IAPA Rejects Discriminatory Use of Government Advertising in Peru


Miami (February 24, 2022) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) rejected the Peruvian government's irregular and illegal use of government advertising, according to a report by an official who resigned.

Ximena Pinto, now-former Secretary of Social Communication of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers (PCM), revealed that the president of the Cabinet, Aníbal Torres, ordered her to exclude Grupo El Comercio (GEC) from the official advertising campaign at the beginning of the school year. Pinto resigned, she said, after Torres insisted her not to advertise in América TV and Canal N, media belonging to GEC, and after he accused her of working for the newspaper El Comercio.

IAPA President Jorge Canahuati said, "The IAPA has denounced at different times in Peru the discrimination of advertising to punish or reward the media. In this case, the former official only corroborates a common practice". He added, "The IAPA always has stated that the discriminatory use of official advertising is an act of corruption since a government cannot use public funds for its benefit.

The chairman of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Carlos Jornet, added, "This is a discriminatory, irregular and illegal act, which is not based on technical and objective principles of audience measurement, transparency, penetration, and scope of the messages, but against the editorial criteria of the media.

Canahuati, executive president of Grupo Opsa, of Honduras, and Jornet, journalistic director of La Voz del Interior, of Argentina, recalled the IAPA Declaration of Chapultepec and Inter-American jurisprudence reject the discriminatory use of official advertising.

The Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression on the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) establishes in its Article 13: "...the arbitrary and discriminatory placement of official advertising..., with the intent to put pressure on and punish or reward and provide privileges to social communicators and communications media because of the opinions they express threaten freedom of expression, and must be explicitly prohibited by law."

Pinto's denunciation coincides with the request of three press organizations to Pedro Vaca, a special rapporteur for freedom of expression of the IACHR, to visit Peru due to the wave of attacks on freedom of press and expression. The organizations are the Peruvian Press Council, the Press and Society Institute, and the National Association of Journalists.

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.