20 October 2023

IAPA Bot: Not Only Bad News for Press Freedom


Miami (October 20, 2023) - Unstoppable attacks on journalists, vandalism against media facilities, and the possible disappearance of a news agency are some of the damaging events recorded by IAPA Bot against the press in the Americas this week.

However, it was not all bad news. In Guatemala, the Court of Appeals overturned the six-year prison sentence of journalist José Ruben Zamora. And in Chile, the Chamber of Deputies approved a bill to strengthen safety for journalists and press workers.

The Colombian radio station Todelar headquarters was vandalized with a mixture of paint and excrement. The person responsible beat the building's security guard and was later captured by the police.

Also in Colombia, after a hearing of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR), journalist Jineth Bedoya declared that the Attorney General's Office "lacks the will" to continue investigating the threats against her and that the State lied because they have not complied with the reparation measures ordered in her case by the Court.

In Mexico, police from the municipality of Puebla physically assaulted and detained journalists Juan Carlos Cacho Rodríguez and Maximiliano Ortega Mello. Although the journalists were released, they still feared for their physical integrity.

In addition, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador sent an initiative to the Chamber of Deputies to definitively extinguish Notimex, the state-owned news agency, as he considers it has fallen behind the rest of the media.

In Peru, the new head of congressional security has a record of posts on social media that evidences his history of attacks against journalists and the National Justice Board (JNJ), whom he called "mermeleros" and "mafiosos."

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.