13 January 2023

IAPA BOT: assassination attempts, kidnappings, and aggressions against journalists in bulk

The tool monitors information published in the media, Google News, Twitter, and IAPA reports and denunciations.

According to the IAPA Bot heat map, this week, Peru ranked among the countries with the worst climate for press freedom. Journalists and photojournalists from different Peruvian media have been threatened and assaulted by police officers during the coverage of the protests against the current president, Dina Boluarte.

The National Association of Journalists of Peru has registered 72 attacks against the press since the beginning of the demonstrations in December 2022. Among them is the attack against journalists Luis Angulo and Pablo Torres, who was run over by a van while doing their work.

Bolivian journalists have also suffered aggression during the mobilizations that took place in the last days after the arrest of Luis Fernando Camacho, governor of Santa Cruz.

In Mexico, several journalists reported attacks and death threats while covering the event after the arrest of "Chapo" Guzmán's son in Culiacán. "Several colleagues had vehicles and equipment taken from them or were threatened with a weapon. Others were unable to leave their homes. Others were kidnapped at times, and all were segregated," journalist Aarón Ibarra said on his Twitter account.

In Guerrero (Mexico), the journalists Jesús Pintor Alegre, Alan García Aguilar, and the chemist Fernando Moreno Villegas were kidnapped on December 27 by a criminal gang due to a series of reports that the journalists had published in the news site Escenario Calentano. They were released on Thursday, but Garcia Aguilar's whereabouts are still unknown.

Also in Mexico, police announced on Wednesday the capture of 11 people involved in the attempted murder of journalist Ciro Gómez Leyva in December 2022.

In Nicaragua, the country with the worst result in the Chapultepec Index, the newspaper La Prensa has denounced that the government of Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo will begin to use its printing presses and commercial printing press.

The IAPA Bot also recorded that "Free Alex Saab," "Lawfare," "Fake News," "Journalism," and "Freedom" were the most used terms on Twitter during this last week. The most influential actor on social media was Donald Trump Jr. He posted: "LATEST: Trump releases new statement criticizing FBI and other agencies for colluding with big tech to censor Americans and violate our First Amendment rights."

IAPA 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 from a selection of IAPA notes and denunciations. 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 that highlights the statements of government leaders, 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.