31 March 2023

IAPA Bot: A Stifling Climate for Journalism and Freedom of Expression in the Americas

Weekly report of the real-time monitoring tool based on Artificial Intelligence.
On the IAPA Bot map, the entire hemisphere was tinged with orange tones, highlighting serious events such as the bursting in of armed men at El Heraldo of Barranquilla, Colombia, demanding the publication of an interview with a mafia boss.

In the United States, several civil liberties organizations warned the government that a ban on the social network Tik Tok would represent a serious blow to freedom of expression.

Two journalists from a news program broadcast on Facebook were assaulted in Bolivia while reporting at the prosecutor's office in Warnes, north of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

In Ecuador, where last week several journalists received envelopes with explosives, journalist Karol Noroña left the country due to threats she had been receiving for her investigative work on organized crime and the prison crisis.

In Chile, a television journalist was hit in the back while covering a live demonstration in Santiago.

Threats were also reported in Venezuela where Jorge Makriniotis, a relative of Miguel Henrique Otero, director of El Nacional, was held for more than eight hours for publications on the relationship of Nicolás Maduro's son with the brothers Santiago and Ricardo Morón, sanctioned by the US.

The Haitian journalist, Lebrun Saint-Hubert, president and director of the community radio "2000" was released on Saturday, March 25, after eight days of captivity under the power of criminals who demanded a ransom of 1.5 million dollars.

The "stateless" journalist Aníbal Toruño denounced that the Nicaraguan dictatorship expropriated a house owned by his children. The Sandinista regime also announced that it will enable and use the printing press confiscated in 2021 from the newspaper La Prensa.

In Cuba there were several acts of repression against non-government journalists and dissidents during the parliamentary elections held on March 26.

In a new act of stigmatization against the press, the presidential spokeswoman in Argentina, Gabriela Cerruti, stated that it is necessary to "purge" journalism and justice and added that the structure of these institutions "is not too different today from the one that made the genocide possible".

With 3967 interactions, the account of @TimRunsHisMouth, editor of The National Mouth, wrote the most influential tweet in the digital conversation. The text of the tweet was directed toward Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader since 2021: '@SenSchumer I don't think I've ever seen the Senate Majority Leader openly call for the violation of freedom of the press and free speech... but here he is."

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 expression in the Americas. It comprises more than 1,300 publications in the Western Hemisphere, based in Miami, Florida, United States.