bolivia to establish a protection and security mechanism for journalists to confront a wave of attacks that have intensified in recent months.
Jorge Canahuati, president of the IAPA, condemned the numerous attacks against Bolivian journalists. "Authorities must investigate the complaints and define responsibilities, but it is time to create a protection program that immediately protects and guarantees the integrity of journalists who carry out their work with risk and insecurity," said Canahuati, executive president of Grupo Opsa, from Honduras.
Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Paraguay have created protection systems for journalists that prevent cases of violence, reduce levels of risk, and combat impunity, surrounding crimes against journalists.
Carlos Jornet, president of the Commission on Freedom of the Press and Information, said: "Although these systems are not as efficient as they should be, because in many countries they lack the economic, human and technical resources necessary to operate, at least they offer an important layer of security and prevention."
Canahuati and Jornet, editorial director of La Voz del Interior of Argentina, said, "In Latin America, there is already enough accumulated experience on this type of protection systems that can serve the Bolivian authorities." They added that the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights establishes that prevention, protection, and justice are the essential elements these systems must-have.
In recent months, the National Press Association of Bolivia (ANP, in Spanish) denounced more than 20 cases of violence against journalists, including physical aggression, threats, kidnapping, and torture. The ANP also complaint about authorities and officials publicly disqualifying the news coverage of at least six media outlets: Página Siete, Los Tiempos, Correo del Sur, Grupo El Deber, Agencia de Noticias Fides (ANF), and Erbol.
IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. It comprises more than 1,300 publications from the western hemisphere; and is based in Miami, Florida, United States