Three hundred Argentine journalists have made public a document rejecting claims from Vice-president Cristina Fernandez that several media professionals have colluded in an illicit association to spy on her.
We emphatically reject the public defamation campaigns and pressures on journalists. These have been launched in recent weeks by some sectors of the political establishment, including some who have the highest institutional responsibility, points out the open letter.
The signees of the document insist that it is the responsibility of those who manage office to abide by the constitution and respect freedom of expression, freedom of the media and their right to investigate, plus helping with an environment which makes possible the full exercise of these rights.
Likewise, all citizens have the right to question a report, a piece and the opinion of a columnist, but when harassment becomes a tool with unfounded accusations of illegal spying, insults and personal attacks, a very dangerous border line is being trespassed, a line that threatens freedom of expression and democratic coexistence, underlined the document, which received ample coverage in the Argentine media.
The document follows on a video from the former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in which she openly accuses several journalists of being accomplices of an illicit organization to spy on her. Following the video some of Argentina's more notorious and independent communications professionals have been exposed to repeated harassment and provocations, among which Luis Majul, Jorge Lanata, Daniel Santoro, Nicolás Wiñazki and Baby Etchecopar.
Relations between the Kirchner couple and the Argentine independent media have not been easy or fluid. Rather the contrary, and this became even more radicalized with the death of Nestor Kirchner in 2010. In effect during the twelve years of Kirchnerite predominance, Nestor 2003/07 and Cristina 07/11 and reelection 11/15, journalists and media groups that did not accept the Executive terms (and publicity) were exposed to harassment, persecution, and media companies suffered repeated attempts to dismember them.
At the same time promoted by government, the official media multiplied with radio and television stations plus dailies, and independent programs generously supported with ample publicity funds and professionals prepared to defend the Kirchnerite regimes.