Puerto Rico


79th IAPA General Assembly, November 9 - 12, 2023, Mexico City, Mexico


During this period, there were infringements against the right to access information, and media outlets and press organizations sued various government agencies. An opinion from the federal Supreme Court recognized immunity for a federal government entity that oversees public finances, thereby exempting it from the right to access public information.

Legal struggles continued, as well as the exploitation of governmental agencies to procrastinate, postpone, or obstruct the release of public information requested.

In May, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in a case on access to public information driven by the Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI) against the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico (Oversight Board), which oversees public finances and, among other things, controls corruption and administrative mismanagement. The Oversight Board claimed that, as an entity within the local government, it enjoys "sovereign immunity."

Over 30 entities and 19 law professors supported the CPI through 10 amicus curiae briefs. However, in an eight-to-one vote, the high court upheld the arguments of the Financial Oversight and Management Board that it enjoys "sovereign immunity" and is not subject to Puerto Rico's constitutional right to access public information.

On September 6, the Department of Natural Resources was also compelled before the court for not providing public information from the agency and the Environmental Quality Board about facilities in three municipalities.

The Department of Health is before the courts for failing to provide complete mortality data for the past two years.

The newspaper Metro was forced to resort to the courts on July 11, 2023, to request information from the Department of Education about students who did not complete the requirements to move up a grade and data on students who took summer classes.

The journalistic group GFR Media could not obtain statistical information from various agencies of the Central Government, including the Departments of Family and Public Safety.

On July 28, Governor of Puerto Rico, Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia, signed Law No. 75 of 2023 to amend Article 2.04 of Law No. 85 of 2018, the Puerto Rico Educational Reform Act, and to create a pilot teaching program in the public system focused on civil and constitutional rights, such as the right to equality before the law, the right to religious freedom, the right to freedom of speech and the press, the right to free association, the right to life, liberty and the enjoyment of property, the right to privacy, the right to due process of law, and workers' rights, among others.