22 March 2024

Intimidate and restrict, slogans against journalism in the Americas


Bolivian journalists rejected the restrictions imposed on coverage of the national census to be held on Saturday, March 23. The director of the National Statistics Institute (INE) prohibited reporters from talking to census agents and press associations expressed that it is INE's duty to provide information on the census.

In Honduras, Dagoberto Rodríguez, former president of the Journalists Association, warned that the president of the National Congress, Luis Redondo, plans to sue media and communicators for publishing reports against him. "This type of threats generate censorship and self-censorship for fear of lawsuits", assured Rodríguez.

The Union of Journalists of Paraguay (SPP) denounced acts of intimidation against journalist Fiona Aquino of ABC TV. The organization said that "such campaign comes from sectors linked to de facto powers that saw their privileges affected by the journalistic work carried out by our colleague".

On the other hand, in Colombia, the influencer Luis Villa, known as "Westcol" and for his anti-LGBTI stances, harassed journalists Paola Vega and Juanita Gómez through a transmission on social networks. The journalists were assaulted for reporting on a Constitutional Court ruling against the influencer. As a result, Vega and Gómez have been subjected to cyber harassment by Westcol's followers.

The NGO Article 19 presented the report "Cuba: Resistance in the face of censorship", highlighting the repressive patterns of the Cuban government against journalists and activists in 2023. The report reveals 274 aggressions against activists and independent journalists throughout the year, with the aim of silencing social discontent in Cuba.

The Association of Venezuelan Journalists Abroad (APEVEX) denounced before the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) that, during this year, the number of media outlets closed by CONATEL, the telecommunications regulator of the regime of Nicolás Maduro, has increased. APEVEX pointed out that judicial persecution and the crisis in Venezuela have forced more than 1,000 journalists into exile.

This week, Ecuadorian President Daniel Noboa signed the Chapultepec and Salta declarations during a meeting with an IAPA delegation. "If you don't respect the press, you don't respect people," he said.

IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and freedom of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 publications in the Western Hemisphere and is headquartered in Miami, Florida, United States.