26 April 2024

Journalistic work suffers attacks and blockades throughout the hemisphere

From the United States to Argentina, there is a strong tendency to impede the work of journalists and the media.
Miami (April 26, 2024) - The Cuban regime detained the correspondent of the Spanish newspaper ABC, Camila Acosta, when she was on her way to the municipality of Cardenas to interview relatives of political prisoners. Acosta said that "the stories of political prisoners are sensitive issues and they are preventing me from doing my job at all costs".

In Paraguay, pro-government congressman Yamil Esgaib assaulted journalists Fiona Aquino and Rocio Pereira Da Costa when they asked him about the hiring of his daughter, who works at the Paraguayan embassy in the United Kingdom. Subsequently, the parliamentary majority blocked a motion of censure against the legislator.

In Mexico, the organization Artículo 19 reported that in 2023 there were 22 cases of judicial harassment against journalists and media outlets and, in Costa Rica, a congresswoman asked the government of President Rodrigo Chaves to desist from its aggressive attitudes in the face of press questioning.

On the other hand, the Peruvian Minister of Foreign Trade snatched the microphone from Néstor Larico, journalist of Nueva TV Nacional, when she was questioned about her acceptance of the position. The Peruvian National Association of Journalists condemned the incident and stated that "this level of intolerance is unbecoming of a public official".

The Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP) reported in Colombia that at least 13 journalists were assaulted during protests against President Gustavo Petro. "Reporters from RTVC, Juan Maza BQ, El Tiempo, Cofradía para el Cambio, Tras Este Visor and El Tamal News were victims of physical and verbal aggressions, obstruction to journalistic work and threats, which forced them to interrupt coverage to safeguard their integrity," the organization said through a statement.

In Argentina, the Freedom of Expression Commission of the Chamber of Deputies mentioned 20 journalists with whom President Javier Milei has clashed in recent months.

In the United States, as part of the criminal trial against former President Donald Trump, the editor of the New York tabloid National Enquirer released details of the practice of eliminating compromising information about public figures in exchange for the payment of money to sources. The practice, known as "catch and kill", does not constitute an express crime but represents a serious affectation for the exercise of free and independent journalism.

Around the serious crisis in Nicaragua, a report by the NGO "Colectivo de Derechos Humanos Nicaragua Nunca Más", since 2018, at least 253 Nicaraguan journalists live in exile for security reasons.

The document was published during the sixth anniversary of the death of journalist Ángel Gahona, whose murder remains unsolved. This week, his case was highlighted by the IAPA in the campaign "Voices Calling for Justice", an initiative that seeks to combat impunity and rescue the memory of murdered journalists.

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.