Human Rights and
International Democratic Solidarity

Research Reports


Local level journalism and Democracy indicators in Latin America

By Fernando J. Ruiz

Latin America’s worst areas to practice Journalism in the First Semester 2006

  • Black Area, Red Areas and Brown Areas


  • Blood powered laws
  • "Confrontation Chiefs" against the press
  • Quotes of the semester


  • The best of Latin America according to Freedom House

Executive Summary

  • Ten journalists were murdered during the first semester of 2006.
  • There are at least twenty six areas in Latin America where those who practice journalism risk their lives. In all certainty, there are other red areas where the same risk exists.
  • It is most probable that in violent areas much of the violence does not get published because the self censure they impose on themselves not to denounce threats or aggressions increases.
  • The Cuban repressive machinery against journalism is the most efficient.
  • In most red areas there is a criminal network rooted in the government. This obstructs the government’s ability to provide public security to the population.
  • Mexican journalism suffered a dramatic first quarter that was an extension of the spiraling violence that the government cannot control. As a compensation, journalists received various government benefits.
  • Venezuelan journalism is entering a critical second semester because each time President Chavez increases his power, he exerts more pressure on the media that opposes him.
  • The Telepresident’s press watch-dogs are popular so these are spreading.

About the Author
Fernando Javier Ruiz

Advisor to the Democratic Strengthening Area of the Centre for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL). Ph.D. in Public Communication from the University of Navarra Degree in Political Science from the Universidad Católica Argentina (UCA).
Professor at the Seminars on Journalism and Democracy and on History and Culture of Communications, at the Austral University School of Communications.

Author of the following books:

  • Otra grieta en la pared: Informe y testimonios de la nueva prensa cubana, 2003,(Another crack in the wall: Reports and testimonies of the new Cuban press) CADAL / Konrad Adenauer Stiftung
  • Las palabras son acciones: historia política y profesional del diario La Opinión de Jacobo Timerman, (Words are action: Political & professional history of the La Opinión newspaper belonging to Jacobo Timerman ), 1971-77, Perfil Libros, Buenos Aires, 2001.
  • El señor de los mercados. Ambito Financiero, la City y el poder del periodismo económico,(The master of the markets: Ambito Financiero, the City & the power of the financial press), El Ateneo, Buenos Aires, 2005.
Fernando J. Ruiz
Fernando J. Ruiz
Academic Advisor
PhD in Public Communication (Universidad de Navarra) and degree in Political Science (Universidad Católica Argentina). Professor and researcher of Journalism and Democracy and History of Communications at Universidad Austral. He is the author of “Las palabras son acciones: historia política y profesional del diario La Opinión de Jacobo Timerman, 1971-1977”, “Otra grieta en la pared: informe y testimonios de la nueva prensa cubana”, “El señor de los mercados. Ámbito Financiero, la City y el poder del periodismo económico”. He is the president of the Foro del Periodismo Argentino (FOPEA).

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