Jaime Mantilla, current president of the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), said that because of the dangers of drug trafficking, the authoritarianism of certain governments and the impunity have turned to be the greatest threats to freedom of expression in Latin America.
“Now more than ever drug trafficking and organized crime against freedom of expression, killing and threatening journalists,” Mantilla told EFE in an interview in Tegucigalpa, capital of Honduras.
Mantilla led an IAPA mission that ended last Wednesday after a three-day visit to Honduras, where he studied the current situation of freedom of expression in the country. Its president, Porfirio Lobo, spent the last months clashing with local media.
IAPA president warned of “attitudes authoritarian governments” to promote laws that restrict the freedom of the press. He said that even all those Latin American countries, “except Cuba” which have democratically elected their governments like Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina and Nicaragua have heads of state that interfere directly with the media. He added that this situation of free speech and freedom of press in the region “is complicated.“