IAPA committee admits the blindingly obvious, wins prize

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ZOMG! What’s the world coming to when fascists can’t claim oppression from a supposedly commie government in Latin America anymore? Get a load of this:

The president of the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA), Enrique Santos of Colombia, certified on Wednesday, during a meeting with President Evo Morales in the Quemado Palace in La Paz, Bolivia, that in Bolivia there is freedom of the press.

“What we were able to determine is that in Bolivia, press freedom exists,” said Santos, who also represents the newspaper El Tiempo of Bogotá.

“From all one can see, hear and read, it can’t be said that here there is no opposition press, that there are no criticisms of the government,” said Santos.

The head of the IAPA, which brings together 1300 private media outlets of the Americas, underscored that “it is important for me to say this clearly.”

Translation mine.

Holy shit, a Colombian commercial media type says there’s no censorship, no oppression, and a loud, critical oppo media mafia? Well, we already knew THAT. Nice to see him confirm it, eh?

But wait, there’s more:

Santos and four delegates of the IAPA were invited by Morales. The president showed them a series of proofs, in audio and video, concerning the least-biased treatment of information by the IAPA’s affiliates in Bolivia.

Presidential spokesman Iván Canelas demonstrated one by one the cases, principally in newspapers and television, in which the information was “manipulated”, in order to steer public opinion against the policies of the Morales government.

Canelas laid out, among dozens of cases, an unfounded accusation which the newspaper, La Prensa, made against Morales last December, which is currently before the courts.

The Minister of the Presidency, Juan Ramón Quintana, also exposed before the commission of the IAPA the economic links between the private media and the ex-prefect, Leopoldo Fernández, in the Amazonian department of Pando. Fernández currently faces charges in the murders of 18 campesinos in September 2008.

For those who’ve been paying attention, that last one is no news. El Duderino has some good details here. But now, at least, Evo’s getting a chance to respond, and to take up his concerns with the IAPA personally–something that the oppo presstitutes themselves were not willing to grant him.

But the real shocker comes just before the end of the piece:

After the series of expositions by Canelas, Quintana and the vice-minister of the Presidency, Sacha Llorenti, the second vice-president of the IAPA, Gonzalo Marroquín, said that “the IAPA never defends acts of corruption”.

“We believe that they should be denounced” and brought to justice, Marroquín said. He also characterized as “positive” the co-operation of Morales “in the area of tolerance”.

Santos added to this a remark that “the media who lie are digging their own grave.”

Well. That was the blindingly obvious. Now here comes the prize, kiddies…

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Congratulations, IAPA bigwigs. It looks as though you’re finally coming of age as journalists: hearing both sides of the story, sorting out the lies, telling the truth, and being fair and honest to those who, no doubt, make you grit your teeth. At this rate, you might even become fit to report real news eventually!

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