Press freedom in Latin America

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Press freedom is threatened by attacks against those who exercise it and the silencing of the media. The term, confused with "alteration of facts", "false news" or "libertinism in communication", is increasingly intimidated and coerced.


The 2017 edition of the Reporters Without Borders World Press Freedom Classification (RSF in Spanish) showed the deterioration suffered by the press and the media in terms of freedom. The statistics expose, that worldwide, North Korea is the country that leads the list with the highest number of attacks and repression against the media. Unfortunately, different countries in Latin America occupy alarming positions regarding attacks on journalists and the media. Peru is in position 90, Panama in 96, Colombia in 129, among others.


In South American, the RSF classification explains that Cuba does not accept the existence of press freedom in the media. On the island, there is hardly a slight signal from the internet and, unfortunately, any reporter, journalist or citizen who oversteps the limits regarding what can be affirmed and published runs the risk of being deported or silenced. Cuba was ranked in position 173.


Mexico was ranked as 147. In the Aztec country, according to Animal Político, there have been more than 10 deaths of journalists in just 9 months. The situation positions Mexico on the same level as Afghanistan and Syria, in relation to attacks on the media and freedom of expression.


In the same way, despite having been recognized as one of the countries with the greatest press freedom exercise, after the arrival of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States, the situation has changed. The president has accused the press of being "the enemy of the American people." The North American country is in 47th place.


Globally, RSF registered a 14% deterioration in terms of freedom of expression. On the other hand, the countries with the greatest freedom of press and media are: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Holland.


Finally, RSF reported that currently press freedom is more threatened than in previous years. Studies and previous classifications had not recorded a deterioration of such magnitude.


The situation is worrisome, especially considering the importance of information in today's society.


LatinAmerican Post | Cristina Torres

Copy edited by Marcela Peñaloza