The majority of Bolivian newspapers engaged in a joint protest Oct. 7 against a proposed anti-racism law that they claim would damage freedom of expression. The newspapers (e.g. Los Tiempos of Cochabamba) shared one message on their front page—”There is no democracy without freedom of expression”—in response to a decision by President Evo Morales to maintain certain provisions of the legislation. Article 16 of the bill currently being discussed by the Senate, and which was already passed by the Chamber of Deputies, would establish economic sanctions and allow for media outlets that publish information considered by the government to be racist or discriminatory to be closed. Bolivia’s journalists and media outlets maintain that they support the struggle against racism but that they cannot accept provisions that would limit freedom of expression. They worry that the bill could be used for political ends to censor unfavorable opinions.
From Jurist, Oct. 8. Used with permission.
See our last post on Bolivia.