Judicial harassment

Resolution - Mid-Year Meeting April 17 - 19, 2024
WHEREAS, journalism is being persecuted through an "industrialization" of lawsuits that affect the freedom of the press and the public's right to information

WHEREAS, disproportionate civil lawsuits with million-dollar claims seek to intimidate the media and journalists, and in many cases, judges indiscriminately admit them without considering Inter-American jurisprudence and standards that criticize this type of strategy

WHEREAS in Brazil, there is concern about judicial harassment and censorship, and the Supreme Court of Justice has ruled that the media can be held liable for defamation or slander uttered by an interviewee

WHEREAS, in Costa Rica, President Rodrigo Chaves filed a criminal complaint against the newspaper La Nación and the former Minister of Communication Patricia Navarro for disclosing audios recorded by her about the hiring of a communication strategist with funds donated by the Central American Bank for Economic Integration

WHEREAS, in Cuba, laws are used to threaten independent journalists, their families, and contacts with, among other sanctions, arbitrary arrests, prison sentences, fines, and prohibition to leave the country
WHEREAS, in Panama and Uruguay, judicial harassment was maintained through civil lawsuits with disproportionate indemnifications

WHEREAS, in Paraguay, several judicial processes require journalists to reveal their sources of information

WHEREAS, in Peru, the Attorney General's Office has become the primary entity of aggression against the press, and politicians and members of public institutions bring criminal charges against journalists and media outlets

WHEREAS in Venezuela, journalists suffer arbitrary arrests, and the Public Prosecutor's Office issues arrest warrants against journalists who are accused of being alleged perpetrators of terrorist acts and incitement to hatred

WHEREAS that in many countries, the criminal nature of defamation still exists

WHEREAS Principle 10 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states: "No media outlet or journalist should be penalized for disseminating the truth or making criticisms or complaints against the public authorities," while article three of the Declaration of Salta of Principles on Freedom of Expression in the Digital Era states: "Governments should not penalize criticism, information or protest against public officials on matters of public interest or against persons who voluntarily expose themselves to the scrutiny of society. In the case of claims of a civil nature, actual malice must be proven."


To denounce that judicial harassment through disproportionate civil and criminal lawsuits is conducive to the inhibition of journalistic work

To urge the Supreme Court to encourage judges to discriminate against defamation suits with the apparent intention of silencing journalistic denunciations.