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 August 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 August 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%

Subjects bills presented between August 2021 and August 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%

03/08

SIP expressed concern about legislative initiatives promoted by the provincial governments of Salta and La Rioja, which they seek to regulate and penalize the dissemination of false news with possible effects on freedom of expression, of the press and access to information. 

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION FREEDOM OF THE PRESS ACCESS TO INFORMATION

30/08 

El Argentine journalist, Carlos Lauría, will assume the executive direction of the Inter-American Press Association. The journalist has provided strategic consultancies for the Committee to Protect Journalists, UNESCO, the Pan-American Development Foundation, Global Press, and the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. 

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

31/07

Bill aims to modify the Civil Framework of the Internet to introduce changes in the moderation of content on social networks. The Federal Deputy Delegate Paulo Bilynskyj (PL/SP) presented to the Chamber of Deputies the Bill No. 3644/2023, who seeks to modify the Civil Framework of the Internet (Law no. 12.965/2014) to institute changes in the regulation of the use of social networks. The justification for the bill argues that the number of people in Brazil who have their accounts and/or content removed “unilaterally, arbitrarily and without reason” by social media providers is growing. Given this, the parliamentarian calls for the inclusion of a law that guarantees "clearer, more public and objective information" on the procedures adopted for content moderation. He also calls for measures to protect the adversarial process, full defense and the possibility of presenting appeals, foreseeing hypotheses of just cause for the blocking and suspension of accounts or content generated by users. The bill also lists sanctions such as warnings, fines, temporary suspension, or a ban on activities on the platform.

CONTENT MODERATION FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

02/08

The TJSP rejects Wajngarten's claim for moral damages for an article published in the IstoÉ magazine. It 2 August, the Court of Justice of São Paulo (TJSP) upheld a first instance ruling that denied non-material damages requested by Fábio Wajngarten against Editora Três, publisher of IstoÉ magazine, and journalist Joaquim Oliveira. The lawsuit was filed after the article was published on the IstoÉ website "The Goebbels of the Planalto", signed by Oliveira, which criticized the role of Wajngarten at the helm of the Social Communication Secretariat during the Bolsonaro government. According to the file, Wajngarten claimed that the article, by comparing him to Joseph Goebbels – head of the Nazi propaganda department in the late 30s – affected his reputation. In addition to a lawsuit for moral damages, the former head of the Secretariat requested the retraction of the report and its removal from the air. Judge Ademir Modesto de Souza He stated that the report did not constitute "an abuse of the right to freedom of information, nor a crime against the rights of personality, since it contains information, albeit with a critical tone, intended to disseminate news of general interest.«. In addition, the rapporteur pointed out that freedom of expression is defended "without restrictions" by supporters of Bolsonaro's political group, to which Wajngarten belongs.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

07/08

The STF orders the platforms to send information about Bolsonaro's publications related to the elections. On August 07, the Minister of the Federal Supreme Court Alexandre de Moraes ordered social media platforms to send to the Attorney General all messages, including photos and videos, related to elections and their institutions, electronic ballot boxes and the Armed Forces made by former President Jair Bolsonaro. The request extends to the platforms Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, TikTok and LinkedIn. The decision was made in the context of the investigation 4921/DF, opened at the request of the General Prosecutor's Office, whose objective is investigate the masterminds and instigators of the acts carried out on January 8, 2023, in Praça dos Três Poderes. According to the decision, the judicial order is justified by the fact that "the body of evidence already existing in the case reveals the need for State intervention, with the imposition of the necessary measures for its investigation." For the minister, individual guarantees, such as freedom of expression, can be exceptionally relativized and should not be used "as a protective shield for the practice of illegal activities". The decision also directs platforms to report (i) if the people investigated were or are followers of Jair Bolsonaro and, if not, when they stopped following him and (ii) which of his posts were republished on the elections, the ballot box, the TSE, the STF, the Armed Forces and the military intervention. 

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION PRIVACY

08/08

The STF confirms the acquittal of Marco Feliciano in the criminal complaints filed by Caetano Veloso after crimes on social networks. The Federal Supreme Court (STF) confirmed on 08.08 the non-reception of the criminal complaints filed by Caetano Veloso against federal deputy Marco Feliciano after offenses broadcast on Facebook, Instagram and Jovem Pan radio. Specifically, between 2017 and 2018, the deputy stated that the musician raped Paula Lavigne, Caetano's wife, when he was a minor. At that time, Feliciano asked the Public Ministry (MP) to recommend the arrest of Caetano. The accusations occurred in 2017, through posts on the deputy's social networks, and in 2018, through an interview with Feliciano on the Pânico program on Jovem Pan radio. In 2021,, Feliciano was acquitted in the first instance, which was confirmed in the second instance. In the Federal Supreme Court, Minister Rosa Weber did not receive Caetano's appeal. The musician appealed the decision, but the full STF, by majority, confirmed Weber's sentence, according to which Feliciano had not committed slander or defamation because he considered that the posts and the interview came from the "context of public debate" of the time

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION SLANDER DEFAMATION

15/08

In August, two bills entered the House of Representatives that deal with issues on which proposals had already been presented, without success, in Congress in previous legislatures. On August 15, the bill was presented 135 / 2023C, which seeks to establish “easy-to-read” sentencing formats that judicial authorities would have to implement, which facilitates the exercise of the right to access public information. A similar project had been presented in August 2022, but had no progress in Congress. Likewise, on August 10, the bill was presented 127 / 2023C which, like previous projects (82/2012C, 368/23C, 437/21S, 437/21S), seeks to promote religious and religious freedom.

ACCESS TO INFORMATION

16/08

On August 16, the bill 147/2023C, which seeks to prevent grooming or virtual sexual harassment of children and adolescents, establishing a new cybercrime and promoting educational measures to raise awareness among the population. Under this crime, those who through the Internet obtain sexual photos or videos of minors under fourteen years of age by obtaining passwords or hacking accounts, proposing to arrange meetings with minors or blackmailing them to obtain content will be punished.

CYBER CRIMES PROTECTION OF MINORS

28/08

La Advisory Commission against Disinformation published his first report in which a conceptual framework is delivered on the phenomenon of disinformation, international context and then a contextualization to the Chilean case. The Commission was established on July 11, 2023 and was created as part of a commitment that the Chilean government has acquired as part of the OECD Disinformation Hub countries. 

DISINFORMATION FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

30/08

In Chile, they will enable digital platforms between Mercado Paga and Circle for the adoption of digital dollars. The project seeks to empower people to use Blockchain technology and access to the global financial ecosystem. 

TECHNOLOGIES

20/08

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights granted precautionary measures for the Ecuadorian candidate Zurita after death threats, as he was the one who would replace the recently assassinated Fernando Villavicencio. Likewise, he urged the Ecuadorian State to materialize the guarantees of freedom of expression of the candidates and the press so as not to be the object of acts of intimidation, threats or other acts of violence. 

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION ELECTIONS

23/08

Guillermo Lasso signed a Communication Law decree without considering the changes introduced by Parliament. Lasso assured that the changes made criminal prosecution against journalists possible, especially due to a normative section that developed the subsequent responsibility of communicators. He argued that the new changes reaffirm the interest in strengthening freedom of expression through mechanisms for the protection of journalistic practice. 

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

24/08

The IACHR's Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression called for clarification of the murder of two journalists in Guatemala. The statement was given as a product of three murders of journalists and request to incorporate investigative measures to avoid impunity. 

VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

02/08

The organization Article 19, condemned the use of firearms against the home of the director of the digital media outlet Descontento Ciudadano Quintanarroense, Jorge Ugalde. Therefore, it requires the Mechanism for the Protection of Defenders and Journalists to provide protection measures for journalist Jorge Ugalde, and that these be adequate and sufficient to guarantee his right to freedom of expression; to the municipal authorities of Benito Juárez-Quintana Roo and the Federal Government to coordinate to implement the protection measures; and, to the Attorney General of the State of Quintana Roo to carry out an investigation of the facts in accordance with the Approved Protocol of Crimes Against Freedom of Expression. 

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

04/08

The organizations Article 19 and Communication and Information of Women, CIMAC condemned the attack against the journalist María Luisa Estrada of the Grillotina Política outlet. For this reason, they demanded that the Attorney General of the Republic carry out an exhaustive and transparent investigation into the attack suffered by the journalist, applying the approved protocol for crimes against freedom of expression and providing extraordinary protection measures to safeguard them; to the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists that journalists be provided comprehensive and effective protection commensurate with the seriousness of the risk they face; and to the Federal Government to guarantee the journalist's right to carry out the informative work and provide training to the public security forces. 

VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

09/08 

On August 9, 2023, the organization Article 19 demanded the Governor of Veracruz, Cuitláhuac García Jimenez, to eradicate violent practices against journalists, refrain from issuing stigmatizing speeches against the press, and guarantee the right of women to a life free of violence, based on six cases documented by the organization .  

VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

10/08 

The organization Article 19 urged the Governor of Oaxaca, Salomón Jara Cruz, to refrain from criminalizing speeches against journalists; to the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists of the Ministry of the Interior to carry out actions to protect the integrity and life of the journalist Anteles Niyon; and, the Oaxaca Ombudsman's Office to make efforts focused on seeking the protection of journalist Ángeles Niyon. The foregoing occurs in the context in which the Government of Oaxaca sought to dismiss a report by journalist Ángeles Nivón Molano in which the increase in violence in the entity is observed. 

VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

14/08

The organization Article 19 urged the National Human Rights Commission and the Human Rights Commission of the State of Aguascalientes to file an action of unconstitutionality before the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, against article 178bis of the Penal Code of the State of Aguascalientes for establishing the crime of falconian, which can significantly affect the right to freedom of expression.  

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

16/08

The civil organizations Article 19, Found and Designations requested the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation to resolve as soon as possible, the constitutional controversy filed by the National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data to allow them to hold sessions and resolve the thousands of pending appeals, given that the parliamentary majority in the Senate has delayed the appointment of three of its members. 

ACCESS TO INFORMATION

Various civil society organizations expressed their solidarity with the Mechanism for Access to the Truth and Historical Clarification of serious human rights violations committed from 1965 to 1990, an institution that denounced the difficulties in accessing documentation from security and intelligence agencies, as well as from the police and armed forces, which is essential for the reconstruction of the memory of the events that violated human rights that occurred from 1965 to 1990. 

ACCESS TO INFORMATION FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

23/08

The Second Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation authorized that the National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data can meet with four commissioners, instead of the five required by law, this until the Senate appoints one of the three vacant commissioners. The purpose of the decision was that the right to information and protection of personal data would not be affected by a contingent issue in the appointment by the Senate. 

ACCESS TO INFORMATION PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION

02/08

The Paraguayan Congress is discussing the bill that prohibits the promotion of the gender perspective in institutions. The Network for the Right to Education of Paraguay manifests through a public position its rejection of the progress of the Bill that seeks to prohibit the promotion, encouragement or teaching of the gender perspective in educational institutions. The organization stated that the initiative goes against international standards and the fundamental rights to equality, freedom of expression, religious freedom and the right to comprehensive education and non-discrimination. 

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION GENDER DISCRIMINATION

24/08

The Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) of Paraguay kept up The one-year prison sentence with stay of execution imposed on former reporter José Luisa Chilavert for defamation against the president of the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol), Alejandro Domínguez, is in force. 

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION DEFAMATION

The Union of Journalists of Paraguay (SPP) rejection the legal documents issued by the Prosecutor's Office to two media outlets, requesting journalistic data for articles published in which they relate to former President of the Republic Horacio Cartes. 

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

01/08

On August 1, the Bill 05632/2023-PE presented by the Executive on July 28. This seeks the delegation of powers to Congress to legislate on issues such as citizen security and infrastructure for 120 days. This could impact the way people use and share content on the Internet. In particular, it is proposed to modify the Criminal Code to create the crimes of collaboration and instigation to riot, which could result in criminal prosecution of activities associated with the call for marches and protests on social networks. This has been questioned by the Hiperderecho association, because it could lead to self-censorship and limit political participation online.

The request for powers would also allow the use of virtual patrols by the police, without clearly specifying its content or guarantees for the privacy of people. Likewise, it is proposed to regulate the applications that mediate transport services, establishing requirements similar to those applicable to taxi services, contemplating sanctions and orders to block the applications, which could mean a complete change in the intermediary liability regime. In Internet.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION PRIVACY INTERNET

04/08

The Council of Ministers appointed Alain Donuhue Dongo Quintana as the new Secretary of the Secretariat of Government and Digital Transformation of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers. Days before, on July 31, the Executive had approved the National Digital Transformation Policy by 2030. One of the highlights of this policy is the introduction of the "digital basic basket" program. This initiative aims to provide the population with access to essential digital connectivity services, connection devices, data packages and training, in collaboration with the private sector. In addition, it will seek to promote the use of digital payment methods in social programs, thus strengthening the support mechanisms for the population.

INTERNET ACCESS

Yldefonzo Espinoza Cano, journalist for Noticierolibre.com, he was attacked in public by a van that blocked his path. After an altercation with the driver due to his reckless driving, he hit him in the eye and then physically assaulted him, throwing him to the ground and kicking him. Thanks to the intervention of bystanders and the arrival of the police, the attacker was arrested and taken to the police station. The incident occurred in Huaraz, Ancash region, in the northeast of the country. Espinoza reported that, together with his colleague Hugo Gonzáles, he has been investigating and publishing reports on alleged acts of corruption in the Ancash regional government. These investigations have resulted in threats of assault and disappearance against him.

VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

14/08

The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, through the National Authority for the Protection of Personal Data (ANPD), imposed sanctions on Google LLC for not complying with corrective measures ordered in trilateral guardianship proceedings. These procedures involve claims from citizens who request the opposition or cancellation of their personal data or certain treatments carried out by the Google Search engine. In this first administrative instance, a fine was applied of 100 Tax Units (UIT), equivalent to 430,000 soles, due to the resistance of Google LLC to comply with the provisions of the ANPD and its persistent indexing of a claimant's personal data.

PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION

16/08

The Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) of Peru ordered the immediate blocking of applications motorcycle taxi service Didi Moto and Picap. The MTC has required internet operators to immediately block the Didi Moto and Picap applications, alleging that the motorcycle taxi service is not allowed by current regulations and could result in sanctions. However, this action has given rise to critical due to the fact that the blocking of the applications has not been carried out through a previous judicial process, but by means of a direct order from the ministry. This measure has affected not only the companies involved, but also the users who used these services legally. In addition, it has been highlighted that this action could set a dangerous precedent for freedom of expression, since it could allow an executive authority to block access to any application or web page without the need for judicial control.

 FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

20/08 

The journalist Enrique Bayona revealed in the Latina TV program "Punto Final" that on June 12 he was victim of a shooting attack perpetrated by two individuals while traveling in his vehicle in the Piura region, in the north of the country. Bayona had filed a complaint known as "The Reconstruction Operators," which exposed a network made up of corrupt officials who were negotiating infrastructure projects for reconstruction in an area affected by the El Niño phenomenon. During his participation in the television program, Bayona stated that he was "certain" that the attack was related to the dissemination of his investigation, which involves the mayor of Piura and advisers to congressman Guillermo Bermejo.

VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS FREEDOM OF THE PRESS