Americas

2011

Attacks on the Press   |   Venezuela

Attacks on the Press 2010: Venezuela

Top Developments
• Censorship spikes: RCTV banished again, newspapers barred from using crime images.
• New laws restrict Internet content, tighten control over broadcast licenses.

Key Statistic
1,300: Hours of presidential speeches that were aired between 1999 and 2010.


Using all the tools of power, President Hugo Chávez Frías continued his aggressive campaign to silence critical news media. In the waning days of a lame-duck National Assembly, the Chávez administration pushed through measures to restrict Internet content and tighten control over broadcast licenses. Relying on politicized courts, the government barred two major newspapers from publishing images of crime and violence in the run-up to September legislative elections. And through a series of politically motivated regulatory actions, the administration intimidated one critical broadcaster, Globovisión, and banished another, RCTV International.

February 15, 2011 12:05 AM ET

Blog   |   Venezuela

Is Chávez promoting free expression? Check the facts

In Caracas, people pass by a mural of Chávez. (AP/Ariana Cubillos)

Venezuelan Information Minister Andrés Izarra declared on the state television channel VTV last week that "never has so much been done to guarantee, promote, and drive freedom of expression than in the government of President Hugo Chávez." Izarra needs to hire a fact-checker. 

February 14, 2011 2:51 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Cuba

Journalist released on parole, allowed to stay in Cuba

Freed journalist Héctor Maseda Gutiérrez embraces his wife, Laura Pollán, leader of Cuban dissident group Ladies in White, in his home in Havana. (AP/Franklin Reyes)

New York, February 14, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Cuban authorities today to place no conditions on the release of journalist Héctor Maseda Gutiérrez, who was freed on parole Saturday. Maseda Gutiérrez is a founding member of the independent news agency Grupo de Trabajo Decoro and a winner of CPJ's International Press Freedom Award in 2008.

Alerts   |   Cuba

Cuba's Maseda Gutiérrez balks at conditions for freedom

New York, February 11, 2011--The Catholic Church in Havana announced today that jailed Cuban journalist Héctor Maseda Gutiérrez, a CPJ International Press Freedom Awardee, at left, would be released after nearly eight years behind bars. But news reports, including one citing the journalist's wife, said Maseda Gutiérrez has balked at conditions placed on his release and at the continued detention of other political dissidents.

Alerts   |   Mexico

Broadcast offices attacked in Mexico; engineer killed

New York, February 11, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Wednesday's violent attack against two media companies in the Mexican city of Torreón, Coahuila state, during which a TV engineer was shot to death and equipment was destroyed and stolen. 

Blog   |   Mexico

Aristegui's dismissal is troubling and inappropriate

Mexican journalist Carmen Aristegui tells the media today she was fired from MVS for refusing to apologize for comments last week on her radio show. (AP/Alexandre Meneghini)

On Friday, opposition legislators in Mexico disrupted a congressional session by raising a banner with an image of President Felipe Calderón and a message that read: "Would you let a drunk drive your car? No, right? So why would you let one drive your country?" Radio MVS' Carmen Aristegui, one of Mexico's most popular journalists, addressed the issue on her weekly radio show, asking on the air whether Calderón should give a formal answer as to whether he had a drinking problem. MVS then fired Aristegui for allegedly violating the station's code of ethics.

February 9, 2011 4:58 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Guatemala

Guatemalan journalist threatened after corruption probe

New York, February 9, 2011--The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned about the safety of Guatemalan television journalist Oscar de León, who has received multiple death threats and had his van shot at in the southwestern municipality of Quetzaltenango, according to news reports and CPJ interviews. De León, a correspondent for the private national Guatevisión TV network, said he has received the threats since he probed alleged police corruption.

February 9, 2011 4:19 PM ET

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Blog   |   Colombia, USA

Coronell leaves Colombia again, this time for opportunity

Coronell (Judith Calson)

In 2005, a series of chilling death threats compelled award-winning Colombian journalist Daniel Coronell to leave Bogotá with his family for what ended up being a two-year stay in California. Today, more than three years after his return from exile, Coronell and his family are moving back to the States, this time by choice. CPJ spoke to him last week about how his return U.S. to take on a high-level position at a major TV network compares to his exile in 2005, and the press freedom conditions he's leaving behind in Colombia. 

February 9, 2011 3:43 PM ET

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Letters   |   Cuba, Spain

Press Cuba to keep promise to free journalists

Dear President Rodríguez Zapatero: The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed that the Cuban government has yet to fulfill its promise to free all journalists imprisoned during the 2003 crackdown on dissent. We urge your government, which was a key party to the agreement to release the prisoners by November 2010, to hold President Raúl Castro to his word.

2011

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