14 June 2024

Truth Under Threat: The High Price of Reporting


Demonstrators with their faces covered set fire to the Cadena 3 mobile unit driven by journalist Orlando Morales during a protest against a bill being voted on in the Senate. The Association of Argentine Journalistic Entities (ADEPA), the Argentine Journalism Forum (FOPEA) and the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) condemned this attack which, according to Morales, was "prepared" by "infiltrators" in the demonstration.

In repudiating the aggression through its X account, the IAPA reminded that "journalists and the media must be able to carry out their work without fear of reprisals".

For his part, President Javier Milei called journalists "corrupt" and "crooks" during his presentation at an event on economics. The organization PEN International stated that his government "threatens freedom of expression and cultural rights".

In Colombia, Caracol Radio and Grupo Prisa repudiated the attacks on social networks against journalist Orlando Villar Forero by Senator Jota Pe Hernández. They considered that Villar's safety has been put at risk because of his journalistic publications.

In a municipality of Santander, Colombia, journalist José Ángel Álvarez accused Mayor Huber Sánchez of physically attacking him. The journalist published on Facebook a photo with a bloody nose and mouth and said "whatever happens to me I hold them responsible".

Jullieth Cano, Colombian journalist of Noticias Caracol, also reported having received threats to her life and that of her daughter through multiple messages and anonymous calls by WhatsApp demanding her to stop publishing her reports.

In Paraguay, an unknown person shot at the residence of the mother of Alexander Álvarez, a radio journalist murdered in February 2023 in the city of Pedro Juan Caballero. The IAPA called attention in its last biannual report to the fact that the corresponding authorities "did not carry out the analysis of the evidence" of Alvarez's murder.

In Mexico, the organization Propuesta Cívica, pointed out that 98 percent the murders of journalists remain unpunished and the resolution of disappearances of journalists is null. Sara Mendiola Landeros, executive director, assured that the mechanisms for the protection of journalists do not work.

On the other hand, a report by Red Voces del Sur registered a "rapid deterioration of press freedom" in Costa Rica. This year, aggressions and attacks against journalists increased 245 percent compared to 2022. The report added that this, added to strategies of financial attrition and disinformation, "generates serious concerns about the future of press freedom" in the Central American country.

The 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.