The real threat from the December 3 constitutional amendments in Ecuador isn’t the possibility of indefinite re-election for President Correa, it’s the way they were approved and their implications for freedom of expression.
Ser un periodista es peligroso en varias partes de Latinoamérica. La mayoría de los corresponsales de Talking Press, una de las pocas agencias independientes de noticias en Cuba, han pasado tiempo en prisión, o han sido víctimas de agresiones por parte del gobierno. Los periodistas saben que por culpa de su oficio se están arriesgado diariamente a ello, o a cosas peores inclusive.
When journalists are intimidated into self-censorship and governments distort or hide data on violence, the real victim is a responsible debate on security and crime. Sadly, that’s what’s happening in El Salvador and Honduras.
Despite Brazil’s image as a regional leader, South America’s largest democracy has become one of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists. According to research by the Committee to Protect Journalists, at least fourteen journalists have been killed since January 2011. Will President Dilma Rousseff improve conditions in the lead up to next year’s Olympics?
This past May, El Salvador suffered its highest murder rate since the end of the country’s civil war 23 years ago. But this grisly flash of news—what journalists in the region call the nota roja—doesn’t give the wider context. There’s another story to be told here beyond the numbers: how Latin American journalists are affected by the violence they cover and how, in turn, their coverage is creating a cultural acceptance of violence.
Too often, U.S. and international coverage of the region falls into manic poles when covering the political and economic fortunes of the region. In reality, the developments in Latin America—and U.S. responses to them—are both more granular and more nuanced than the way the region is portrayed, even in respectable media.