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Costa Rica and Uruguay Only Countries with True Freedom of Press in Latin America

Costa Rica and Uruguay are the only ones among Hispanic and Lusophone countries in the Americas to enjoy a fully free press, according to an annual global report on freedom of expression released Tuesday by Freedom House.

The report, which evaluated the performance of 197 countries in 2011, ranked only Costa Rica and Uruguay among the 15 Spanish-speaking nations of the hemisphere with freedom of press, and Chile for the first time he joined the group of 16 countries with partly free media due obstacles faced by journalists while covering mass protests in the past year by educational and environmental claims.

United States ranks among the nations with a free press, but the report makes no mention of the status of Spanish-language media in that country.

Karin Karlekar, director of Freedom House in charge of the Americas, described as “very worried” about the decline in the rating of Chile.

Karlekar said that Latin America is one of the world’s regions with the greatest deterioration in press freedom in recent years, mainly because “the discourse of government officials hostile to the press, which sets the tone with which the police, security forces and other actors of society then react to journalists and the media. ”

“Many countries in the region see Venezuela as a model of changing social dynamics and a model is very negative,” said the expert. “Venezuela is exporting its model in the region in which means are subsidized by the government for greater control over the content.”

As last year, Freedom House included Venezuela with Cuba, Honduras and Mexico as countries without free press.

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