WHEREAS, restrictions on access to information are one of the principal limitations to freedom of expression and the public's right to information
WHEREAS, restrictions on access to information and blockages to news coverage of issues of interest were reported in Aruba, Bolivia, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Peru, Puerto Rico, the United States, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela
WHEREAS, in Colombia, President Iván Duque's objection to Bill 473 - to repeal the extension of the terms of attention to petitions to authorities, established during the pandemic - is seen as a violation of timely access to public information
WHEREAS, in the United States, access to public records continues to be a concern at the state and federal levels
WHEREAS, in Honduras, the 2014 Secrecy Law, which shielded officials from releasing information about their administrative decisions, bids and budgets, was repealed
WHEREAS, in Paraguay, several state institutions refuse to comply with the law on access to public information
WHEREAS, in Puerto Rico, the courts continue to be the best tool for enforcing transparency laws and providing access to information when the executive and legislative branches impose obstacles to transparency
WHEREAS, in the Dominican Republic there have been complaints from the media due to the reluctance of public officials or institutions to disclose information of public interest - as requested by the Law on Free Access to Information
WHEREAS, in Venezuela access to digital media, multimedia platforms, streaming and social networks is blocked - an action carried out by official and private telecommunications companies, with the intention of muzzling independent journalism
WHEREAS, Principle 3 of the Chapultepec Declaration states: "The authorities should be legally compelled to make available to citizens, in a timely and equitable manner, the information generated by the public sector"
WHEREAS, Principle 5 of the Chapultepec Declaration states: "the creation of obstacles to the free flow of information and limitations on the free exercise of journalism and the free movement of journalists are directly opposed to press freedom"
THE IAPA MID-YEAR MEETING RESOLVES
To reject the restrictions on access to information and news coverage that journalists and media outlets in Aruba, Bolivia, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, United States, and Venezuela have been facing
To urge countries in the Americas that restrict laws on access to public information or constitutional rights to stop these practices, abandon the secrecy culture, and refrain from obstructing and restricting the work of the press
To welcome in Honduras the repeal of the 2014 Secrecy Law -that violated the right of access to public information and the principle of transparency.