17 November 2023

IAPA Bot: Politicians at War with the Press


Miami (November 17, 2023) - Argentinean, Colombian, Venezuelan, and Bolivian journalists and media outlets were attacked and harassed this week. These events add to the countless attacks that threaten freedom of expression in the continent daily.

During the campaign's closing in Argentina, presidential candidate Javier Milei pushed a journalist who approached to interview him and told him that the event "was not for him." Lilia Lemoine, national deputy elected by the same political party, announced that, if elected government, they will privatize the public media because they are considered to be organs of government propaganda.

The Asociación de Entidades Periodísticas Argentinas (ADEPA) condemned the statements of the governor of La Rioja, Ricardo Quintela, who said that he would like to "block the press" because they intoxicate citizens with negative news.

The president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, and the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, accused the media of spreading false news.

Likewise, in Venezuela, the governor of Trujillo "declared war" on the director of the media, Palpitar Trujillano, Rafael Andrés Briceño, for one of his publications. The National Association of Journalists of Venezuela requested the Attorney General's Office to investigate the politician.

In Bolivia, Noé Portugal and Marco Antonio Guzmán, photojournalists of the newspaper Opinión de Cochabamba, were attacked by a group of demonstrators during their coverage. The National Press Association condemned the incident, calling for "respect for the work of journalists and their publications."

In Peru, the National Association of Journalists demanded that the attacks suffered by 40 journalists during the demonstrations against the government in 2020 should not go unpunished. "No one responsible has been punished! We demand justice and effective measures from the State to protect the press. No to impunity," they wrote in X.

The IAPA also demanded that the crime of Paul Jean Marie, a Haitian journalist who was murdered this year, not go unpunished. It also urged the authorities to develop mechanisms to support journalists who left the country because their lives were in danger.

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.