Main threats to journalism in the Americas

Carlos Jornet, president of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, reports to the 79th IAPA General Assembly

Mexico City (November 10, 2023) - In a world convulsed by war conflicts, the autocratic governments of Latin America wage "another type of war", suffocating and persecuting their people and the press is one of its first victims , stated journalist Carlos Jornet when presenting his annual report before the 79th General Assembly of the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA).

Jornet, who chairs the IAPA Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, inaugurated a day of discussions on the main dangers that threaten journalistic work in the Americas, as well as initiatives to confront, prevent or neutralize them.

"The media that do not accept being complicit in the abuse of institutions and human rights are economically suffocated, raided, closed, confiscated," said Jornet, journalistic director of La Voz del Interior, of Argentina.

After describing the extremely serious environment in which journalism operates in Mexico, where on average 11 journalists are killed per year, Jornet exposed a gloomy outlook for journalists and media outlets in almost all countries in the hemisphere, highlighting in particular the cases of journalists imprisoned in Cuba, Nicaragua and Guatemala.

"The number of exiled journalists continues to rise: since April, we have one in Bolivia, Colombia and Paraguay; two in Ecuador; eight in Guatemala; no less than 29 due to the persecution of the Nicaraguan regime, and two exiles and a request for asylum in Paraguay," said the Argentine journalist.

He also emphasized in Cuba where 12 journalists are prohibited from moving within the country, while in Honduras and Haiti several journalists have had to leave the area where they live due to threats and violence.

On the other hand, Jornet highlighted that attacks and threats against journalism are multiplying in Argentina, due to the advance of drug trafficking and electoral tensions, as well as in Brazil due to street protests and in Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala , Peru and Venezuela.

Attitudes of discredit and stigmatization against the press have been recurrent in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Venezuela.

As positive news, Jornet quoted the ruling of the Costa Rican Constitutional Court against stigmatization; the progress in Chile and Paraguay to create protection mechanisms against journalists; the initiative in the United States to protect information and identity of sources, and the projects in the Dominican Republic to decriminalize sanctions against journalists, as well as in Uruguay to include printed media in a tax exemption regime.

Read Jornet's full speech here.

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.