Monday, September 15, 2008

Press "favoritism" in Bolivia

As commentator "Will" noted, segments of the Bolivian media are complaining about "favoritism" by the government towards state-funded press and Red Erbol, allegations concerning the military blocking of journalists entrance into Pando during the "state of emergency". The "La Paz Association of Journalists" considers this act a further "attack against free expression". Ok, well here is a letter from "Reporters Without Borders" to President Evo and the opposition Prefects concerning certain attacks on journalists that the "La Paz Ass." didn't bother to appear very worried about. You be the judge on what's more serious for the future of free expression in Bolivia.

Dear Mr President, Sirs,

Reporters Without Borders, a worldwide organisation that defends press freedom, is pleased to note that President Evo Morales’ offer of talks has finally been accepted by opposition prefects after ten days of violence that has left at least 20 dead in the departments calling for autonomy and led to martial law being declared in Cobija, capital of Pando.

This wave of clashes, following earlier outbreaks, has badly hit the press, particularly public and community media. The worst incidents have been the torching of state-run Canal 7-Televisión Boliviana, in Santa Cruz on 9 September by members of The Santa Cruz Youth Union (UJC), the abduction on 12 September, of Juan Domingo Yañique, of radio Red Patria Nueva by militants of the Beni civic committee and gunshot wounds suffered by Claudia Méndez, of privately-owned Red PAT, during a military operation in Cobija.

continue reading... (link fixed)

Kudos to RSF for doing its job in Bolivia. Also, there was a report by the UNIR Fundacion two weeks ago on rising attacks againsts journalists in Bolivia. Apparently 50% of all attacks occurred in that shining beacon of liberty, Santa Cruz. Makes you wonder why western journalists seem so sympathetic towards the "autonomy" movement. I guess they aren't the ones being threatened by fascist thugs.


Richard Grabman said...

I'll look for the links, but RSF was originally funded as an anti-Castro front by the U.S. government. To its credit, RSF does do a credible job of protecting journalists' rights in conflict zones, but does tend to overlook the abuses in the pro-U.S. countries -- though journalists have been targeted for abuse (official and extralegal) here in Mexico, you don't hear a peep out of RSF except for "expressions of concern" when someone gets killed.

El Duderino said...

hence "in bolivia" for the kudos.

Bina said...

RSF also doesn't say boo when Venezuelans get coup-mongers. Nor do they say boo when alternative media types are menaced by right-wing thugs ANYWHERE. Frankly, it's just the reporters' arm of the press-owners' syndicate, IAPA, as far as real protection of journalistic rights goes.