Reports   |   Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Ecuador, Georgia, Mexico, Panama, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, Venezuela

Defamation in Latin America: A CPJ Primer

Criminal defamation cases and news documented by CPJ
2004

MEXICO: CPJ condemns criminal defamation law in Chiapas state
Versión en español
Versão em português
POSTED June 15, 2004

GRENADA: CPJ sends letter to prime minister about intimidation of local media
Versión en español
Versão em português
POSTED June 9, 2004

PANAMA: Journalist forced to submit to questioning in criminal defamation case
Versión en español
Versão em português
POSTED March 24, 2004

COSTA RICA: CPJ submits brief to Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Versión en español
Versão em português
Read the Amicus Brief in English and Spanish (PDF, 3.2 MG)
POSTED February 11, 2004

ECUADOR: CPJ concerned about journalist convicted of criminal defamation
Versión en español
Versão em português

POSTED January 28, 2004

2003

PANAMA: Judge overturns decision barring journalist from leaving country
Versión en español
Versão em português
POSTED October 29, 2003

VENEZUELA: CPJ condemns Supreme Court ruling
Versión en español
Versâo em português
POSTED July 30, 2003

CHILE: TV commentator cleared of "disrespect" charges
Versión en español
POSTED April 4 , 2003

MEXICO: CPJ protests detention and criminal prosecution of journalist Isabel Arvide
Versión en español
POSTED March 7, 2003

PANAMA: Judge orders journalist to serve jail time
Versión en español
POSTED February 28, 2003

COSTA RICA : Inter-American Court to hear criminal defamation case
Versión en español
POSTED February 26, 2003

CHILE: TV commentator convicted of "disrespect"
Versión en español
POSTED February 5, 2003


2002
  BRAZIL: Journalist charged with criminal defamation
Versão em português
POSTED September 13, 2002

MEXICO: Journalist charged with criminal defamnation
POSTED August 19, 2002

UNITED STATES: Publisher and editor are convicted of criminal defamation
Versión en español
POSTED July 18, 2002

PANAMA: Journalist goes on trial for defamation
POSTED May 13, 2002

MEXICO: Publisher faces criminal defamation charges
POSTED May 10, 2002

CHILE: Executive branch pledges to reform criminal defamation laws
Versión en español
POSTED May 7, 2002

PANAMA: Authorities seek strict press licensing regime
Versión en español
POSTED April 11, 2002

2001
ARGENTINA: CPJ awardee presents case to Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Versión en español
Posted November 15, 2001

COSTA RICA: Inter-American Court of Human Rights grants relief to local paper
Versión en español
Posted October 3, 2001

BRAZIL: Journalist murdered on eve of scheduled testimony in defamation case
Versión en español
Posted August 27, 2001

VENEZUELA: CPJ alarmed by Venezuelan high court "truthful Information" ruling
Versión en español
Posted June 21, 2001

CHILE: President ratifies press law  that repeals "disrespect" statute;
CPJ concerned over certain provisions

Versión en español
Posted May 25, 2001

MEXICO: Former mayor files criminal defamation charges against journalists
Posted May 22, 2001

COSTA RICA: Inter-American Court of Human Rights may intervene in criminal defamation case
Posted May 21, 2001

PANAMA: Journalist's criminal defamation trial starts tomorrow
Posted May 15, 2001

CHILE: Congress repeals "disrespect" statute   
Versión en español
Posted April 20, 2001  

CHILE: CPJ submits amicus brief in Matus criminal defamation case   
Versión en español
Posted March 23, 2001  

CUBA: Jailed journalist released 
Versión en español
Posted March 23, 2001  

CUBA:  Independent journalist released after two years in jail  
Versión en español
Posted January 18, 2001


2000
AMERICAS:  OAS Human Rights Commission issues press freedom declaration
Versión en español 
Posted October 26, 2000

MEXICO: Former police chief drops criminal-defamation suit against Ciudad Juárez journalists
Versión en español
Posted October 6, 2000  


MEXICO: Ciudad Juárez journalists prosecuted for defaming former police chief 
Versión en español
Posted October 2, 2000
 

VENEZUELA: House arrest for editor named in defamation suit
Versión en español
Posted August 14, 2000

PANAMA: Police surround homes of three journalists charged with criminal defamation of attorney general
Versión en español
Posted August 8, 2000

PANAMA:  Another jail sentence for Singares
Versión en español
Posted August 3, 2000

PANAMA: Journalist faces jail for reporting sexual allegations against attorney general
Versión en español
Posted July 26, 2000

PANAMA: Jail for journalists as government drags heels on gag-law reform
Read CPJ's protest letter  
Versión en español
Posted July 21, 2000

VENEZUELA: Weekly that criticized government contracts is charged with criminal defamation
Versión en español
Posted July 17, 2000

PANAMA: Journalist faces arrest for offending Attorney General
Versión en español

Posted July 6, 2000  


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International conventions and declarations

"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers."

-- ARTICLE 19 of the UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

ARTICLE 4 of the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Men

ARTICLE 13 of the American Convention on Human Right

UNESCO Declaration of Sana'a

Joint Declaration UN Special Rapporteur on Opinion and Expression,
OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media,
OAS Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression


Joint Declaration on Freedom of Expression


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Organization of American States


Organization of American States


Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression

Report on "Disrespect" Laws

Declaration on Principles of Freedom of Expression

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights


CPJ NEWS: OAS Human Rights Commission issues press freedom declaration
Posted October 26, 2000 Versión en español 


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National Laws

PRESS LAW DATABASE  (Inter American Press Association, Chapultepec Project)


Click here for legal developments documented by CPJ.

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Legal decisions and briefs


The Sunday Times v. United Kingdom (1979). European Court of Human Rights


Castells v. Spain (1992), European Court of Human Rights, Rep.445



Thorgeirson v. Iceland, (1992) 14 Eur. H.R. Rep. 843



CPJ Amicus Brief in Croatia Criminal Libel Case,
Debevoise & Plimpton, 1996
Acrobat PDF file


Holomisa v. Argus Newspapers Ltd., 1996 (6) B.C.L.R. 836
(South Africa Supreme Court, Witwatersrand Local Division 1996)



CPJ Amicus Brief in Taiwan Criminal Libel Case,
Debevoise & Plimpton, 1997
Acrobat PDF file


Oberschlick v. Austria, (1998) 25 Eur. H.R. Rep. 357


Nilsen & Johnsen v. Norway, (2000) 30 Eur.. H.R. Rep. 878


CPJ Amicus Brief in Chile (Alejandro Matrus) Criminal Defamation case,
Debevoise & Plimpton, 2001
Acrobat PDF file
Versión en español


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United States court cases


New York Times Co. v. Sullivan 376 U.S. 254 (1964)

Garrison v. Louisiana, 379 U.S. 64 (1964)

Ashton v. Kentucky, 384 U.S. 195 (1966)


Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts, 388 US 130 (1967)

St. Amant v. Thompson, 390 U.S. 727 (1968)


New York Times v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971)


Tollett v. United States, 485 F.2d 1087, 1096 (8th Cir. 1973)

Gertz v. Robert Welch, Inc., 418 U.S. 323 (1974)


Gottschalk v State, 575 P. 2d 289,290 (Alaska 1978)

Velasco v. Municipal Court, 147 Cal. App. 3d (1983)

Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc., v. Hepps, 475 U.S. 767 (1986)

Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., 497 US 1(1990)

Fitts v. Kolb, 779 F. Supp. 1502 (D.S.C. 1991)

Ivey v. Alabama (2001)

Wampler v. Higgins (2001)


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Resources

Article XIX

La Asociación para la Defensa del Periodismo Independiente (PERIODISTAS)

Center for Justice and International Law

Derechos Human Rights

Georgetown University: Baso de Data Politicos de las Américas

Human Rights Watch

Inter American Press Association

Libel Defense Resource Center


Libertad-Prensa.org

Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

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