CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Carlos Lauría

CPJ Senior Americas Program Coordinator Carlos Lauría, a native of Buenos Aires, is a widely published journalist who has written extensively for Noticias, the leading Spanish-language newsmagazine. Follow him on Facebook @ CPJ en Español.

Blog   |   Mexico

The murder of Mexican photographer Espinosa has touched a nerve

A protester holds up a photograph of Rubén Espinosa, a journalist who was killed after he fled Veracruz state. Hundreds of journalists, writers, and artists have signed on to a letter calling on the Mexican government to end the cycle of violence in Mexico. (Reuters/Henry Romero)

The July 31 murder of Mexican photographer Rubén Espinosa hit the press freedom community really hard. Espinosa, who was found in an apartment with four female victims--all of them shot in the head--had fled the state of Veracruz in June and sought refuge in Mexico City, where he thought he would be safe from threats and intimidation.

Blog   |   Cuba

In Cuba, case for harassing press has collapsed

Cubans gather around a television in Havana as Raúl Castro announces the restoration of diplomatic ties between Cuba and the U.S. (AFP/Yamil Lage)

Throughout the years, the Cuban government has justified the imprisonment of independent journalists on charges that they were acting against the State's sovereignty at the behest of the United States. During the so-called Black Spring in March 2003, when the government then led by President Fidel Castro launched a massive crackdown against dissidents while the world's attention was focused on the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, a total of 29 independent journalists were sentenced to prison terms of up to 27 years. During court proceedings, it became an established fact that those journalists were charged with destabilizing the nation because of their work for foreign media outlets. They were punished for being "mercenaries" at the service of a foreign power (namely, the United States).

December 22, 2014 12:06 PM ET


Blog   |   Uruguay

Uruguay's Edison Lanza has work cut out as new OAS special rapporteur on freedom of expression

Edison Lanza. (Inter-American Commission on Human Rights)

The office of the special rapporteur for freedom of expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights was created in 1997 to advance freedom of expression in the hemisphere, and over that period has contributed significantly to the protection and expansion of press freedom. So when Catalina Botero leaves the office in October, her successor--Edison Lanza, a Uruguayan lawyer, journalist, and free press advocate--will have big shoes to fill.

July 25, 2014 10:17 AM ET

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Blog   |   Brazil, CPJ

Rousseff to CPJ: 'Brazil committed to fighting impunity'

Dilma Rousseff and Brazilian ministers meet with Carlos Lauría and other representatives of CPJ. (Roberto Stuckert Filho/PR)

"The federal government is fully committed to continue fighting against impunity in cases of killed journalists," Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff told a CPJ delegation during a meeting on Tuesday in Brasilia, the country's political capital. Accepting that deadly violence against the media is a detriment to freedom of the press, Rousseff said her administration will implement a mechanism to prevent deadly attacks, protect journalists under imminent risk, and support legislative efforts to federalize crimes against freedom of expression.

Blog   |   Mexico

Remembering Mike O'Connor

Mike O'Connor at a 2012 press conference in Culiacán. (Ron Bernal)

It is a sad end to 2013 for the global press freedom community.

With the sudden death of CPJ Mexico Representative Mike O'Connor, 67, on Sunday, Mexican journalists have lost one of their most formidable advocates. Mike will be remembered as someone who was on the forefront of the struggle for press freedom. His superb skills as an investigative journalist helped scores of reporters across the country during a period marred by violence and censorship.

Blog   |   Argentina

Inter-American court ruling seen as a serious setback

For more than a decade, courts and legislatures throughout Latin America have found that civil remedies provide adequate redress in cases of libel and slander. Over this period, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights -- an autonomous judicial institution, which is part of the human rights protection system of the Organization of American States (OAS) -- has issued key decisions supporting press freedom, including a 2004 landmark ruling that struck down a criminal defamation conviction of a Costa Rican journalist.

Blog   |   Uruguay

Uruguayan broadcast bill could be regional model

A presentation at the office of the Uruguayan president: From left, Benoit Hervieu, head of the Americas Desk at Reporters Without Borders; Carlos Lauría, CPJ's senior Americas program coordinator; and President José Mujica. (CPJ)

"Governments pass, but laws stay," said Uruguayan President José Mujica.

During a meeting with CPJ, and representatives from Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders at the president's executive office in Montevideo, the political capital, the former member of the leftist guerrilla group Tupamaros reflected on the upcoming congressional debate over new broadcast legislation. "It is our duty to ensure universal access to radio and television and contribute to freedom of information," Mujica added.

Blog   |   Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, USA, Venezuela

CPJ testifies on challenges to democracy in the Americas

Carlos Lauría's testimony starts at 1:10 in the video.

Carlos Lauría, CPJ's Americas senior program coordinator, provided testimony before the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere of US House of Representatives on Tuesday. Lauría emphasized that violence and government harassment are the main emerging trends that illustrate the major challenges facing the press in the Western hemisphere.

A transcript of the full testimony can be found here.

Blog   |   Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, USA

At OAS, a victory for human rights and free expression

Foreign Minister of Ecuador Ricardo Patiño speaks about human rights during the Organization of American States general assembly in Washington, D.C., on March 22. (AP/Jacquelyn Martin)

By reaffirming the autonomy and independence of the regional human rights system and rejecting attempts to neutralize the work of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and its special rapporteur for freedom of expression, the Organization of American States (OAS) chose last week to discard proposals that would have made citizens throughout the hemisphere more vulnerable to abuses.

The OAS extraordinary assembly, held at the organization's headquarters in Washington, D.C. on Friday, adopted a resolution by which the 35 member states ratified the ability of the commission to continue receiving voluntary contributions. Analysts and human rights advocates say the decision was a blow to countries of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas, known as ALBA, which have been pushing to preclude outside funding for the IACHR.

March 26, 2013 5:08 PM ET

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Blog   |   Brazil, CPJ

Brazil officials back OAS human rights system

Carlos Lauría, left, and Mauri König meet Brazil's chief justice, Joaquim Barbosa, on Wednesday as part of a CPJ mission to Brazil. (Supreme Federal Tribunal)

"Leave me in peace. Wallow in your garbage," Brazilian Chief Justice Joaquim Barbosa said in a rage when a reporter with one of the leading national newspapers, O Estado de Sao Paulo, tried to ask him a question Tuesday at a meeting of the National Council of Justice in Brasilia, the capital. Stunned by Barbosa's reaction, the journalist demanded an explanation. "You are a clown," was the response he received from the president of Brazil's highest court.

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