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Blog   |   Mexico

In Mexico, covering state elections brings risk of threats and violence

Miguel Angel Mancera, the mayor of Mexico City, casts his vote on June 5. Journalists were threatened and harassed in the lead up to state elections. (Reuters/Edgard Garrido)

As the June 5 elections approached, the anonymous phone calls to Mexican journalist Pedro Canché became more frequent and more ominous. "The Caribbean is a big sea, you'll never be found," one said. "I hope you've written a will," said another. A third caller told Canché, "Remember what happened to Rubén Espinosa," referring to the photographer murdered in Mexico City on July 31 last year. "Do you want that to happen to you too?"

Blog   |   Gambia, Iraq, Russia, USA

Global Magnitsky Act could be powerful weapon against impunity in journalist murders

The funeral of Sergei Magnitsky is held in Moscow on November 20, 2009. The lawyer died in state custody after exposing official corruption. (Reuters/Mikhail Voskresensky)

Last week, the proposed Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act emerged from the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee with approval. The bill was passed by the Senate last year. If passed by the full House of Representatives and signed into law by the president, it has the potential to offer partial redress to one of the most chilling truths facing journalists today: in 90 percent of cases, the murders of journalists go unpunished.

Blog   |   USA

Why Trump's insults of journalists must be taken seriously

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to journalists in Nashville, Tennessee, in August 2015. (Reuters/Harrison McClary)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has called the mainstream media "crooked" "unfair" "troublemakers" and The New York Times a failing, "SAD!" newspaper "full of boring lies." Individual reporters are "liars" and "bimbos," according to his tweets.

May 18, 2016 12:05 PM ET

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Blog   |   Brazil, Internet

Cybercrime proposals risk undermining Brazil's progress in securing free and open Internet

A cell phone records President Dilma Rousseff as she reacts to the impeachment vote. Amid Brazil's political crisis, a cybercrime bill with troubling implications for press freedom is being proposed. (AFP/Christophe Simon)

Two years ago, Brazil passed Marco Civil da Internet, a landmark piece of Internet civil rights legislation that made the country an international reference in digital rights. But its legacy is under threat from a cybercrime proposal that could radically change key aspects of the framework and threaten free speech online.

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CPJ joins call for World Bank to adopt human rights policy

The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined Social Justice Connection and other press freedom and human rights groups in calling on the World Bank to adopt a human rights policy at its annual spring meeting in Washington D.C. In a letter to the president of World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, the groups urged the bank to consider human rights and freedom of expression in the drafting of its social protection policy, which is due to be completed this summer.

April 18, 2016 1:59 PM ET

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Blog   |   Venezuela

After Venezuelan elections, Globovisión shows more defiant stance

The control room of Venezuelan station Globovisión. Since congressional elections in December, the news outlet has taken a tougher stance in its coverage. (AFP/Miguel Gutierrez)

When Venezuela's opposition broke the ruling party's 17-year stranglehold on power by winning control of congress in December, the political earthquake created editorial aftershocks at the 24-hour news station Globovisión.

Blog   |   Cuba

As US-Cuba relations thaw, what's next for the island's independent press?

A Cuban watches Barack Obama give a speech about resuming diplomatic ties with Cuba. The U.S. President is due to visit the island-nation in March. (AFP/Yamil Lage)

"Our hope is that President Obama will meet journalists working for the alternative media, not just to cover his visit, but to start a dialogue," said Elaine Díaz Rodríguez, director of Periodismo de Barrio (Neighborhood Journalism) a website focusing on climate change and the impact of natural disasters on local communities. Díaz, who last year became the first Cuban journalist to receive a Nieman fellowship at Harvard University, said such an encounter with Obama would validate journalism in the island nation. "It won't resolve our problems, but it will boost our legitimacy and reduce our vulnerabilities," she told CPJ on the phone from Havana.

Blog   |   Brazil

Amid rising violence in Brazil, convictions in journalists' murders are cause for optimism

Police cordon off the street where an officer was shot dead in 2012. Changes to how the Rio force investigates murders helped resolve the case of a journalist killed in 2013. (AFP/Yasuyoshi Chiba)

Justice delayed is justice denied, goes the legal maxim, and that has all too often been the case in Latin America. But the perseverance of lawyers and prosecutors in Brazil has resulted in a number of recent convictions in cases many thought had been buried or forgotten.

Blog   |   Venezuela

Last critic standing: How El Nacional defies challenges to keep publishing

Editor Miguel Henrique Otero, pictured in El Nacional's Caracas office in 2010, has been managing the paper from exile after being accused of defamation. (AP/Fernando Llano)

Patricia Spadaro, news editor at the Caracas daily El Nacional, faces daunting challenges in putting out the newspaper. Her boss, El Nacional's president and editor Miguel Henrique Otero, has been living in exile since May 2015 after a top government official accused him of defamation. Amid the country's deep economic crisis, half of Spadaro's reporters have been laid off and there is less space for articles due to a newsprint shortage. Staff must also sometimes skip work to stand in line at supermarkets to buy milk, meat, and other scarce products.

Blog   |   Colombia

Are intelligence sector reforms enough to protect Colombia's journalists?

Since taking power President Santos, above, has introduced reforms to the intelligence sector but journalists and privacy groups have questioned their effectiveness. (AFP/Guillermo Legaria)

When Colombia's national intelligence agency, known as DAS, was disbanded in October 2011 after revelations of illegal surveillance and harassment of the press and public figures, many journalists breathed a sigh of relief. But recent claims of reporters being spied on and government agencies buying advanced surveillance technology without ensuring clear guidelines over its use, has raised questions about the country's commitment to ending abusive practices.

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