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 December 2023

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

Subjects bills presented between August 2021 and December 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 December 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%

12/12

After the elections in Argentina, verified accounts of the Ministry of Human Capital appeared in Meta (Instagram and Facebook), with more than 250.000 followers on Instagram and on Facebook with 3,8 million followers. The users they allege not having voluntarily followed these accounts, which is why doubts arose around the handling of personal data that the aforementioned social networks use and the uncertainty it generates during the new Milei government. 

PERSONAL DETAILS

19/12

They denounce Milei's protocol against street protests before the United Nations and IACHR, called “Protocol for maintaining public order in the event of road closures” allows federal forces to evict or disperse protesters who impede the transit of people or means of transportation, partially or totally, on national routes and other roads under federal jurisdiction. 

Likewise, the protocol allows state agents to intervene without a court order “since it is a flagrant crime repressed by article 194 of the Penal Code,” representing a risk to freedom of expression and protest. 

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

28/11

Operation 404, coordinated by the Ministry of Justice, triggers the sixth phase and blocks more than 600 websites and applications. The Brazilian Civil Police and agencies from four countries carried out the sixth phase full Operation 404 of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security (MJSP). During the operation, 606 were blocked or suspended websites, 19 streaming apps and 22 search and seizure warrants for copyright violations were served. The websites and applications were also deindexed from search engines and removed from profiles and pages on social networks. The "integrated action to combat online piracy", which began in 2019, is coordinated by the National Secretariat of Public Security (Senasp/MJSP) with the collaboration of the Brazilian civil police and law enforcement agencies of Argentina, Peru, the embassies of United States and United Kingdom. In addition, the National Council to Combat Piracy and Brazilian intellectual property protection associations. The Operation is part of the Action Plan 2023-2025 full National Intellectual Property Strategy (Enpi), an inter-ministerial initiative coordinated by the Ministry of Development, Industry, Commerce and Services, whose objective is establish a National Intellectual Property System. The Enpi is based on promoting actions that "encourage creativity, investments in innovation and access to knowledge, with the aim of increasing competitiveness and economic and social development."

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

29/11

The STF understands that newspapers can be held responsible for the statements of those interviewed. E, the Plenary Session of the Supreme Federal Court (STF) decided that journalistic companies can be civilly liable if they publish interviews in which the interviewee falsely attributes the commission of a crime to another person. With the decision, a thesis of general repercussion was established (Topic 995) in which the company must compensate those involved if «(i) at the time of disclosure, there were concrete indications that the accusation was false; and (ii) the media did not comply with the duty of care in verifying the veracity of the facts and in disclosing the existence of such evidence. The case tried involved the publication, by the Diario de Pernambuco, of an interview in May 1995. 

The interviewee stated that former deputy Ricardo Zarattini had been responsible for a bomb attack in 1966 at the Guarapepes Airport (PE). After the Superior Court of Justice (STJ) confirmed the sentence to pay compensation, the Diario de Pernambuco took the case to the STF alleging the need to defend freedom of the press. Minister Edson Fachin, in charge of the leading vote in the trial, stressed that freedom of the press is not absolute, and liability is possible in the event of dissemination of false news. Ministers Marco Aurélio and Rosa Weber, now retired, understood that the journalistic company should not be held responsible if it does not issue an opinion on the false accusation, but they were defeated.

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS DISINFORMATION

05/12

Deputy proposes law to make bullying, cyberbullying and digital insults a crime. Federal deputy Marcelo Queiroz (PP/RJ) proposed bill no. 5.876/2023, which seeks to include in the catalog of crimes against honor and individual freedom of the Brazilian Penal Code and its modification to incorporate the practices of bullying, cyberbullying and insults in the digital sphere in the list of crimes against honor and individual freedom. The project criminalizes the practice of bullying as systematic and intentional intimidation, humiliation or discrimination, whether individually or in groups, through physical or psychological violence, imposing a penalty of six months to two years in prison and a fine for practice. Cyberbullying, for its part, would refer to the same conduct practiced in the virtual environment, with a penalty of two to four years in prison and a fine. Finally, the proposal creates a qualification for the crime of libel when committed in the digital sphere, with a penalty of one to three years in prison and a fine, equivalent to the penalty for religious libel. In its justification, the deputy highlights the physical and psychological damage caused by these practices, especially in children. On other occasions, bills have been proposed that seek to criminalize cyberbullying and “crimes of haters", just like him virtual bullying.

CALUMNY AND INJURY

Consumer Secretariat begins process to fine Facebook for improper advertising. The National Consumer Secretariat (Senacon/MJSP) initiated an administrative sanctioning process against Facebook to investigate the spread of improper advertising and misinformation on the platform. The process is based on a technical note that investigated fraudulent advertising related to the Desenroll Brazil Program, a project aimed at debt renegotiation and financial regularization of citizens. The research states that Facebook violated the Consumer Defense Code (CDC) by allowing the dissemination of misleading advertising of at least 817 ads, from 115 advertisers and 46 sites that misinform about public policy and encourage consumer over-indebtedness. On 26.07/XNUMX of this year, Senacon notified companies Facebook and Google to remove "any sponsored, fraudulent or illegitimate advertising that offers services related to Desenrola Brasil". The agency maintains that the case is not protected by the article 19 of the Internet Civil Framework, which establishes as a rule the non-responsibility of companies for third-party content. He states, in this sense, that "the damage does not result from the intermediation of third-party content, but from the platform's decision to disseminate abusive advertising and illicit content, in exchange for compensation from the advertiser".

DISINFORMATION

07/12

House approves bill that criminalizes the disclosure of intimate material of women without consent. The Chamber of Deputies approved bill no. 9.930/2018, which criminalizes the dissemination of intimate material of women. The project, presented in 2018 by deputy Erika Kokay (PT/DF), modifies the Criminal Code to penalize the disclosure, without consent, of photos, videos and other materials of women's privacy. The project also modifies the Maria da Penha Law (Law No. 11.340/2006), which creates mechanisms to combat violence against women, to add this behavior to the protection plan of the law. The new criminal classification is found in article 233-A of the Penal Code and establishes a prison sentence of 3 months to 1 year and a fine, as well as a cause for increasing the sentence if the recruitment is carried out in the exercise of an activity. professional, commercial or functional, such as cameras in public bathrooms or rented rooms. The project now goes to the Federal Senate.

GENDER VIOLENCE

The project proposes that there be no responsibility of the newspapers for the opinions of those interviewed. Federal deputy José Nelto (PP/GO) presented bill no. 5.917/2023, which exempts journalistic companies from liability for the publication of opinions of interviewees. According to the proposal, the journalistic company will only be responsible when (i) it is demonstrated that there were concrete and easily accessible indications for the company that the opinion was false; (ii) it is demonstrated that the company did not verify the veracity of the facts, according to the specific case; and (iii) it is demonstrated that the company did not take precautions to disclose a doubtful fact narrated by the interviewee.. In its justification, the deputy explains that the issue of freedom of expression and the press has been debated in all powers. He highlights the jurisprudence of the Superior Court of Justice, which establishes three pillars of journalism: the duty of truthfulness, the duty of relevance and the general duty of care. However, according to their understanding, the diligence required may make the dissemination of the news unfeasible.. For this reason, he advocates that liability occurs only in specific cases, when there is a proven lack of care. On 29.11, el Federal Supreme Court decided that journalistic companies can be civilly liable if they publish interviews in which the interviewee falsely attributes the commission of a crime to another person.

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

08/12

Project provides for the obligation of providers to identify content created with artificial intelligence. Federal deputy Lídice da Mata (PSB/BA) presented bill no. 5938/2023, which aims to force providers to flag images and videos created using artificial intelligence (AI). The project adds article 12.965-A to the Internet Civil Framework (Law 2014/21), which requires providers of social networks and private messaging services to establish mechanisms to identify and flag content created with AI. The bill states, as an example, that content could be watermarked. In its justification, the representative mentions recent cases of women whose photos were altered to leave them naked. According to her, the indication that the content is created using AI would help users evaluate and understand the origin of the content they are consuming, which, in turn, would allow a critical evaluation of the information and help in the fight against disinformation.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

11/12

Project requires notification of platforms regarding child and adolescent sexual abuse. Federal representative Fred Costa (Patriota/MG) presented bill no. 5.956/2023, which seeks to modify the Internet Civil Framework to force providers to notify potential child and youth sexual abuse. The bill includes in the Law No. 12.965/2014 (Civil Internet Framework) obligation for connection and application providers to provide information to public authorities when they have knowledge of child and youth sexual abuse, indicating what information must be provided, such as identification data and reporting information on potential abuse. The project also prohibits the interpretation that the law can be used for the provider to monitor users, clients or specific content and establishes that the Executive Branch will regulate how the information will be provided. In its justification, The MP argues that the privacy of individuals must be balanced with the responsibility of providers for the "opportunities they create" and for "proactive action in the fight against crimes with serious harmful potential." According to him, there is already technology that allows identifying signs of illegal activity from metadata, without violating the secrecy of communications. The deputy concludes by arguing that, although the Statute of Children and Adolescents (Law No. 8.069/1990) already addresses child pornography, it would be necessary for this regulation to be extended to the virtual environment.

CONTENT MODERATION

04/12

A congressman from the Historical Pact party presented the bill 328/23 C which seeks to force candidates for the Presidency of the Republic to participate in public debates during the electoral campaign period. What the project intends is for the candidates to make known and debate before the electorate the government programs filed with the electoral organization. The proposal is similar to project 355/23 C, which had been presented in March of this year but expired because the legislature concluded without any debate.

ELECTIONS

20/12

The Foundation for Freedom of the Press (FLIP) published a count of the year 2023, in which they highlighted two important debates on freedom of expression left by rulings from the Constitutional Court of Colombia this year: the adequacy of the risk assessment processes for journalists in the National Protection Unit (ruling T-40 of 2023) and the need to take measures to confront digital violence against women journalists (ruling T-87 of 2023).

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

05/12

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IAC Court) Indian that the State of Ecuador has partially complied with the ruling on the EL UNIVERSO case. Said ruling had ordered the State (i) to annul the sentence issued against the victims; (ii) as well as its publication and dissemination of the ruling; (iii) implementation of a training plan for officials of the Judicial Branch; (iv) the payment of compensation for pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage; (v) reimbursement of costs and expenses; and (vi) the generation of legal reforms to guarantee that cases like this will not be repeated.

The report prepared by the Inter-American Court indicated that Ecuador complied in the following measure: (i) it annulled the sentence against the victims; (ii) carried out the training plan for officials of the Judicial Branch. This through the creation and implementation of the virtual workshop Freedom of Expression and Human Rights; (iii) made the payment of compensation to the directors of EL UNIVERSO and the former editor of Opinión, which were paid within the period established in the ruling and (iv) made the payment of legal costs and attorneys' fees, which were also fulfilled. , although in two cases it was outside the established deadline. 

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION HUMAN RIGHTS

08/12

The Data Protection Law protects the personal information of Ecuadorians, but There is still a lack of a superintendence to defend it. Although the legislative initiative had already been approved and registered in May 2021, the definition of the authorities for the Superintendency of Data Protection is taking time, delaying its execution since there is still no entity that can regulate and sanction companies or public institutions that violate user rights. 

PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION

21/12

Ecuador advances in the digital and ethical transformation in AI with the support of the Ministry of Telecommunications and the Information Society (MINTEL), experts and UNESCO, creating an AI Committee and strengthening data protection. Minister Maino he highlighted the importance of data protection in the context of Artificial Intelligence, referring to the Personal Data Protection Law and its Regulations as key instruments to guarantee the rights of citizens over their personal information.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE PERSONAL DATA PROTECTION

04/12

The organization Article 19 condemned the abuse of authority that occurred on November 24 against the correspondent of Fuerza Informativa Azteca, Evaristo Tenorio Gómez; from the ZMG Traffic reporter, María Guadalupe Martínez Rivera; the CPS Media cameraman, Ángel Martínez Álvarez; and the CPS Media reporter, Brenda Beltrán Anaya, by state police in Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. The attacks occurred while protests by protesters were being covered and an attempt was made to document the arrest of three activists. Due to the above, the organization Article 19 demanded that the Secretary of Security of the State of Jalisco create and apply a public prevention policy to guarantee the protection of journalists in Jalisco, ensure an adequate environment that safeguards their lives when carrying out their work. work and to guarantee the right of women and girls to a life free of violence; to the Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists to establish communication with the attacked journalists in order to provide them with the necessary protection and reparation measures to guarantee their protection and their right to freedom of expression; and, to the Jalisco State Prosecutor's Office to carry out a diligent and expeditious investigation into what happened. 

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

06/12

All the organizations Article 19 and R3D They reported that the first judicial process began for the use of Pegasus software for the crime of illegally intercepting the private communications of journalist Carmen Aristegui. 

PRIVACY

The organization Article 19 expressed its concern about the use of the crimes of defamation and slander of the Penal Code of the State of Nuevo León against the communicator Alfredo Jalife-Rahme. The complaint was filed by a public person (Tatiana Clouthier), who also served as a high-ranking federal public servant in the current administration of the federal government. 

DEFAMATION CALUMNIES AND INJURIES

13/12

The Article 19 organization condemned the aggression suffered on December 8 against the Director of the media Neo Grandicasensis (Arcadio Sánchez) by two unknown individuals, as well as the intimidating acts and omissions in their work by elements of the Public Security Secretariat of the State of Chihuahua. It is noteworthy that the events occurred days after the publication of a column in which alleged acts of corruption by Mario Saldaña Rodríguez, Welfare delegate in a municipality of Chihuahua, were exposed. 

Due to the above, the organization Article 19 demanded that the State Unit for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists of Chihuahua coordinate with the Federal Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Journalists to immediately assist journalist Arcadio Sánchez in order to guarantee their protection and to implement the necessary measures to ensure their health, well-being and personal integrity; while the Attorney General's Office of the State of Chihuahua to diligently and expeditiously investigate physical violence by unknown subjects, as well as the actions of the members of the Public Security Secretariat of the State of Chihuahua, applying the Approved Crime Protocol against Freedom of Expression. And, finally, the Ministry of Security must cooperate with the full investigation of the members of its corporation who participated in these attacks. 

VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS

14/12

The organization Article 19 announced that the journalist Reyna Haydee Ramírez He was the victim of smear campaigns after his participation in the conference held every morning by the President of the Republic. It is noteworthy that the journalist questioned the President about the violence that is being experienced in the country. After the comments that the President made about the Mexican press, the journalist received comments on her social networks that classified her as a “chayotera” and “pseudojournalist.” Therefore, the organization Article 19 urged all executive, federal, state and municipal powers to refrain from hate speech or speech that criminalizes journalists; Likewise, he asked the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists of the Ministry of the Interior to carry out the necessary actions to protect and safeguard the life and integrity of the journalist Reyna Haydee Ramírez. 

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS

11/12

The National Association of Journalists of Peru (ANP) denounced the precarious employment situation of journalists in the country. He pointed out, as an example, the non-renewal of contracts and covert layoffs, especially in the newspaper La República and the Latina television channel, where massive layoffs occurred, directly impacting journalistic quality and citizens' right to information.

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

20/12

Two congressmen presented bills that, if approved, would limit citizens' access to information of public interest and restrict the legitimate right of expression of journalists and media in Peru. Segundo Montalvo of Peru Libre proposed the Bill 06718/2023-CR. This seeks to modify article 132 of the Penal Code to increase the prison sentence for defamation from three to five years. On the other hand, Congressman Segundo Quiroz presented the Bill 06714/2023-CR. This seeks to penalize those who disclose confidential information from a criminal investigation with imprisonment of three to five years, even through the media. These proposals raise concerns about the exercise of freedom of expression in the country and motivated the Peruvian Press Council to issue a critical statement.

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS