Freedom of Expression

5 - Chapter IV - Report on Access to Information in the Hemisphere (continued)

2.         Laws and Practices on the Right to Access of Information: Information classified by country in alphabetical order




62.       The National Constitution of Argentina does not contain a specific provision regarding free access to state-held information.  The official Argentine response to the questionnaire highlights that with the constitutional Reform of 1994 Argentina granted constitutional rank to several international instruments, amongst them the American Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to "seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds," as stated by Article 13 of the Convention. 


63.       Regarding legal provisions, a bill that would provide a comprehensive guarantee of access to information is under consideration and was already approved by the House of Representatives in May 2003.  The bill will allow citizens to access databases from official organs, and provides for administrative and judicial sanctions to the public officials who fail to carry out the requests.  It would also make public laws, decrees, and documents that have been kept secret by the State for more than 10 years and which have not been reclassified as secret.[73]  Although approved by the House of Representatives, the bill is held up in the Senate.[74]  The Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression encourages the treatment and approval by the Senate of the Bill under consideration.  In October 2003, President Néstor Kirchner signed a decree which allows any person to gain access to information held by the State and by any organ that receives contributions or subsidies from the State.  The decree establishes certain exceptions, such as when information is reserved for reasons of safety, national defense, or is protected by bank or fiscal secret.[75]


64.       In the City of Buenos Aires, Law No. 104 of 1998 guarantees standing for all persons to request all information held by the State.  The law includes exemptions for banking secrets, professional secrets, and other information exempted by specific laws, such as privacy laws.  Requests must be made in writing and justification is not required.  The law determines that replies are due in 10 days, with a one-time postponement of 10 days when absolutely necessary, and further establishes that if the information is not provided within the stipulated time frame, the requestor may seek a Court injunction to obtain the information, as stipulated in the national and city constitutions.[76]


65.       At the provincial level, the Argentine response points out that several provinces have passed laws that recognize free access to information.[77]


66.       Regarding the action of habeas data, Article 43 of the Argentine Constitution provides that:


All persons may file this action to ascertain what data about them is contained in public or private records or databases for the purpose of providing reports, and in the event of false or discriminatory information, can demand the removal, rectification, confidential treatment, or updating of the information concerned.  The secrecy of news information sources cannot be affected. 


67.       National Law No. 25.326 of 2000 and Decree No. 1558 of 2001 regulate the above constitutional provision, and most provinces have also regulated in this respect in their constitutions and provincial legislation.




68.       The Bolivian Constitution does not include provisions for the action of habeas data or regulating access to state-held information.  The Statute of Journalists, however, does include provisions in this regard. 


69.       Article 9 of Chapter III of the Organic Statute of Journalists provides that:


No one may abridge the journalist’s freedom of expression and information, subject to prosecution for the violation of constitutional rights.


70.       Article 10 provides:


No one may adulterate or conceal news information in a manner prejudicial to the truth and the general welfare.  Journalists may publicly denounce such adulteration or concealment and shall be protected from dismissal or reprisals.


71.       Although these articles exist, the professional statute does not carry the legislative force necessary to effectively ensure the citizenry’s right of access to information or afford persons the protection inherent in the action of habeas data


72.       The Office of the Special Rapporteur has received information regarding an initiative by the government of Bolivia to carry out workshops for the discussion of a bill that would guarantee access to state-held information.




73.       Article 5 of the Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil provides: 


All persons are assured of access to information and protection for the confidentiality of their sources when necessary for the exercise of their profession (…) (Section XIV). 


[T]he right to habeas data is granted: a) to ensure knowledge of information relating to the person of the petitioner, contained in records or data banks of government entities or of public entities; b) for the correction of data, if the petitioner does not prefer to do so through confidential, judicial, or administrative proceedings (…) (Section LXXII)


74.       A bill on Access to Public Information that would regulate Article 5 of the Constitution is being examined by the National Congress, and will be treated by the Chamber of Representatives.  The bill would establish that every citizen has the right to receive information of personal, collective, or general interest from public organs, to be rendered in the time set out by law, subject to penalties.  The bill would exclude from this provision the information that must be kept secret to guarantee the safety of society or the State.


75.       In 2001, the Ministry of Justice indicated that there are legal provisions regulating the right to information.  Law 9.507 of November 12, 1997"regulates the right of access to information subject to the habeas data procedure", and Law 9.265 of February 12, 1996 "regulates section LXXII of Article 5 of the Constitution...”.


76.       Law 8.159 of January 8, 1991 contains provisions on national policy with respect to public, private, and other archives, regulated by decrees 1.173 of June 29, 1994 and 1.461 of April 25, 1995.  There are also two bills in this area, one in the Federal Senate and the other in the Chamber of Deputies. 


77.       Decree No. 4.553 of December 27, 2002, signed by former President Cardozo and maintained by President Lula da Silva, extends the time limit for maintaining the confidentiality of secret documents to 50 years, and further provides for an indefinite renewal of this time limit.  




78.       Paragraph 2b of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms establishes the right of the media to access information referring to judicial proceedings, but, according to the information submitted by the State in 2001, this "does not include the general right of access to information generated in the process of government," since "in general terms, section 2b pertains to intellectual freedom and the right to communicate with others." 


79.       In 1997, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled in favor of access to information in a case brought against the Minister of Finance.  The arguments were based on "the facilitation of democracy in helping to ensure that citizens obtain requested information and participate in a significant way in the democratic process[.]" 


80.       With respect to legal provisions, the Privacy Act governs the protection of personal information held by government institutions, and the Access to Information Act guarantees the right, subject to certain exceptions, of access to files held by government institutions. 


81.       Any physical or legal person present in Canada can file requests under the Access to Information Act, subject to the imposition of reasonable fees.  From April 1, 1998 to April 1, 1999, 14,340 requests for access to information were made under the Act.  Requests for information under the Privacy Act are free of charge. 


82.       Requests under the Access to Information Act must be processed within a period of 30 days, although "under special circumstances" this period can be extended one time by government institutions.  The duration of this extension is not limited, and the reasons given for denial of information range from the exception based on the right to confidentiality of commercial information, to the exception based on the right to confidentiality of information received from other governments. 


83.       According to the information received in response to the questionnaire sent in 2001, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and the Canadian Secret Intelligence Service (CSIS) can deny information "that may interfere with law enforcement or national security."  The Access to Information Act is limited by the exceptional circumstances indicated above, although the Act stipulates that such exceptions must be used in moderation and only when necessary. 


84.       Finally, the system for archiving state information includes various provisions for the preservation of documents: the National Archives Act specifies that no federal government document may be destroyed without the permission of the National Archivist, who publishes an agenda indicating what documents can be destroyed and when.  The Access to Information Act was amended to incorporate a provision making the destruction of documents a criminal offense, as an infringement of the rights of citizens to access information. 




85.       Article 19.12 of the Political Constitution of the State of Chile ensures the freedom to impart opinions and to inform, without prior censorship, in any way and by any means.  The Constitution also provides for the right to petition to the authorities on any matter of public interest.


86.       Law No. 19.653, known as the Administrative Probity Act (Ley de Probidad Administrativa), was published in 1999 and reforms the constitutional organic law on government administration.  The Administrative Probity Act incorporates a series of provisions on the publicity of the acts of the Administration of the State, stating that the administrative acts of the organs of the Administration of the State and the documents which support them are public.  It also regards as public the reports and records of the private corporations which provide public services and of government-controlled corporations.


87.       Article 11 of the Administrative Probity Act provides that it is legitimate to limit access to information on the grounds that the effective functioning of government agencies would be impaired.  Concern over this broad language has been expressed, since it could give rise to abuses of discretional authority by government agents.[78] 


88.       In January of 2001, a Supreme Decree was passed to regulate, pursuant to Article 13 of the Organic Law on Government Administration (Ley de Bases Generales de la Administración), the cases of secret and reserved information applicable to administrative acts, documents, and records held by the organs of the Administration of the State.  It has been pointed out that the Decree has exceeded the provision of the law which it regulates by illegitimately extending the cases of secret and reserved information to administrative acts, and that the limitations established by the Decree are too broad in scope and allow for great discretion on behalf of the state organs in charge of its implementation.[79]  Another source states that the regulatory regime adopted undermines the principle of transparency guaranteed by the Administrative Probity Act and is contrary to the provisions of the Political Constitution and international treaties.[80]


89.       In May 2003, Law No. 19.880 was passed, which establishes standards for the administrative procedures of the organs of the Administration of the State, adopting the principle of transparency regarding administrative procedures and allowing each citizen to keep track of the administrative processes.




90.       Article 20 of the Political Constitution of Colombia of 1991 states that:


Every person is guaranteed the freedom to express and disclose his thoughts and opinions, to inform and to receive impartial and truthful information, and to found broadcasting media.


91.       Article 23 of the Political Constitution of Colombia of 1991 states that:


Every person has the right to respectfully request information to the authorities for reasons of general or particular interest and to obtain an expeditious response.  The Legislative Branch may regulate the exercise of this right with respect to private organizations to guarantee fundamental rights.

92.       Further, Article 74 of the Constitution of Colombia of 1991 states that:


Every person has the right to access public documents, with the exceptions provided by law.


93.       The Constitution also recognizes the action of habeas data as a fundamental right in its Article 15, which specifies that:


(…)  All persons are entitled to their personal and family privacy and their good name, which the state must respect and protect.  They also have the right to investigate, update, and rectify information about them that has been collected and entered into the databases and archives of public and private entities (…)


94.       With respect to legal or regulatory provisions, Article 15 of the Constitution is supplemented by Chapter IV of the Code of Administrative Procedure (Codigo Contencioso Administrativo), on the right to request information.  According to this chapter, any person has the right to consult documents on file in public offices and to receive copies of those documents, provided that they are not legally considered to be classified information and are not related to national defense or security.  Any individual can exercise his right to request information from the state in Colombia.  The Code of Administrative Procedure provides that requests for information must be processed within 10 days of their receipt. 


95.       Article 12 of Law 57 of July 5, 1985entitles any person to consult documents held by public offices and to receive copies of those documents. 


96.       Regarding restrictions, the list of classified documents has been expanded with the approval of a law under which disciplinary and administrative investigations conducted by oversight agencies in connection with disciplinary and fiscal responsibility proceedings are to be kept secret (Anticorruption Statute, Law No. 190 of 1995, Article 33).


97.       Decree 1972 of 2003 of Telecommunications establishes in Article 58 that the operator of telecommunication services may indicate to the Ministry of Communications expressly and in writing which information must be considered to be confidential according to law.  Article 60 of this law requires that the Ministry of Communications maintain the confidentiality of the information received in this character.


98.       Article 110 of the Code of Administrative Procedure establishes that:


The records of sessions of the Council of State, its divisions or sections and the administrative courts, shall be reserved for four years.  The opinions of the Council of State, when acting as a consulting body of the government, shall also be reserved for the same period; but the government may disclose them or authorize their publication when it considers it advisable (...)


99.       Law No. 270 of 1996, known as the "Statute Law of the Administration of Justice" ("Ley Estatuaria de la Administración de Justicia"), establishes the publicity and reserve criteria regarding the records of other organs of the Administration of Justice.


100.     Article 323 of the new Code of Criminal Procedure (Código de Procedimiento Penal) establishes the confidentiality of preliminary findings during criminal procedures.  However, the legal counsel of the accused who have rendered a preliminary statement may access this information and request copies.  Article 330 of the Code also establishes restrictions to the release of information during preliminary criminal proceedings.  Article 418 of the Code establishes a punishment for the public official who reveals information that has been classified as secret.


101.     Article 114 of the Code of the Minor (Código del Menor) established that documents related to adoption procedures shall be kept reserved for 30 years.


102.     Article 95 of Law No. 734 of 2002 regulates the confidentiality of information regarding disciplinary actions:


In the ordinary procedure, disciplinary actions shall be confidential until the charge sheet or the order to initiate the action is formulated, without prejudice to the rights of the individual who is the subject of the action.  In the special procedure before the Solicitor General of the Nation and in the verbal procedure, until the decision to call for a hearing.


The person under investigation will have the obligation to refrain from disclosing the evidence that is considered to be reserved by provision of the constitution or the law.


            Costa Rica 


103.     Article 27 of the Costa Rican Constitution ensures the freedom to petition, individually or collectively, to any public official or government agency, and the right to obtain prompt resolution. This right is protected by means of a summary procedure in the Constitutional Chamber in the case of arbitrary denial of information. 


104.     This is an expeditious procedure commonly used by journalists, who, under the procedure established by Article 31 of the Law of Constitutional Jurisdiction, must previously send a letter to the official from whom the information is being requested.  If an adequate response is not received within 10 working days, the summary procedure is instigated before the Constitutional Chamber, which conducts a hearing of the public official concerned.  If it is determined that the decision to deny the information was not satisfactory, the official is ordered to provide the information, subject to criminal prosecution for contempt should he fail to do so.[81] 


105.     Further, Article 30 of the Constitution expresses that:


The free access to administrative departments for the purposes of obtaining information on matters of public interest is guaranteed.  State secrets are exempt from this provision.


106.     Regarding legal provisions, Article No. 273 of the General Law of Public Administration (Ley General de la Administración Pública) of Costa Rica establishes that:


1.                   Access to parts of the proceedings will be denied when its disclosure may compromise secrets of the state or confidential information of the opposing party, or generally, when the possession of such contents grants the party an undue benefit or provides the party with an opportunity to illegitimately cause damage to the Administration, the opposite party or third parties, within or outside the proceedings.


2.                   There is a rebuttable presumption of nondisclosure of resolutions under consideration, reports directed to consultative organs, and opinions issued by these before they have been adopted.


107.     In a 2002 case, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Costa Rica held that the refusal by the President of the Central Bank of Costa Rica to disclose a report of the International Monetary Fund entailed a violation of the right of information of the citizens of Costa Rica.  The Court expressed that: ¨the State must guarantee that information of a public character and importance is made known to the citizens, and, in order for this to be achieved, the State must encourage a climate of freedom of information (…) In this way, the State (…) is the first to have an obligation to facilitate not only the access to this information, but also its adequate disclosure and dissemination, and towards this aim, the State has the obligation to offer the necessary facilities and eliminate existing obstacles to its attainment.¨[82]   


108.     The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Costa Rica has also upheld the right of access to state-held information in a case of May 2, 2003.[83]  In this case, the Board of Directors of the Bank of Costa Rica had denied the request of information presented by the Representative José Humberto Arce Salas regarding irregularities in the private financing of political parties, on the grounds that such information was protected by bank secrecy and the right to privacy.  The Court assessed that ¨(…) in the case that there is unequivocal evidence that a political party has transferred part of its private funds to a privately-owned company (…) the information would cease to be of a private nature (…) and become of public interest."




109.     There are no legal or constitutional provisions protecting or promoting free access to information in Cuba.  The legal system places a number of restrictions on the capacity to receive and disclose information.  In February 1999, a law was approved “to protect national independence and the national economy", known as Law 88, permitting the government to control the information that can be disclosed within the country.  This law establishes sanctions of up to 20 years imprisonment, the confiscation of personal property, and fines.  According to the information received, the journalists Bernardo Arévalo Padrón, Jesús Joel Díaz Hernández, Manuel González Castellanos, and Leonardo Varona are currently in prison for such alleged offenses. 




110.     Section 10 of the Constitution contains provisions recognizing the right of access to information held by the State and habeas data: "Except with his own consent, a person shall not be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions without interference, freedom to receive ideas and information without interference, freedom to communicate ideas and information without interference (whether the communication be to the public generally or to any person or class of persons) and freedom from interference with his correspondence."


            Dominican Republic 


111.     Article 8.10 of the Constitution provides that the media have free access to government and private news sources consistent with public order and national security. 


112.     In March 2003, Senator José Tomás Pérez presented a bill on Free Access to Public Information (proyecto de Ley General de Libre Acceso a la Información Público) for consideration.  The purpose of this bill is to guarantee the right of individuals to investigate and to receive information and opinions and to disseminate them.


113.     The bill establishes, in its Article 1, that "all persons have the right to request and to receive truthful, complete, adequate and opportune information from any organ of the Dominican State and of all corporations, firms or public companies with state participation." 


114.     Article 2 of the bill expresses that the right established in Article 1 includes the right to access the information contained in public documents and files, activities performed by organizations or persons of a public nature, as long as it does not affect national security, public order, health, public morals, or the reputation of others.


115.     Article 3 of the bill establishes the obligation of the State to publish all the acts and activities of the public administration including those of the Legislative and Judicial Branches. This information includes the presentation of budgets and calculation of resources and approved expenses, its evolution and state of execution. It also includes the programs and projects, their budgets, terms and execution, bids, offerings, purchases, expenses and results, listing of officials, legislators, magistrates, employees, categories, functions and salaries.  Also, the lists of beneficiaries of welfare programs, subsidies, scholarships, pensions and retirement benefits, statements of account of the national debt, indicators, and statistics must be published.


116.     Article 4 of the bill establishes that all the powers and organisms of the State will have to orchestrate the publication of their respective Web pages for the information dissemination and assistance to the public.[84]




117.     The first paragraph of Article 81 of the Political Constitution of the Republic of Ecuadorprovides that: 


The state shall guarantee the right, in particular for journalists and social commentators, to obtain access to sources of information; and to seek, receive, examine, and disseminate objective, accurate, pluralistic, and timely information, without prior censorship, on matters of general interest, consistent with community values. 


118.     Paragraph 3 of this same article provides that: 


Information held in public archives shall not be classified as secret, with the exception of documents requiring such classification for the purposes of national defense or other reasons specified by law. 


119.     The Office of the Special Rapporteur has received information regarding several bills that have been presented before Congress on Access to Public Information in Ecuador.  Bill No. 23-931 on Disclosure and Access to Information grants the citizens access to information held by the organs of the public sector, with the exception of the information of a personal or reserved nature that has been classified as such by a competent public official.  Bill No. 23-834 guarantees the access of information held by public entities as well as by private entities that possess public information, excluding personal data.  This bill provides that information may only be classified as reserved or confidential through an executive decree.  A bill for an Organic Law on Access to Public Information has been subject to a first debate in Congress, and would grant the right to access information from public or private sources.  The exceptions established in this bill include information related to commercial or financial matters, information which is reserved in the international sphere, information that affects personal or family security, information related to the government's control duties and the administration of justice, and information on safety and national defense. 


120.     Article 28 of the Modernization of the State Act (Ley de Modernización del Estado) regulates the right to petition, providing that: 


All requests must be resolved within a period of no more than 15 days reckoned from the date of their submission, unless a legal provision explicitly provides otherwise.  This practice shall not be suspended, and the issuance of decisions in response to requests or claims submitted by members of the community shall not be denied by any administrative agency.  In all cases, once the specified period has elapsed, silence by the administrative agency shall be construed to mean that the request has been approved or that the claim has been resolved in favor of the claimant(…)


In the event that any administrative authority rejects a petition, suspends an administrative procedure, or fails to issue a decision within the period specified, criminal proceedings may be brought against such acts as contrary to the constitutionally protected right of petition, in accordance with Article 213 of the Penal Code, without prejudice to the exercise of other actions provided for by law.


121.     Article 32 of this same Act refers to access to documents, as follows: 


Subject to the provisions of special laws, any party having an interest in the disposition of legally protected situations shall have the right of access to administrative documents held by the state and the various public sector agencies, so as to maximize the legitimacy and impartiality of government activities. 


122.     Article 33 provides for the enforcement of these legal provisions: 


Public officials or employees who violate any of the provisions under this chapter shall be punished with dismissal from their posts, without prejudice to their civil, criminal, or administrative responsibility pursuant to other laws. 


            El Salvador 


123.     Article 6 of the Political Constitution of El Salvador recognizes the right to freedom of expression.  However, the Constitution does not contain a specific provision regarding freedom of information. 


124.     Some provisions establish limits to access to information.


125.     The Code of Ethics of the Court of Accounts of El Salvadorestablishes that:


Confidentiality and the prudent use of information are basic components of the exercise of the functions of the Court.  The servants of the Court must protect confidentiality and the professional secret, without revealing information that is of their knowledge by reason of their work, except as required by law.[85]


126.     Article 28.c of the Internal Regulations of Personnel of the Court of Accounts (Reglamento Interno de Personal de la Corte de Cuentas de la República) of El Salvador establishes the duty of confidentiality and reserve for the personnel and former employees of the Court.[86]


127.     Article 66.4 of the Internal Regulations of the Executive Organ (Reglamento Interno del Órgano Ejecutivo) provides that: ¨The duties of the public employees are: (…) maintain confidentiality regarding matters that are of their knowledge by reason of their work.¨[87]




128.     With respect to state-held information, Article 30 of the Guatemalan Constitution provides that:


All government acts are public.  Interested parties have the right at any time to obtain reports, copies, reproductions, and certifications upon request and the exhibition of such records as they wish to consult, unless they pertain to military or diplomatic matters of national security, or data provided by individuals subject to confidentiality.


129.     Other information which is subject to confidentiality is information related to correspondence, telephone, radio, and cable communications, and other forms of communication available through modern technology (Article 24, Constitution of Guatemala).  Financial and banking information is also protected (Article 134 of the Constitution), as well as information which may pose a threat to life, physical integrity, or security (Article 3 of the Constitution).  Judicial information which is legally protected may also be withheld.


130.     With respect to habeas data, Article 31 of the Constitution specifies that:


All persons have the right to know about information pertaining to them in state archives, files, or other records, and its intended use, as well as to correct, rectify, and update such information.  Records and files regarding political affiliation are prohibited, with the exception of those maintained by election authorities and political parties.


131.     Although Articles 30 and 31 of the Constitution establish the general principle of public disclosure of government acts and the action of habeas data, there are no provisions in Guatemalan law regulating the effective exercise of these rights, nor is there an independent body to which appeals can be filed when information is withheld.


132.     Article 35 of the Political Constitution provides that:


Access to information sources is free, and no authority may limit that right.


133.     In August 2000, a bill on access to information was produced by the Office of Strategic Analysis of the Presidency of the Republic of Guatemala.  This bill would regulate the right to access state-held information, and the exceptions to disclosure.  The bill also regulates the action of habeas data.  Several drafts of this bill have been studied by the government and civil society organizations. 


134.     A monitoring of the replies to requests for information to 67 entities that hold public information from the Capital Cityrevealed that financial information is handled secretively by the public entities of the State.  Requests for information related to public expenditures received no reply from the consulted institutions, and 70% of requests for information regarding purchases and contracting received negative responses.[88]




135.     From a legal standpoint, there is no provision impeding media access to official sources.  The legal provision establishing the obligation to inform is contained in Article 80 of the Constitution:


All persons or associations of persons have the right to present petitions to authorities for reasons of individual or general interest and to obtain a prompt response within the legally specified period of time.


136.     The official response from Honduras to the questionnaire sent by the Office of the Special Rapporteur indicated that several laws in Honduras contain the principle of publicity of the acts of government.  The Law of Organization and Powers of the Tribunals (Ley de Organización y Atribuciones de los Tribunales) establishes that the acts of the tribunals are public, with the exceptions provided by law.  Additionally, Articles 3 and 5 of the Administrative Simplification Act (Ley de Simplificación Administrativa) establish the obligation of every organ of the State to develop systems for the organization of public information so as to guarantee its updating and easy access by the administration. 


137.     Restrictions to access to information apply to the disclosure of information on preliminary criminal procedures or of information that, if disclosed, may affect family privacy or persons under legal age.  Other exceptions relate to bank secrecy and the imposition of sanctions against public officials who disclose confidential information.


138.     The exercise of the right to access to information is not regulated in Honduras.  However, the official response from Honduras to the questionnaire sent by the Special Rapporteur indicated that any citizen who deems his constitutional rights to have been violated may raise a recurso de amparo to regain or maintain the exercise of his rights.


139.     On September 20, 2003, the Committee for Freedom of Expression C-Libre hosted a Regional Dialogue in the city of Choluteca on the subject of “The Right to Information in the National Agenda.”  Two similar meetings had been held in other regions of Honduras.  During this conference, the local limitations faced by journalists, social communicators, and citizens to access information of public interest were examined.  Another topic that was discussed during the meeting was the demand of the parties involved in the study for a bill on Access to Public Information and Habeas Data, brought by C-Libre.  Also, the participants expressed a commitment to investigate the handling of reserved information of public interest in the south of the country.  The National Anti-Corruption Office has also produced a draft bill on Access to Information.


[73] La Nación (Argentina), May 9, 2003, available at ; El Clarín (Argentina), May 19,2003, available at

[74] El Clarín (Argentina), Apoyan medida de Kirchner, October 21, 2003,  available at

[75] El Clarín (Argentina); Kirchner firma un decreto para crear transparencia y controlar lobbies, October 20, 2003, available at

[76] Martha Framelo, The Freedom of Information campaign in Argentina, posted October 14, 2003, available at

[77] See Law No. 12.475 of 2002 of the Province of Buenos Aires on disclosure of information from public bodies of the Provincial State and Access to administrative documents; Law No. 8803 from 1999 of Córdoba on Access to information of acts by the state; Decree 486/1993 on Public Information; Law No. 4444 of Public Administration on publicity of the Acts of Government; Decree No. 462/1996 of Mendoza on publicity of the acts of government; Decree 929/2000 of the Province of Misiones; Law No. 1829 of 1984 and Law No. 3441 of 2002 of Rio Negro.

[78] Pedro Mujica, Acceso a la información según la legislación chilena, available at http://www.

[79]See Informe Annual sobre Derechos Humanos en Chile 2003 (Hechos de 2002) (Annual Report on Human Rights in Chile 2003 (Facts from 2002)), Facultad de Derecho, Universidad Diego Portales, 231.

[80] El Mercurio (Santiago de Chile), November 18, 2003.

[81] Report of the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA), available at

[82] Appeal for constitutional protection presented by Carlos Manuel Navarro Gutiérrez, General Secretary of the Employees Union of the Ministry of Economy, in favor of La Nación S.A., against Eduardo Lizano Fait, Executive President of the Central Bank of Costa Rica.  File: 02-000808-0007-CO, Res. 20002-03074.

[83] Appeal for constitutional protection presented by the Representative José Humberto Arce Salas against the Bank of Costa Rica.  File: 02-009167-0007-CO, Res. 2003-03489.

[84] The information in the foregoing paragraphs was obtained from Periodistas Frente a la Corrupción and is available at

[85]Carlos Rafael Urquilla Bonilla, Estado del Acceso a la Información Pública en El Salvador, available at http//

[86] Id.

[87] Id.

[88]Monitoring exercise conducted by Observatorio Ciudadano para el Libre Acceso a la Información, an organization set up in September 2002 by Acción Ciudadana, Proyecto Libre Acceso a la Información PúblicaObservatorio Ciudadano is composed of non-governmental organizations, associations, academic institutions and the media.  See "Manual Ciudadano", First Edition, Guatemala, May 2003.