03 November 2023

IAPA Bot: Endless Attacks Against the Latin American Press


Miami (November 3, 2023) - Serious incidents such as new aggression against Bolivian journalists, the shooting attack against a radio station in Surinam, and the closure of a Venezuelan radio station activated red and orange shades in the SIP Bot heat map this week.

Several reporters were physically and verbally assaulted while covering a teachers' assembly in Oruro, in the Bolivian highlands. The Observatorio de Transparencia Ciudadana reported an escalation in aggressions against the Bolivian press in recent years, mainly by supporters of the ruling MAS party and the police.

In Venezuela, the National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) and national guards stopped transmissions and confiscated the equipment of the radio station Playonera in the Portuguesa state. In Suriname, a radio station critical of the government, Radio LIM, was shot at by unknown persons.

Verbal attacks against the press also continued by authorities in Mexico, where the 79th General Assembly of the IAPA will be held next week. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and the mayor of Lagos de Moreno, in Jalisco, disqualified and stigmatized the press for its informative work.

President Gabriel Boric made derogatory and critical comments towards the press in Chile. In criticizing the event, the IAPA considered that the discrediting of journalists could trigger hostile actions "when it is exercised from a position of power."

Another reprehensible event was the prevention of television presenter Osman Gabriel Flores from returning to Nicaragua by the Sandinista regime. More than 200 Nicaraguan communicators have had to leave their country in recent years.

In Honduras, the president of the National Congress prohibited a group of journalists from entering the building to prevent them from covering an extraordinary session of opposition deputies.

On a positive note, the Congress of El Salvador repealed two reforms that eliminated sanctions imposed on the media for disseminating messages linked to gangs or criminal groups.

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.