Media Center


Message from OAS Secretary General on World Press Freedom Day

  May 3, 2018

On World Press Freedom Day, we salute all who work to expand and protect this freedom from the different attacks to which it is subjected on a daily basis.

Violence and stigmatization against journalists and communicators has been increasing in our hemisphere and only a few countries remain as the guarantors of press freedom in all the areas measured by the global indexes regarding this fundamental attribute of democracy. This is worrying.

As independent journalism is an existential condition of democracy, it is no surprise that authoritarian regimes try to suppress it.

It is no coincidence that in Cuba – a country governed by the same party for 59 years – there is no authorized independent press. And in Venezuela, where there is a regime that has consolidated itself as a new dictatorship, press freedom suffers from unacceptable conditions.

But the problems of freedom of expression also extend in varying degrees to other areas of the territories of the Americas, where organized crime and drug trafficking threaten the lives of journalists every day.

In its 2017 report, the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights stated that it had received 900 complaints of incidents involving violence, Illegitimate restrictions or threats to the exercise of the right to freedom of expression. This is unacceptable.

On this day we redouble our efforts to ensure a pluralistic media system in which the state is the defender and guarantor of press freedom.

Reference: S-017/18