InterAmerican Commission finds reason to award protective measures for Salvadoran journalists

On February 4, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ruled that the government of El Salvador should take precautionary measures to safeguard journalists at El Faro who have been subject to "harrassment, threats, intimidation and stigmatization" through the course of their reporting on events in the country.  

From the IACHR news release summarizing the decision (translated from original Spanish):

When making its decision, the Commission assessed that, according to the petition, the beneficiaries work for the El Faro Digital Newspaper, an independent media outlet, and have been the object of harassment, threats, intimidation and stigmatization - mainly through social media - for reasons of their journalistic activities. Likewise, the Commission considered that the information received on the situation of risk to the beneficiaries, assessed in the contextual framework in El Salvador, suggests that the alleged acts of harassment, threats and intimidation towards the beneficiaries has the purpose not only to intimidate them but also also hinder those activities derived from their journalistic work. Therefore, such a situation generates a high level of exposure for the beneficiaries, increasing their risk situation. For its part, the IACHR also considered that although the State should have taken action upon becoming aware of the alleged facts, to date no protection measures are being implemented with the purpose of mitigating the current risk situation of the beneficiaries.

After analyzing the allegations of fact and law presented by the parties, the Commission identified that, from the prima facie standard, 34 identified members of the El Faro Digital Newspaper find themselves in a serious and urgent situation, since their rights to life and personal integrity face risk of irreparable damage. Consequently, in accordance with Article 25 of the IACHR Rules of Procedure, El Salvador is  asked to: a) Adopt the necessary measures to preserve the life and personal integrity of the identified beneficiaries; b) Adopt the necessary measures so that the beneficiaries can carry out their journalistic activities in exercise of their right to freedom of expression, without being subjected to acts of intimidation, threats and harassment; c) Agree on the measures to be adopted with the beneficiaries and their representatives; and d) Report on the actions taken to investigate the alleged facts that led to the adoption of this precautionary measure and thus avoid its repetition.

A copy of the full decision can be found here.  

Attacks on investigative journalists have marked Bukele's time in office.   The tone set by the president is amplified by his followers in social media.  

One of the El Faro reporters, Nelson Rauda, tweeted a comment after the IACHR ruling was announced:

We have been followed, recorded in our houses, accused by the government of being criminals, threatened with "shoot you 3 times in the head" or place a "car bomb" and my female colleagues threatened with sexual violence.  For this the @CIDH granted us protective measures.

It seems unlikely that a paper ruling from the InterAmerican Commission will change any behavior of Bukele and his allies, except perhaps that they will begin to disparage that body.   It also seems unlikely, for now, that investigative journalists in El Salvador will give up on covering persons in power.


Don said…
Gringos are gonna gringo.
Don said…
How many journalists have been murdered in El Salvador on Bukele's watch?

In Honduras and Mexico they kill a journalist every week. But in a country under the boot of a dictator like Bukele all of murders are probably covered up aren't they Tim?
Don said…
I think the lat journalist to get murdered in El Salvador was in 2018 back when Sanchez Ceren was running the country and it was dangerous as hell.

Tim wrote:

"The journalistic community in El Salvador is rallying around this case of a senseless murder of a young professional and mother. A this time, however, there is nothing to tie her murder to her work as a journalist."

So, back when FMLN was running the country and a journalist gets killed there is no reason to worry. But now Tim needs to hype the false narrative that journalists are under attack.

Nuevas Ideas and Bukele are about to take control of the Legislative Assembly. No wonder you are trying to hype this. You probably want the U.S. government to do a golpe.

Also, why do you constantly refer to Bukele's followers on social media while completely ignoring the voters who voted for him. Is that to make Bukele look like he isn't popular in El Salvador? I sure hope that Tim can save the Salvadorans from themselves.

Don said…
Look at the fire Tim is stoking:

Americans just can't help themselves. If they aren't meddling in an election or flying to the moon they just can't be happy.

Too bad Tim wasn't this full of himself back in the 80s. He might have realized that his county was funding a war and tried to stop it. Now that he is semi-retired and sitting on a pile of lawyer money he is going to make Salvadoran democracy his pet project. Bravo!
Don said…
Tim Muth on the radio just now:
"Vamos estar vigilants."

Ha! Tim, your Spanish! Work on communicating basic thoughts, then move on to deep politics after you pass the level of a toddler.

Too bad they didn't take calls. I was going to call in and ask you to tell us about all the collective and legal action you participated in back in the 80s.