|Uruguayan journalists report no major impediments to their work, but
express concern about a punitive press law that punishes defamation with
up to three years in prison. In May, Carlos Ardaix, host of a local radio
news talk show in Tabere de Salto, was given a five-month suspended sentence
after he read a letter on the air from a listener who accused a local
obstetrician of malpractice. The case was dismissed in August.
Press groups have also raised objections to several new laws pending before
Congress, including one that would require media outlets to publish articles
about a defendant who is declared innocent with the same size headline used
in the article that announced the arrest.
In a case that deeply divided journalists in Uruguay, Manuel and Felipe Flores
Silva and Eduardo Alonso, editors at the weekly magazine Posdata, were arrested in April and held for nearly a month
on charges of fraud and passing bad checks. The editors allege that their
arrest was in reprisal for the magazine's aggressive reporting on police
corruption, but prominent local journalists regard that explanation as an
attempt to divert public attention from financial malfeasance.