Miami (January 12, 2022) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) called on the constituents drafting Chile's new Constitution to guarantee the broadest access to public information and prohibit Congress from passing laws restricting press freedom.
The IAPA's position is reflected in a document prepared by Carlos Jornet, president of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information. He responded to a public request made by the Committee on Knowledge Systems, Science and Technology, Culture, Art, and Heritage of the Constitutional Convention of Chile to organizations that lead the fight for freedom of the press and freedom of expression.
Jorge Canahuati, president of the IAPA and CEO of the Opsa Group of Honduras, welcomed the request by the Chilean constituents "given a text that will guarantee full freedoms to all citizens under the leadership of President-elect Gabriel Boric."
In the document sent last December, Jornet, editor of La Voz del Interior of Argentina, points out four relevant issues that the new Constitution should contain: prohibiting prior censorship; prohibiting the enactment of laws that restrict freedom of the press on any platform; incorporating the right of citizens to seek, receive and disseminate information, and promoting the broadest access to public information.
The full text of the document "The IAPA and freedom of expression and press freedom in the new Chilean Constitution" can be read here, in Spanish only.
Among other reasons, Jornet warned, "in IAPA, we have always rejected laws that try to regulate the media because they end up being instruments to restrict freedom of the press and the right of citizens to receive and disseminate information."
Chile's Constitutional Convention is drafting a proposal for a new Constitution submitted to a referendum in mid-2022.
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.