CELE Legislative Observatory

News of legislative and regulatory activity, judicial and administrative decisions

ARGENTINA BRASIL CHILE PARAGUAY PERU ECUADOR COLOMBIA MEXICO GUATEMALA

Number of LATAM projects as of October 2023

COUNTRIES PROJECTS
ARGENTINA 7
BRAZIL 28
CHILE 3
PILGRIMAGE COLOMBIA 14
ECUADOR 2
PILGRIMAGE THROUGH GUATEMALA -
MEXICO 13
PARAGUAY 2
PERU 2

Topics bills presented between August 2021 and October 2023

Access to information 6.9%
Bullying 10.3%
Apology 5.2%
Freedom of expression 8.6%
Equality and non-discrimination 17.2%
Internet Access 1.7%
Privacy 1.7%
Protection of minors 15.5%
Reputation and honor 5.2%
Content moderation 5.2%
Gender Violence 5.2%
Indigenous rights 3.4%
Fake News 1.7%

Topics bills presented between August 2021 and October 2023

Access to information 4.8%
Bullying 9.5%
Apology 4.8%
Freedom of worship 1.6%
Equality and non-discrimination 15.9%
Official advertising 4.8%
Fake News 1.6%
Protection of minors 14.3%
Reputation and honor 4.8%
Content moderation 4.8%

11/10 

The Argentine Congress passed the Olympia Law that would regulate gender violence in digital environments among other forms of violence against women. Expected that the Belén Law be approved to regulate the dissemination of non-consensual content and that it may be criminally sanctioned. 

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION GENDER

13/10

Federal prosecutor brought criminal action against Javier Milei for speaking out against the Argentine peso as “excrement.” For the official, the economist carried out “public intimidation” that could affect Argentina's democratic system. Also of the leader of La Libertad Avanza, the prosecutor's criminal action extends to Ramiro Marra, candidate for mayor of Buenos Aires, and Agustín Romo, candidate for deputy of the province of Buenos Aires, from the same libertarian space.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION ELECTIONS

17/10

The collaborative journalistic project that seeks to combat misinformation in the Argentine country (Reverse), carried out a campaign starring the three main candidates for the country's presidency to promote truthfulness, denying their own rumors and those of others that have circulated on social networks. The campaign was accompanied by the use of Artificial Intelligence for facial recognition and voice identification to decipher “correct” and “accurate” data. According to the media Latin Post, there was a lot of interaction among voters on social networks with this campaign to combat false information and not be affected by this type of content. 

DISINFORMATION ELECTIONS

02/10 

Federal deputy Mário Frias is sentenced to pay 30 thousand reais to actor Marcelo Adnet for publication on Instagram. The October 02, a civil law chamber in Rio de Janeiro sentenced Mário Frias, federal deputy and former secretary of Jair Bolsonaro's government, to pay compensation of R$30 thousand (approximately US$ 6 thousand) to the actor and comedian Marcelo Adnet. The action was filed after Frias described Adnet in a publication on Instagram as «A weak boy with no future. Acting as if he were a good person, when in reality he is nothing more than a filthy creature, whose proper adjective is none other than "scoundrel." The publication, from September 2020, occurred in response to a parody that Adnet made of a official speech of the then special secretary of culture. Judge Marco Antonio Novaes de Abreu considered that Frias' publication had the sole purpose of discrediting the comedian as a professional and as a person. In this sense, he concluded that the deputy abused his right to freedom of expression, violating the honor and image of Adnet. In addition to the compensation of R$ 30 thousand, the ruling ordered the deletion of the Instagram publication, under penalty of a daily fine of R$ 1 thousand, with a limit of up to R$100 thousand.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

Deputy proposes law to protect the image of children on the Internet. The federal deputy Lídice da Mata (PSB/BA) proposed a bill (PL 4776/2023) that seeks to establish mechanisms to protect the privacy of children and adolescents on the internet. In the justification of the project, the deputy highlighted the importance of privacy in the safety and well-being of people, especially the most vulnerable. She cited a study that notes that by age 13, a child already has an average of around 1300 photos circulating online. She mentioned that initiatives are being carried out to address specific problems, such as cyberbullying and inappropriate exposure of minors on the Internet, but highlighted the need for legislation dedicated to the issue of children's image on the Internet. The bill proposes measures related to parental authority, specifies the conditions for the joint exercise of the right to the child's image, introduces the concept of the "right to be forgotten" on the Internet for minors under 16 years of age and proposes campaigns aimed at those responsible to raise awareness about the risks associated with sharing images and personal information of children and adolescents.

PRIVACY PROTECTION OF MINORS

04/10 

The Federal Regional Court of the first region determines the closure of the criminal complaint filed by Attorney General Augusto Aras against Conrado Hübner, USP professor. The Federal Regional Court of the 1st Region (TRF-1) determined the closure of a criminal complaint filed by the former Attorney General of the Republic, Augusto Aras, against the professor of the University of São Paulo, Conrado Hübner Mendes. The action was presented after Conrado criticized the actions of the then attorney general on the social network X, when he stated that "The Attorney General of the Republic is a great guarantor of everything that is happening. "Especially from the lack of control of the Ministry of Health during the pandemic." 

Also, the teacher wrote a column called "Aras is Bolsonaro's predecessor at the International Criminal Court." According to Aras, Hübner's actions would have constituted slander, slander and defamation. In the first instance, the criminal complaint was rejected by federal judge Pollyanna Alves, but after an appeal by Aras, the action continued to the higher court. In TRF-1 the vote resulted in a tie, which, according to the court rules, favors the accused. The rapporteur of the case, Saulo José Casali, voted in favor of continuing with the criminal complaint, arguing that the professor's column was intended to harm the reputation of the former attorney general without valid grounds. Casali further stated that freedom of expression is not an absolute right and must be limited by other fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution. However, Judge Pablo Zuniga Dourado opened a disagreement, arguing against the use of criminal law to repress criticism of public figures. 

Dourado's understanding was followed by three other judges. In addition to the criminal complaint, Aras also presented a representation against Hübner before the USP Ethics Commission, which was rejected unanimously

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION CALUMNIES AND INJURIESCALUMNIES AND INJURIES

17/10

Deputy proposes banning social media accounts that promote abortion. The Federal deputy Priscila Costa (PL/CE) presented a bill (PL 5013/2023) that seeks to prohibit accounts and domains that promote abortion through websites, applications and online platforms. In its justification, argues that the indiscriminate promotion of abortion on online platforms could lead people to make hasty decisions. According to the deputy, the project seeks to protect the health and well-being of women, considering the "innumerable damages to the physical and mental integrity of the pregnant woman" derived from the practice. The bill prohibits the promotion of abortion through websites, applications and other online platforms, under penalty of banning the responsible accounts and domains, in addition to establishing the duty of supervision and notification to law enforcement authorities by the platforms on any "illegal activity related to the promotion of abortion, collaborating in the investigation and prosecution of offenders."

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION ACCESS TO INFORMATION

03/10

In October, two bills related to the right to social protest were presented. The first, the project 270/23, was filed on October 3 in the House of Representatives by a group of congressmen from the Historical Pact (the governing party), the Green Alliance and the Agricultural and Peasant Association. The project seeks to regulate mechanisms and create norms to ensure the guarantee and effective exercise of the fundamental right to social protest. Among other things, it regulates the use of force by the police and seeks to protect citizens against "acts of institutional violence." On the other hand, on October 9, the bill 275/23 by a group of congressmen from the Conservative Party. The project seeks to regulate the right to protest, determine its scope and define the responsibilities of the intervening parties.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

10/10

The bill was filed in the House of Representatives that seeks to guarantee that spaces for prayer and reflection located in public entities are redesigned to be neutral or multi-denominational spaces. The project, presented by a congressman from the Liberal Party, seeks to ensure that these spaces can be shared by people of various beliefs or religions to guarantee religious freedom and worship. The bill is related to a controversy that arose in 2022 after the El Dorado Airport, the largest and most important in Colombia, will announce that he would change his Catholic oratory to create a space for "neutral worship and reflection." After protests, the airport announced that it would maintain this oratory and that it would open another space for other cults.

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

26/10 

In the Chilean Congress he presented bill that seeks to regulate spam calls from companies and companies that interrupt the daily lives of citizens. This initiative aims to protect consumers and avoid abuse by these companies with insistent calls on rest days and at inappropriate times. Faced with this, the Government urged urgent attention to this bill. 

PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION CONSUMER

27/10

The World Association of Newspapers and Publishers condemns Gabriel Boric's attacks on the press and freedom of expression. The Chilean president he pointed the media to have preferences for communicating “bad news” by mentioning names of specific newspapers such as El Mercurio, La Tercera and La Segunda, stigmatizing their journalistic work. 

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

20/10

The number of journalists exiled from Ecuador due to threats rises to five according to the Council for the Development and Promotion of Information and Communication of Ecuador (Cordicom). The organization indicates that the last two threatened journalists were forced to go into exile for revealing cases of corruption in public companies involving businessman Danilo Carrera, brother-in-law of Guillermo Lasso -President of Ecuador-. Faced with this, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) convened a hearing for November 06 in Washington where it will study the deterioration of freedom of expression and the lack of guarantees in the coverage of journalistic practice. 

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS 

28/10

The Personal Data Protection law has been questioned after emails were sent with electoral propaganda to Ecuadorians residing abroad, evidencing access to private data. The Association of Private Banks of Ecuador and the Ministry of Telecommunications and the Information Society, they pointed out that the sanctioning regime cannot yet be applied because the law seeks to regulate “how information from rights holders flows between private companies and public sector entities.” Likewise, the minister issued some recommendations to prevent criminal access to personal data, such as obtaining locks on telephone devices and designing a variety of passwords. 

Despite the recommendations given by the executive, people have felt dissatisfied with the regulation since it left a feeling of exposure regarding personal data. 

PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION PRIVACY ELECTIONS

13/10 

The Appeals Chamber of a Court ordered repeat trial and annulled the six-year prison sentence against journalist José Rubén Zamora - recognized for his anti-corruption denunciations. Although the court agrees that he should not have been sentenced for money laundering and acquitted of blackmail and influence peddling, he ordered that he remain in prison while the criminal proceedings against him are repeated. 

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS

25/10

Article 19 was pronounced in the face of the intention of the Public Ministry and the Constitutional Court to prevent - repeatedly - the right to peaceful protest of Guatemalan people. On October 11, the Constitutional Court approved a resolution that would allow the use of force against the damage to protected property - including transit. The organization indicated that the measure represents a threat to the exercise of democracy and other forms of expression in opposition to the Guatemalan government. 

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION MEETING AND ASSOCIATION 

25/09 

El Senate approved in committees a new General Population Law that includes a National Population Registry that incorporates the Unique Population Registry Code with biometric identity. For organizations Article 19 and R3D, this initiative is worrying because it collects sensitive information without there being a reason for it, because the information to be obtained is already in other databases, and it is not explained why biometric data is needed.  

PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION PRIVACY

29/09

El power of attorney granted a definitive suspension to the people who questioned the constitutionality of the crime of Halconeo established in the Penal Code of the State of Aguacalientes. This decision was received favorably by the Article 19 organization. 

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

02/10

Article 19 obtained a definitive suspension in the protection he promoted to request that the lost files from the General Archive of the Nation related to the dirty war in Mexico be located and transferred to the General Archive of the Nation.  

ACCESS TO INFORMATION

10/10

They leak police data and violate biometric data. The TEDIC organization warned about the massive leak of more than 400 GB of confidential data under the supervision of the Paraguayan National Police. The organization indicated that the situation revealed the exposure of personal data and records related to police investigations, the vulnerability of biometric data (such as faces captured by facial recognition cameras and civilian identifiers), which puts the privacy of the citizenship. An urgent response was requested from the authorities to the leak and demand for transparency and greater data protection. 

PRIVACY PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION

16/10

Paraguay begins debate on Artificial Intelligence regulation with a focus on data protection and sovereignty. The Upper House approved the creation of a working group to analyze AI projects and processes

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION

26/10

In a public hearing they analyze a project to protect journalists and human rights defenders. In Paraguay, the possibility of implementing a bill of law that allows providing comprehensive protection to journalists and communication professionals that includes prevention, protection and sanction measures for those who attack the physical and moral integrity of journalists and human rights defenders. 

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS 

17/09 

During her participation in the 78th General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, the president of Peru, Dina Boluarte, refused to answer about the role of the Armed Forces in controlling Peru's internal order to national journalists covering the event. The president described the question that Canal N journalist Angélica Valdez asked her about it as “aggressive.” The National Association of Journalists (ANP) condemned this attitude of Dina Boluarte, for refusing to make statements to the Peruvian media and using the term "aggressive" to refer to a journalist. 

FREEDOM OF PRESS ACCESS TO INFORMATION

23/09

Law No. 31880 was published in the official gazette, “Law that delegates to the executive branch the power to legislate on matters of citizen security, disaster risk management-Global Child, social infrastructure, project quality and meritocracy.” Various unions linked to journalism have questioned the request for the delegation of powers due to the negative effects that it could generate on freedom of expression (this is the case of the Peruvian Press Council (CPP), Press and Society Institute (IPYS) and National Association of Journalists). This is because the Executive proposed to modify the Penal Code to include sanctions for those who incite the crime of riot and the obstruction of public services, considering among them "communicators who, through mass media, have called for various marches, sometimes inciting violence.

Despite the objections, the delegation of powers was approved, containing a generic and imprecise safeguard that the laws to be approved will be carried out "without criminalizing the freedoms of information, opinion, expression and dissemination of thought, as well as the right to peacefully assemble without weapons or other fundamental rights recognized in the Political Constitution of Peru.”

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION FREEDOM OF THE PRESS