IAPA Pleased with Position of Former Heads of State on Press Freedom in the Americas


In reference to the anti-press freedom climate in Latin America, twenty-five former heads of state from Latin America and Spain, gathered in the Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas (IDEA Group), called on governments to guarantee "pluralism, which implies tolerance and a spirit of openness, without which there is no democratic society".

The "Declaration on Freedom of Expression and Press Freedom in Latin America" (Spanish) reflects the concern for the worsening of attacks against freedom of expression and press freedom. The document points out aggressions "to be alert" that commonly occur in Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Colombia.

The former heads of state express that we are facing "a turning point in freedom of expression in Latin America, especially on the Internet." They invoke the hemispheric doctrine on freedom of expression enshrined by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, in that "freedom of expression, particularly in matters of public interest, is a cornerstone in the very existence of a democratic society."

The signatories are: Óscar Arias, Costa Rica; José María Aznar, Spain; Nicolás Ardito Barletta, Panama; Felipe Calderón, Mexico; Rafael Ángel Calderón, Costa Rica; Iván Duque, Colombia; Vicente Fox, Mexico; Federico Franco, Paraguay; Eduardo Frei, Chile; César Gaviria, Colombia; Lucio Gutiérrez, Ecuador; Osvaldo Hurtado, Ecuador; Luis Alberto Lacalle, Uruguay; Mauricio Macri, Argentina; Jamil Mahuad, Ecuador; Carlos Mesa, Bolivia; Lenin Moreno, Ecuador; Mireya Moscoso, Panama; Andrés Pastrana, Colombia; Sebastián Piñera, Chile; Jorge Tuto Quiroga, Bolivia; Mariano Rajoy, Spain; Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, Costa Rica; Luis Guillermo Solís, Costa Rica and Juan Carlos Wasmosy, Paraguay.