Chile breaks from Latin America anti-free media trend

The good news is that the government of Chile woke up to the dangers in a piece of legislation it proposed. The bad news is that the rest of Latin America is not so lucky.

Chile retreats on requiring media to inform police

Granted, the Chilean government withdrew the proposed legislation because Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter didn’t want any conflicts with the international press. In addition, aides to Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said seizing journalists’ material would damage Chile’s image internationally. They saw that Reporters Without Borders is getting ready to publish its annual review of threats against the media, including a freedom index that would show a sharp drop in Chile’s reputation.

So the Chilean government corrected a bad plan because of the threat of international retaliation.

And Chile’s neighbors?

A summary paragraph from the AP says it all:

In Ecuador this week, opposition lawmakers failed to block a law barring the news media from broadcasting or publishing any material that could influence opinions about candidates or proposals during election campaigns. In Argentina, the commerce minister was put in charge of managing the nation’s newsprint supply, a tool that opposition media fear could be used to silence criticism.

There is also the massive campaign against free press in Venezuela. And Cuba? Well, Cuba remains Cuba: No free press.

In addition to the government-sanction moves against free press, there is the intimidation of the narcos against journalists in Mexico and Central America. (And, obviously the outright murders of journalists from those same bad guys.)

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Filed under Censorship, Central America, South America

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