In a letter to the editor published Sunday in The New York Times, Honduran minister on human rights Ana Pineda took issue with the findings of CPJ's recent special report on the murders of seven local reporters this year. Our report, which the Times detailed in a July 27 story, found a pattern of botched and negligent investigative work by Honduran authorities, which has fostered a climate of impunity in attacks on the press. In her letter, Pineda asserted that "all cases have been fully investigated," but her claim appears to be flawed.
Shortly after arriving in Bogotá to launch Attacks on the Press, I realized the Colombian government was well aware of our concerns about illegal espionage against the media. Top government officials, including President Alvaro Uribe Vélez, had confirmed meetings with a delegation from CPJ and the local press freedom group Foundation for Freedom of the Press (FLIP) to discuss the findings of our annual report on the government's interception of phone conversations and e-mails (including some involving CPJ) and its surveillance of Colombian journalists.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Frías has used cadenas—nationwide radio and television addresses that preempt programming on all stations—to challenge the private media’s news coverage and amplify the government’s voice. In his radio and TV call-in program, “Aló, Presidente” (Hello, President), Chávez often lambastes critics in the media and the political opposition.
Do you believe the free flow of information must be protected? Sign the #RightToReport petition and demand that President Obama immediately:
1. Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations.
2. Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers.
3. Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border.
Or click here to see the full petition, and join leading journalists like Christiane Amanpour, The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the AP Kathleen Carroll, and Arianna Huffington in signing on.