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Attacks on the Press   |   Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Venezuela

Attacks on the Press 2000: Americas Analysis

BY EXPOSING CORRUPTION, POLITICAL INTRIGUE, and massive abuse of power, journalists in Peru helped bring down the regime of President Alberto K. Fujimori last year. Fujimori's dramatic fall demonstrated that the Latin American press remains a key bulwark against leaders who continue to use subtle and not-so subtle means to control the flow of information.

CPJ dubbed the Fujimori regime an "infotatorship" because it was based more on surveillance and media manipulation than on outright physical repression. In fact, Fujimori was right to fear the press. On September 14, an independent cable station broadcast a video that appeared to show Fujimori's intelligence chief, Vladimiro Montesinos, bribing a former opposition member of Congress who had recently switched to Fujimori's coalition. Montesinos fled Peru after the video aired, and Fujimori resigned in disgrace. With new elections pending, Peru's interim government lost no time in purging the armed forces and judicial system of some Fujimori allies.
March 19, 2001 12:10 PM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Brazil

Attacks on the Press 2000: Brazil

WHILE REPORTERS IN BRAZIL'S MAJOR CITIES UNEARTHED various political scandals, their colleagues in the provinces faced violent reprisal from politicians and local landowners because of their reporting. One provincial journalist was murdered.

In July, the aggressive urban press reignited a lingering scandal involving a 169 million real (US$90 million) embezzlement scheme tied to the construction of a courthouse in São Paulo. While the scandal had previously been the subject of a congressional investigation, new revelations involved the government for the first time. The weekly ISTOÉ reported that a then-fugitive, now-imprisoned judge implicated in the scheme had 117 telephone conversations with President Fernando Henrique Cardoso's former chief adviser (there is no evidence that Cardoso was directly involved in the scheme, according to a credible local source). Investigations continued at year's end.
March 19, 2001 12:09 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Colombia, Russia, Sierra Leone

24 JOURNALISTS KILLED FOR THEIR WORK IN 2000 Highest Tolls in Colombia, Russia, and Sierra Leone

New York, January 4, 2001 --- Of the 24 journalists killed for their work in 2000, according to CPJ research, at least 16 were murdered, most of those in countries where assassins have learned they can kill journalists with impunity.

This figure is down from 1999, when CPJ found that 34 journalists were killed for their work, 10 of them in war-torn Sierra Leone.

In announcing the organization's annual accounting of journalists who lost their lives because of their work, CPJ executive director Ann Cooper noted that while most of the deaths occurred in countries experiencing war or civil strife, "The majority did not die in crossfire. They were very deliberately targeted for elimination because of their reporting." Others whose deaths were documented by CPJ appear to have been singled out while covering demonstrations, or were caught in military actions or ambushes while on assignment.

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