A bill introduced in Peru’s congress to ammend the law on the “Right to Rectification for People Affected by Insulting or Inexact Information in the Mass Media” would be a threat to the freedom of press, especially for small and independent outlets, say journalists and other media professionals. Congressman Victor Andres Garcia Belaunde said “this is a way to threaten the owners of the companies running the media, a subtle way to tell them ‘don’t let John Doe say this because you may end up having civil responsibility.'” (“no contrastes a fulano porque lo que digan podrá hacerte civilmente responsable”)
The bill, which was introduced by Mercedes Cabanillas of the the ruling APRA party, reduces to three days the time media outlets can run a retraction, and modifies the Article 132 of the Penal Code by including web pages and blogs as possible defamation agents. The bill is currently before the Constitution Commission, and is scheduled to be discussed by the full congress next week. (Living in Peru, Aug. 19; CNR, Aug. 18)
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