IAPA condemns threats against media and journalists in Bolivia and Uruguay

The threats violate press freedom and put the safety of journalists and the media at risk.

Miami (August 10, 2023) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) condemned the threats against journalists and media outlets in Bolivia and Uruguay, in retaliation for their coverage of the case of a well-known drug trafficker. The organization urged the authorities of both countries to guarantee the safety of those affected.

The ATB Network and the digital media Contacto Bolivia, from Bolivia, and journalists from the newscasts Telenoche, from Channel 4, and Subrayado, from channel 10, from Uruguay, received the same warning via WhatsApp on different dates in August. "Hello. If they keep doing articles about me there will be consequences. I am Marset", said the text, which was accompanied by a photo with 24 pistol chargers. Sebastián Marset is a Uruguayan drug trafficker, who is on the run, presumably in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia. His case has received wide coverage in both countries.

IAPA President Michael Greenspon, Global Head of Licensing & Print Innovation for The New York Times, repudiated the threats that, he said, "violate press freedom and put the safety of journalists and the media at risk."

Although the Bolivian and Uruguayan authorities promised to investigate the complaint, Carlos Jornet, president of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information and journalistic director of the Argentine newspaper La Voz del Interior, urged them to "respond promptly, stop and punish intimidating acts that violate the free exercise of journalism and the right of citizens to be informed", as established in the Declaration of Chapultepec in its fourth principle.

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 from the western hemisphere; and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.