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 between August 2021 and February 2024

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 February 2024

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 February 2024

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%

29/01

Activist Pierina Nochetti was criminally charged with “aggravated damage” for allegedly painting graffiti in protest against the disappearance of a young trans person, in the city of Necochea, Argentina. On March 06, the oral trial will take place where the imposition of a sentence of up to four years in prison is contemplated. Faced with the case, Amnesty International indicated that the charges appear to be an unnecessary and disproportionate restriction on the right to freedom of expression that the authorities should withdraw.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

27/02

Javier Milei will take administrative measures to prohibit the use of inclusive language in public institutions and in official documents. This was confirmed by Adorni as government spokesperson, indicating that inclusive language has not yet been recognized by the RAE and therefore it is sought not to be part of the discussion. She also indicated that for the government “Gender perspectives have also been used as political business”. It is a decision aligned with the far-right ideological position against equality policies, considering it as an “indoctrination” of “cultural Marxism” and which it intends to fight. 

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION GENDER

02/02

Judge condemns pastor for inciting violence against children on TikTok. A judge of the Court of Justice of São Paulo (TJSP) condemned Pastor Leandro Rafael Cezar, of the Resgatar Church in the city of Pindamonhangaba (SP), for inciting violence against children in his religious speeches on social networks. During a service, the pastor defended the use of violence to punish and discipline children, encouraging the use of force to make the child feel pain. The pastor stated that he removed the video from social media upon receiving notification from the Public Ministry, but did not publish any retraction because, according to him, he was not asked to do so. Judge Guilherme Cursino de Moura Santos, of the Branch of the Special Civil Court of Pindamonhangaba, concluded that The pastor publicly incited the practice of a crime of child violence, aggravated by being a figure of great behavioral influence for the people who attend his church. Furthermore, by disseminating his speeches on short video platforms, the levels of influence and dissemination of his narratives would increase.. The pastor was sentenced to 4 months of open prison, replaced by a penalty restricting rights, and to compensation of R$ 10.000,00 for collective moral damages, which will be allocated to the Municipal Fund for the Rights of Children and Adolescents of Pindamonhangaba.

HATE SPEECH CONTENT MODERATION

05/02 

Projects address the issue of the spread of false information and its potential for harm to physical and mental health. They presented themselves Bills No. 17/2024, No. 18/2023, No. 67/2024 and No. 92/2024, which generally criminalize the practice of inducing suicide or self-mutilation through the dissemination of false information, as well as proposing models of responsibility and sanction for digital platforms and internet pages that produce, share or host said content. 

The bills address the harmful potential, both psychologically and physically, of the spread of false information, and their justifications cite as an example the case of a young woman who was attacked online after gossip profiles spread fake screenshots of a conversation between her and Brazilian comedian Whindersson Nunes. After the incident, the young woman committed suicide, and it is believed that these attacks may have contributed to this. Specifically, the bill no. 17/2024, presented by deputy Pedro Aihara (Patriota/MG), adds to article 122 of the Penal Code (Decree-Law No. 2848/1940) provisions that criminalize the induction or instigation of suicide or self-mutilation through the sharing of false information, with aggravating circumstances if this disclosure is made with the objective of obtaining financial gain. It also establishes the joint responsibility of all those involved in the production, dissemination, promotion and sharing of information. He bill no. 92/2024, proposed by deputy Célio Studart (PSD/EC), also modifies article 122 of the Penal Code, doubling the penalty if the instigation is carried out through the dissemination of false information on internet pages, in addition to establishing sanctions for the legal entity responsible for the sharing, such as demonetization. 

El bill no. 18/2024, proposed by deputy Pedro Aihara (Patriota/MG), includes provisions that establish a 24-hour period for digital platforms, websites and media outlets to remove the content from the air «false that causes harm to the mental health or physical integrity of others» after receiving extrajudicial notification. If the sharing of this information results in self-mutilation or suicide, these platforms may be sanctioned with fines, suspension of advertising contracts with government entities, and prohibition of the dissemination of advertising content. Finally, el bill no. 67/2024, presented by Representative Ely Santos (Republic/SP), prohibits the sharing of conversations that occur through applications without the authorization of the senders and receivers.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AINDUCTION TO SUICIDE

Project seeks the prohibition of anonymity on the Internet. El Deputy Alberto Fraga (PL/DF) presented bill no. 53/2024, which modifies the Internet Civil Framework (Law no. 12.965/2014) with the objective of prohibiting anonymity on the internet. The project adds to the MCI the foundation of the "continuous search for trust in the network and its use" and modifies the principle of the "guarantee of freedom of expression, communication and manifestation of thought", established in article 3, I , adding the prohibition of anonymity. It also creates two new principles: that of traceability of published content, which would be made from metadata such as origin and date; and that of the «integrity of systems available for general use«, with the aim of guaranteeing the availability of data and the security of the system itself. In its justification, the deputy argues that these mechanisms would prevent the misuse of anonymity, guaranteeing transparency, user security, the integrity of the systems and trust in the network, while maintaining freedom of expression.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION PRIVACY

15/02

Companies are condemned for improper suspension of accounts. The 18th Civil Chamber of the Court of Justice of Minas Gerais (TJMG) confirmed a decision condemning e-commerce companies for improperly suspending an account. According to the TJMG communication portal, e-commerce companies suspended the account of a freelancer who made sales on websites, and also blocked the person's remaining balance. According to the companies, the account suspension occurred because the seller had more than one account linked to his email, which was against the companies' policies. Despite this, they were sentenced by the 1st Civil Chamber of the Timóteo Region to compensate the user with R$5.000,00 and unlock the balance of R$15.835,01 that the seller had in his account. 

The companies appealed to the second instance, but the decision was confirmed. According to the rapporteur of the case, Judge Marcelo de Oliveira Milagres, although there was the possibility of suspending the account and withholding funds due to breach of contract by the seller, the companies would not have proven the violation, presenting illegible screenshots as evidence. Therefore, the rapporteur - followed by the other magistrates - maintained the compensation and the unblocking of the funds in favor of the user.

CONTENT MODERATION

07/02

The Government launched the National Digital Strategy (END). According to the Government's plan, the END seeks to close digital gaps in access and appropriation of digital technologies in Colombia. Among other things, the plan includes actions such as the 5G auction and the promotion of digital skills in thousands of people throughout the day. 

REGULATION OF TECHNOLOGIES

09/02

The Colombian government acknowledged his responsibility in the murder of Guillermo Cano Isaza, the renowned former director of the newspaper El Espectador, murdered in December 1986 by drug trafficker Pablo Escobar. In the event of recognition of responsibility, the State accepted that it failed to fulfill its obligation to guarantee Cano's life and that it has ignored its duty to investigate, prosecute and punish those responsible and to protect the victims and their families.

VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

20/02

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights completes follow-up visit to the precautionary measure of José Rubén Zamora Marroquín. The visiting team went to the Mariscal Zavala barracks prison to meet, listen and discuss with Mr. Zamora Marroquín about the current conditions of deprivation of liberty, within the framework of the precautionary measure. Rubén is a journalist and founder of El Periódico de Guatemala sentenced to 6 years in prison for allegedly committing acts of lavado de dinero. The IACHR recalls that his detention is inserted in a context of impacts on judicial independence identified in the Annual Reports of the IACHR for 2021 and 2022. A context impacts the right to freedom of expression and generates a climate of censorship in the country. . 

VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS

26/01

The organization Article 19 condemned the judicial harassment against journalist Jonathann Estrada, by the husband of the current governor of Quintana Roo, due to the claim for moral damage that he filed against the journalist.

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

29/01

On January 29, 2024, the organization Article 19 and the Rule of Law Impact Lab at Stanford University School of Law They presented a brief on January 12, 2024, as friend of the Court before the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN), in relation to Amparo 8/2023 that involves the lawsuit filed by lawyer Ulrich Richter Morales against Google for defamation. In said intervention, it was considered that what was resolved by the Eighth Civil Chamber contradicts international standards on freedom of expression. 

On January 28, 2024, Ulrich Richter Morales indicated in El Universal questions about the integrity of the organization for receiving funds from Google and participating in litigation in which this company is related. Two days later, the Director of Article 19 for Mexico and Central America published a column in the same newspaper (El Universal) clarifying that the trial in which the organization participates is related to the Federal Copyright Law, where strict censorship controls are questioned, while the matter of Ulrich Richter Morales against Google is different from the address intermediary liability. 

On February 4, 2024 Ulrich Richter Morales gave answer in which he questions the impartiality of the organization in matters in which Google is judicially involved and provided information on his own matter in which he mentions that the responsibility of said company is sought. It is noteworthy that on January 29 and 30, 2024, columnists from the newspapers La Prensa and La Gran Noticia highlight that Ulrich Richter Morales filed criminal complaints against the organization Article 19 for his participation as a friend of the Court in cases in which that the Google company is involved.

LIABILITY OF INTERMEDIARIES CONTENT MODERATION FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

01/02

The organization Article 19 Remember that public servants are subject to a threshold of greater tolerance for speech that is critical or even uncomfortable.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION 

06/02

The organizations Article 19, R3D, Social Tic and the PRODH Center reported that the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN) resolved by a majority of 9 votes to 2, that the Financial Intelligence Unit must deliver in a public version the information it has the Pegasus case. The SCJN considered the reservation of information for reasons of national security unfounded and confirmed the resolution of the National Institute of Transparency and Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data.

PRIVACY

07/02

More than 100 organizations and 850 people They expressed their concern about one of the constitutional reform proposals presented by the Federal Executive in which it seeks to eliminate the National Institute of Transparency and Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data (INAI). For his part, the INAI highlights that the proposal for its disappearance is a serious setback that is linked to the attempt to make it inoperative by not naming the other members of the plenary session, and highlights that historical maximums of requests for information have been recorded.

ACCESS TO INFORMATION 

12/02

All the organizations Article 19 and Communication and Information of Women AC (CIMAC) They condemn the violence against the independent journalist Yolanda Caballero Jacobo, in Tijuana, Baja California. The attacks against the journalist occur in the context of a publication of an article in which he highlights failures in the administration of Mayor Montserrat Caballero Ramírez. The journalist has received messages from the Mayor questioning her professional integrity and at another time the journalist's vehicle began to catch fire. 

The organizations highlight that the authorities minimized the burning of the journalist's vehicle by considering it an issue of damage to other people's property and not as an attack against the journalist. Due to the above, Article 19 and CIMAC urged that the Mayor not have direct communication with the journalist and stop the stigmatizing messages against her; to the Government of Baja California to condemn the actions against the journalist; to the Baja California Attorney General's Office to carry out investigations in accordance with the Approved Protocol for Crimes Against Freedom of Expression, and to the Journalist Protection Mechanism to continue protecting the journalist and her family.

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

14/02

Through Senate statements 864 y 869, Senator Ruth Alejandra López Hernández and Senator Alejandro Armenta announced that there are reform initiatives to the Law on Women's Access to a Life Free of Violence and the Federal Penal Code to punish digital sexual violence.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION GENDER VIOLENCE

The Senate informs through the statement 859, that the Senator of Morena, Sergio Pérez Flores presented an initiative called the Federal Cybersecurity Law.

CYBERSECURITY

The Senate informs through the statement 865, that Senator Alejandra Lagunes Soto Ruiz will promote the creation of a National Digital Agency.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

19/02

La organization Article 19 and the Collective for Freedom of Expression in Guanajuato They urged the University of Guanajuato to refrain from limiting entry to the press through a single list and requiring the media to indicate the journalists and communicators who would cover their events, as well as the sending of their data and Photographs. These organizations also requested that the University of Guanajuato justify, where appropriate, why it would be necessary to save the journalists' information in light of the General Law on the Protection of Personal Data.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

23/02

The organization Article 19 condemned the dissemination by the President of Mexico of the telephone number of the New York Times correspondent in Mexico, Natalie Kitroeff. Likewise, they expressed their concern about the justification given by the president for carrying out said action. This government action derives from the notice of the upcoming publication of a report in which they point out the intervention of organized crime with people close to the current President of Mexico. In this regard, the National Institute of Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data reported that an ex officio investigation was initiated to determine whether the obligation to protect personal data was breached.

PERSONAL DETAILS PRIVACY

30/01

La National Police of Peru issued an official statement announcing legal actions against the newspaper “La República” and those responsible for the publication of a cartoon that, according to the institution, ridicules the police image. The cartoon, under the title “Learn to tell them apart (don't get confused)”, shows three police officers, classifying two of them as "delinquents", which points to a criticism of certain behaviors or conduct within the police institution. Faced with this, the Press and Society Institute (IPYS) denounced that this statement represents a threat to freedom of expression, since political satire is a legitimate means to comment on and criticize matters of public interest, including the functioning of public institutions. 

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION DEFAMATION

31/01

The parliamentary group “Parliamentary Unity and Dialogue” presented to Congress the bill No. 6927/2023-CR: “Law that requires the use of artificial intelligence in public entities.” The project aims to establish the obligation on public entities to implement and use artificial intelligence tools to improve the effectiveness of public service. According to the initiative, the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, through the Secretariat of Government and Digital Transformation, would provide technical and training advice to public entities to implement this tool. 

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

15/02

Former Rapporteurs on Freedom of Expression of the IACHR issued a pronouncement condemning the smear campaigns against independent journalism in Peru, specifically towards journalist Gustavo Gorriti of IDL-Reporteros. The latter are known for carrying out investigations of relevant impact on various corruption processes in Peru such as the “Lava Jato” and “Cócteles” cases. In addition to the former Rapporteurs, the Press and Society Institute (IPYS), PublicEye, Centro Latinamericano de Investigación Periodística and other media and institutions, denounced that IDL and its director are objects of intimidation, defamation and criminalization of their investigative work. 

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS