29 December 2023

IAPA Bot: Journalism is Mourning


Miami (December 29, 2023) - The last week of the year was tragic. The murder of two journalists in Guatemala and another in Honduras highlighted the wave of violence against the press in the region.

César Augusto Leiva Pimentel of La Red Radio and Gleymer Renán Villeda of the Impacto Izaba portal were shot to death in two separate incidents in the Guatemalan towns of Jutiapa and Izabal. In Honduras, armed individuals murdered journalist Francisco Javier Ramírez Amador, who had government protection measures. The Inter American Press Association and the United Nations called for strengthening protection systems.

The Attorney General's Office of Ecuador released conversations with a drug trafficker in which he admitted that he planned attacks against journalists. During the year, 29 death threats were registered against journalists. Roberto Rock, president of the IAPA, asked the authorities "to adopt urgent measures to stop the growing insecurity and the action of organized crime against the press."

In Argentina, journalist Eduardo Feinmann received a death threat through X. On the other hand, protesters and police officers attacked reporters from LN+ and Telefé Noticias during a public demonstration.

The IAPA expressed concern about a bill in Peru that modifies the Penal Code to increase penalties for slander and defamation. Likewise, the Magisterial Bloc presented another bill to penalize disseminating classified information.

The Venezuelan government blocked the El Carabobeño website for publishing a note from the EFE agency titled "Guyana trusts that the ICJ will put an end to Venezuela's tyranny over the Essequib."

Also, officials from the Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (Dgcim) prevented journalists from covering the fuel spill at the El Palito Refinery in Venezuela.

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.