Among the regulations for Colombia’s presidential election on Sunday, the government barred the press from publishing Election Day news about alleged voter harassment or other irregularities unless it was confirmed by an official source. Local press groups said the rule limited important information on the very sort of illegal actions that have beset Colombian elections in the past. Juan Manuel Santos, a former defense minister and ally of President Álvaro Uribe, outpaced Green Party candidate Antanas Mockus by a wide margin in the Sunday balloting but fell short of a majority, sending the race to a June 20 runoff.
Last week, I attended an unusual event called the Courage Forum at which half a dozen speakers, from tightrope artist Philippe Petit and Sudanese rapper Emmanuel Jal to Virgin founder and chairman Richard Branson, talked about about overcoming fear.
Every day at CPJ, we count numbers:
18 journalists killed in Russia since 2000, 32 journalists and media workers slaughtered
in the Maguindanao massacre, 88
journalists murdered over the last 10 years in Iraq. But on Tuesday night at
CPJ’s Impunity Summit at
On February 16, CPJ held an ambitious international launch of our annual report Attacks on the Press. We coordinated events in six cities on four continents in order to expand the reach of our international headlines while also focusing on specific issues in each region. So how did we do?
Shortly after arriving in Bogotá to launch Attacks on the Press, I realized the Colombian government was well aware of our concerns about illegal espionage against the media. Top government officials, including President Alvaro Uribe Vélez, had confirmed meetings with a delegation from CPJ and the local press freedom group Foundation for Freedom of the Press (FLIP) to discuss the findings of our annual report on the government's interception of phone conversations and e-mails (including some involving CPJ) and its surveillance of Colombian journalists.
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