Catalina Botero, Colombian who leaves after six years the rapporteur of the IACHR, said in an interview with AFP that drug violence and the authoritarian practices of the governments to silence the opposition are the two major challenges to the freedom of speech in America.
Botero said that “the great transnational” of organized crime “is probably the most important factor of violence against journalists in the region.”
The rapporteur notes that since 2000, around 220 journalists were killed “probably” for reasons related to their career, mainly in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Honduras. Among the victims, she says, are mainly provincial journalists investigating corruption or infiltration of drug trafficking in public forces.
Botero has been characterized by its strong criticism on the situation of the press in Ecuador and Venezuela.
The authority said that there would be “very autocratic practices” of these governments “that are not willing to accept critical journalism.” She also states that “they use all the government tools to dominate the public sphere and generate one single thought.”
“State control is perverse in that regard. When is the state that controls the content of the media it could happen, as indeed happens in these countries, that the state imposes its contents,” said Botero.