11 August 2022

IAPA Bot: Central America, a stormy region for press freedom

Also, in Costa Rica, there is a tense relationship between journalists and President Rodrigo Chaves.

Miami, (August 12, 2022) -The climate for press freedom in Central America is suffering an unprecedented deterioration, says the Inter American Press Association (IAPA). According to the regional monitoring tool IAPA Bot, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala are becoming increasingly hostile to journalists.

IAPA's weekly report highlights the most trobled developments against press freedom through data collected by the IAPA Bot, a real-time artificial intelligence monitoring tool. For example, in the Climate section, a heat map of the Americas shows different colors according to the situation in each country.

Also, in Costa Rica, there is a tense relationship between journalists and President Rodrigo Chaves. He compared journalists to "rats" after the press questioned the government about the Covid-19 vaccination scheme.

In Honduras, where some officials have a hostile discourse against journalists, several press organizations insisted the government repeal the articles of the Penal Code that criminalize freedom of the press.

In Guatemala, José Rubén Zamora, president of elPeriódico, who is being detained for alleged money laundering offenses, stated that his case was set up by President Alejandro Giammattei and the Attorney General's Office to intimidate independent journalism in the Central American country.

Nicaraguan journalists in exile and regional press organizations repudiated the constant campaign of President Daniel Ortega, through which he continues to close down media outlets. This August 13 marks one year since the confiscation of the newspaper La Prensa.

In Cuba, journalist Nelson Julio Álvarez resigned to continue working as an independent journalist. He denounced that his decision came after suffering years of systematic harassment by the regime, including police summonses to his mother, arrests, interrogations, house raids, and hacking of his social networks.

SIP Bot is an artificial intelligence tool of the Inter American Press Association that monitors press freedom violations in real-time. It tracks information published in the media, Google News, Twitter, and a selection of notes and complaints from the IAPA. In addition, it contains a heat map that allows observing the press freedom climate in each country, a button to make complaints, and a menu highlighting government leaders' statements, citizens' conversations, and relevant events.

IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and freedom of expression in the Americas. It comprises more than 1,300 publications in the Western Hemisphere, based in Miami, Florida, United States.