RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Association of Journalists of El Salvador (APES) registered 167 cases of violations of freedome the press between January and July this year, most of them generated by governmental institutions.
Angélica Cárcamo, a member of APES, said this Saturday at a press conference that there was an increase of 94 cases of violations compared to the same period of 2020 when 73 were recorded.
She informed that between 2018 and July 31, 2021, 434 violations against journalism were registered. There were 65 cases in 2018, 77 in 2019, and 125 in 2020.
Cárcamo pointed out that some types of aggression registered are blocking access to public information, restrictions of journalists exercising their profession, and verbal threats.
“In recent years, freedom of expression in El Salvador has been deteriorating, and in the last four years, most of the aggressions are generated by the Salvadoran state, mainly different governmental institutions”, she said.
El Salvador and Brazil, according to a report by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), lead the degradation of press freedom in Latin America, where the Covid-19 health crisis has served as an excuse for several countries to make the work of journalists even more difficult.
El Salvador dropped 8 places in the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) ranking to 82nd, one of the biggest falls in the world because of the difficulties imposed on those who wanted to report on Covid-19.
“Confiscation of journalistic material by the forces of law and order, prohibition of access to public spaces, lack of transparency in access to public information, refusal of presidency officials to answer questions at press conferences, or prohibition of interviewing state representatives on the issue” are some of the facts denounced by RSF.
The Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Pedro Vaca, warned last December that the situation of alleged attacks and harassment of the press by the government of El Salvador could “worsen”.
The IACHR held a hearing in which representatives of the Central American country’s journalistic guild denounced “the bleak outlook for freedom of expression in El Salvador”.