Chilean president proposes legislation to ban bad-mouthing cops

The nice thing about Twitter and Tumblr is that you often find interesting things you never knew were out there. (By the way, thank you @adam_wola)

Today (June 3) a columnist in Chile discusses a new proposal by Chilean President Sebastián Piñera to make it a felony to insult a police officer in the performance of his/her job.

The police respect and freedom of expression

(Translation by Google Translate)

Before the announcement of President Sebastián Piñera sent a bill to establish serious offense to insult a police officer in performance of his duties, columnists warn-with practical arguments, legal and political-of the dangers to freedom of expression.

The last public account of the President of the Republic was an announcement that should turn all alarms in a democracy respectful of freedom of expression. In explicit terms, said the government will send a bill ” establishing a new crime as serious insult to a policeman or police in performance of their duties “. The criminalization of such conduct should be criticized arguments based on practical, legal and political.

Full commentary here.

This is something the U.S. should be watching.

The gains made in Chile in terms of human and civic rights since the fall of the dictatorship are important. Chile is a major trading partner with the United States and is becoming a major economic force in the Pacific.

For the business community freedom of speech/expression/press are important to understanding the social, political and economic situation before investing money in a country. Or, knowing when either put more money in or take money out.

Data from countries where the governments control the media (overtly or by proxy) often cannot be trusted. (And I am looking at you Venezuela and Argentina.)

From a basic humanitarian view, freedom of expression is vital for any society to truly thrive.

Chile has developed a strong sense of freedom. It would be a shame to see this piece of legislation go through.

One of the best lines in the article is used as a pull-quote:

One of the central and undisputed content of freedom of expression is political criticism of public authorities.

‘Nuff said.

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Filed under Connections, South America

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