Crisis in Latin American Journalism: Repression, Cyberattacks, and Legal Persecution


Miami (February 23, 2024) - Catalina Ruiz-Navarro and Matilde de los Milagros Londoño Jaramillo, founding journalists of the Colombian outlet Volcánicas, faced civil and criminal legal actions due to an investigation in which nine women accused a film director of harassment and sexual abuse.

The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) condemned the incident, and its president, Roberto Rock, stated that "judicial harassment is a resource used to affect journalistic work and discourage uncomfortable investigations."

In recent days, the Cuban Institute of Freedom of Expression and Press denounced a cyberattack on its website, allegedly originating from servers in China. For the NGO, the crime "posed a serious threat to the promotion of freedom of expression and press in Cuba."

Meanwhile, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and its Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression (SRFOE) condemned the continuous repression faced by civil society organizations and independent media in Cuba. In 2024, 300 repressive actions have been recorded.

According to the report from the NGO Colectivo de Derechos Humanos Nicaragua Nunca Más, independent Nicaraguan journalism in exile is also subject to cyberattacks. These actions include the hacking of personal accounts, blocking of websites, and harassment on social media platforms, among others.

In the United States, the Texas National Guard assaulted journalists from EFE covering the expulsion of a group of migrants at the Mexico border. One guard pointed a green laser beam at EFE cameras, which had already caused damage to reporters' equipment in Ciudad Juárez.

The Association of Journalists of El Salvador (APES in Spanish) warned of the advancement of a $10 million civil lawsuit against the newspaper El Diario de Hoy and one of its journalists. The organization claimed that this action threatens press freedom and could set a detrimental precedent for journalism in the country.

In Guatemala, the judiciary postponed, for the third time, the trial against journalist and founder of elPeriódico, José Rubén Zamora, due to health problems of the assigned prosecutor. The journalist was arrested on July 29, 2022, days after exposing corruption in the government of then-President Alejandro Giammattei in his media outlet. In 2023, he was sentenced to six years in prison.

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.