22 September 2023

IAPA Bot: Threats and intimidation threaten the work of journalists

Weekly report from the Inter American Press Association's digital monitoring tool.

Miami (September 22, 2023) - In a regional climate of threats and aggressions against the Latin American press, Colombia was colored red this week on the heat map of the IAPA Bot monitor. In Tuluá, Cauca department, at least ten journalists received threats from criminal gangs, and several abandoned their programs. Two radio stations suspended their newscasts.

Red tones also covered Brazil, Honduras, Cuba, Mexico, and Bolivia for similar reasons.

According to Reporters without Borders, 66 cases of attacks on press freedom were documented in the Brazilian Amazon between June 30, 2022, and June 30, 2023. Journalists are victims of threats, pressures, and aggressions.

In Honduras, the leading human rights organization reported that 107 journalists have suffered threats to their physical safety in the last seven years or have had to move for that reason. In 2023, 21 cases have been registered, surpassing the 20 cases in 2022.

The organization's Article 19 denounced 272 aggressions and at least three murders of journalists in Mexico this year. The statistics indicated that every 16 hours, Mexican journalists suffer aggression.

On the other hand, the Bolivian Ombudsman's Office requested the "clarification" of three cases of aggression against journalists in the cities of La Paz, Santa Cruz, and Oruro.

In Cuba, one of the lowest-ranked countries in the Chapultepec Index, journalist Henry Constantín Ferreiro was arrested during the inauguration of the G77+China Summit in Havana. After five days of arbitrary detention, the journalist was released. His colleague, Neife Rigau, a La Hora de Cuba contributor, was summoned by the People's Court of Camagüey in an apparent act of official intimidation.

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.