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Argentine Media bill: “a dictatorship couldn’t have done it better”

Tuesday, December 27th 2011 - 13:57 UTC
Full article 27 comments
The Brazilian O Estado de Sao Paulo spared no words to criticize the law The Brazilian O Estado de Sao Paulo spared no words to criticize the law

The conservative and influential Brazilian newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo in an editorial described the Argentine government as an “austral democradura” (authoritarian regime) which is sponsoring legislation “to terrorize the media”.

The newspaper was referring to “anti-terrorism” legislation recently passed by the government of Cristina Fernandez intimidating the press and limiting access to newsprint.

“The Argentine government is making the exercise of freedom of the press extremely difficult with acts of intimidation which make honour to a dictatorial regime, a dictatorship couldn’t make it better” said O Estado de Sao Paulo.

Last week the Argentine congress passed two laws: one declaring of national interest the manufacturing, commerce and distribution of newsprint, and another describing series of crimes typified as ‘terrorists’.

The Media law which refers to all forms of journalism and signed by Cristina Fernandez gives the Argentine government control over Papel Prensa, the only newsprint manufacturer in Argentina, thus exposing newspapers to the ‘whims’ of Government House, Casa Rosada, points out the Sao Paulo daily.

The second bill describes as a terrorist crime those acts committed with the purpose of “terrorizing” the population. According to O Estado de Sao Paulo this measure will enable Casa Rosada to consider “terrorist” any news or comment which whoever sits at Government House would not like to be released from corruption claims in government dealings and bids to serious misbalances in government budget figures”.

“This second “liberticide” was more ingenious, an anti terrorist bill to terrorize journalism and the media. The government could appeal to that bill when a run on the banks, financial speculation or any bit of news the Casa Rosada dislikes. A dictatorship couldn’t have done it better”.

The conservative daily and which opposes the Brazilian Workers Party ruling coalition argues that control of the press was the only “obstacle” left for the government of Cristina Fernandez to “convert” her country into an austral version of “democcradura” (authoritarian or ‘strong’ democracy), Chavez style”.

The Argentine Media bill was also criticized last week by the Brazilian Association of Newspapers (ANJ) which described it as “of extreme concern” and a threat to “freedom of the press”.

Top Comments

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  • ChrisR

    No real surprise that CFK wants/needs to control the coming months 'news' of conflict with the Unions, raging inflation, reducing value of the Pesos, etc, etc.

    Even the “Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo” have a veiled threat 'for future abuses by another goverment. They chickened out of criticising Old Turkey Neck herself, probably because they might be the first to get arrested and jailed for the 'terrorist' thoughts.

    Perhaps, some day, the poor deluded prats who voted for her (38.6% of the eligible vote did) will wake up and chuck her arse down the road: hopefully before the fat boy inherits the 'dynasty'.

    Dec 27th, 2011 - 02:13 pm 0
  • O gara

    Your concerns are touching but with the Clarin group and La Nacion totally oppsed to her the opposition will be heard lod and clear.Unlike the situation in England nobody really criticized the government.
    Interestingly Goldman Sachs holds a 10% share in the Clarin group but it seems also in Grupo Estado owner of you guessed it O estado de Sao Paolo.

    Dec 27th, 2011 - 02:31 pm 0
  • yankeeboy

    I think soon you will see large foreign owned farms confiscated too.
    CFK is “passing” all of these “laws” to get a further stranglehold on power. She is taking her playbook directly from Chavez.
    Argentinians are not a smart people but once they realize the gov't can't afford to subsidize their lives any longer there will be blow back. It is just a matter of time and it is fascinating to watch.
    She better have the helicopter standing by....

    Dec 27th, 2011 - 02:48 pm 0
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