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 January 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 January 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 January 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%

27/01

The President of Argentina, Javier Milei, presented to Congress the “Omnibus” bill with 664 articles with profound reforms. Cooperative media, networks of Social Communication careers and unions prepared a document addressed to national legislators on the implications of the “Law Bases and starting points for the freedom of Argentines” regarding communication, specifically the violation of the rights to freedom of expression and information. Among the possible effects are non-profit media; to the rights protected by the Public Defender of Audiovisual Communication Services; the consequences in this matter that the delegation of powers to the Executive Branch would mean and the impacts on the public media system.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

20/12

Project proposes to criminalize advertising fraud with the use of artificial intelligence. He federal representative Kim Kataguiri (UNIÃO/SP) presented to the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies bill no. 6119, which aims to add the crime of "advertising fraud with the use of artificial intelligence" to the Penal Code. The proposal seeks to criminalize, with a prison sentence of 4 to 8 years and a fine, the practice of «create, use and propagate videos of famous or anonymous people created by artificial intelligence with the purpose of manipulating, deceiving and misleading consumers«. In the justification, the practice is illustrated by the creation, by artificial intelligence systems, of fake advertisements featuring people, usually public figures, speaking well of a particular product or service. The deputy argues that the lack of advertising regulation on the use of artificial intelligence and the increase in consumer fraud underpin the proposal.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE

21/12

Project contemplates protection measures for victims of domestic violence perpetrated on the Internet. He federal representative André Fernandes (PL/CE) presented the bill to the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies no 6197/2023, which proposes protection measures with the aim of preserving the digital identity of victims of domestic and family violence. The project adds a device to the Maria da Penha Law (Law no 11.340), a law that seeks to protect women victims of domestic violence, to cover situations in which the victim of domestic violence is subjected to threats, harassment or other forms of violence on social networks and digital platforms. In the text, three specific measures are contemplated: i) prohibition of the aggressor from accessing the victim's profiles and accounts, whether from their current account or any other account they may create; ii) immediate removal of “offensive, threatening or defamatory content posted online regarding the victim”; iii) prohibition of virtual contact in any form of interaction, such as exchange of emails, messages, friend requests, reactions to photos and others. In its justification, the deputy mentions the “absence of specific legislation to address online violence in the context of the Maria da Penha Law” and the increasing use of digital media to threaten, intimidate and harass victims of domestic violence.

DIGITAL IDENTITY GENDER VIOLENCE

22/12

Project seeks to criminalize the creation of intimate content for children and adolescents through artificial intelligence. The federal representative Renata Abreu (PODE/SP) presented the bill to the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies no 6211/2023, which aims to criminalize the creation of erotic and pornographic content through artificial intelligence systems, using images of children and adolescents. The proposal seeks to modify the Statute of Children and Adolescents (ECA) and Criminal Code, criminalizing the development, sale and exhibition for sale of images and other audiovisual records containing scenes of sex, nudity or pornography involving children or adolescents. In the justification, it is argued that there is a legislative gap regarding artificial intelligence, which would have a more detrimental impact on vulnerable groups such as children and adolescents.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE PROTECTION OF MINORS

05/01

Person is sentenced to compensate politician for messages published on social networks. The press office of the Court of Justice of Minas Gerais (TJMG) released a ruling that sentenced a person to pay R$ 2.000 for moral damages to a politician for messages published on social networks. The action was filed after the person claimed that the politician improperly received emergency aid during the Covid-19 pandemic. The content of the publications also suggested the presence in a hospital of ghost employees related to the politician. The 20th Civil Chamber of the TJMG, confirming the first instance ruling, considered that social networks are not the appropriate means to register complaints. Judge Fernando Caldeira Brant, rapporteur of the action, argued that the messages were offensive to the politician's honor and image by suggesting illicit and potentially criminal practices.. The ruling also notes that, regardless of the veracity of the claims, the person should have gone to the competent authorities, instead of social media, to point out irregularities. The decision was made unanimously in the TJMG.

CALUMNY AND INJURY FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

16/01

Judge maintains news about singer that turned out to be false. According to the newspaper Consultor Jurídico, Judge Adriana Brandini do Amparo, of the 5th civil court of the Santana regional forum, in São Paulo, decided that the media could maintain news that turned out to be false about the singer MC Mirella. The singer sued the media for the dissemination of messages that occurred in 2019, which, supposedly, would demonstrate that Mirella had intermediated in a situation of international trafficking of minors. The singer denied the messages and was considered innocent after an investigation by the Federal Public Ministry. The request for removal of online content and compensation for false news was addressed to the newspapers O Globo, SBT, TV Record, UOL, Terra and Jovem Pan Online. According to the decision that declared the request inadmissible, there was no abuse or neglect on the part of the news media, since the source of the information disseminated was a victim who sought to expose the singer.. The judge argues that the companies were only replicating what, at that time, seemed to be true, and that "news whose content is not proven true does not deserve reproach, except in cases of intentional distortion of the fact or manifest negligence in the investigation of the same".

DISINFORMATION FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

11/01

TJSP decides that Facebook is not responsible for fraud within the platform. The 32nd chamber of the private law section decided that Facebook is not responsible for a scam carried out on its platform. In the action, a man who was defrauded in the purchase of a vehicle requested compensation from the platform. Specifically, the man reported having been the victim of a scam due to a fake profile on the social network, and argued that Facebook should warn "its consumers about fake profiles and posts that may cause harm." The ruling confirmed the decision of Judge Priscilla Bittar Neves, of the 36th civil court of the capital, which acquitted Facebook. The speaker in the second instance, Judge Andrade Neto, understood that although the company is responsible for the social network, it does not have the role of intermediary in the sales that occur within the platform, which are made directly between users.. The magistrate argued that the person failed to "adopt minimum precautions" before making the payment to the false profile. The decision was supported by judges Luis Fernando Nishi and Mary Grün.

LIABILITY OF INTERMEDIARIES

15/01

Judge orders the removal of the video of the son of Minister Benedito Gonçalves from the internet. According to the newspaper O Estado de São Paulo, Judge Flávia Babu Capanema Tancredo, of the Court of Justice of Rio de Janeiro, ordered the removal of a video in which a businessman, son of Minister Benedito Gonçalves of the Superior Court of Justice (STJ), appeared with luxury items. The video was made by influencer Anthony Kruijver, who films people on the street and asks them what they are wearing and how much the clothing costs. The video with businessman Felipe Brandão, published on January 7, went viral and had almost 3 million views in a week. The businessman, who works in the sale of luxury goods, and his father, Minister Benedito Gonçalves, became the target of attacks on social networks due to the content. For the judge, who ordered the removal of the video from the Internet, the content sought to ridicule the businessman himself, as well as affect third parties, in this case, his father.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

16/01

Lula sanctions law that criminalizes cyberbullying. President Lula sanctioned the Law No. 14.811/2024, which establishes protection measures for children and adolescents in educational establishments and provides for the National Policy to Prevent and Combat Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children and Adolescents. The law modifies the Penal Code to create the types of systematic intimidation (bullying) and systematic virtual intimidation (cyberbullying). He article 146-A of the Penal Code now defines bullying as "systematically intimidating, individually or in groups, through physical or psychological violence, to one or more people, intentionally and repetitively, without obvious motivation, through acts of intimidation, humiliation or discrimination or verbal, moral, sexual, social, psychological, physical, material or virtual actions. Cyberbullying is classified when the conduct is carried out through the computer network, social networks, applications, online games or any other digital medium or environment, and carries a prison sentence of two to four years and a fine.. The approved law also modifies the Atrocity Crimes Law (law no. 8.072/1990) to include in the scope of "atrocious crimes" the "induction, instigation or assistance to suicide or self-harm carried out through the computer network, social networks or transmitted in real time" and the criminal types provided for in § 1 of the article 240 and article 241-B of the Statute of Children and Adolescents (law no. 8.069/1990), which deal with child pornography. The law results from 4.224 PL / 2021, proposed by deputy Osmar Terra (MDB/RS) and approved by the Federal Senate on December 12, 2023.

PROTECTION OF MINORS

04/01

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued a resolution in which he recognized the serious security situation faced by nine journalists from the municipality of Algeciras, Huila, who since May 2023 have been summoned and threatened by the Central General Staff (FARC dissident group). Among other things, the commission ordered the State of Colombia to adopt necessary and reinforced measures to protect the lives of journalists and guarantee the exercise of their work in conditions free of violence.

VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS

24/01

On January 24, journalist Mardonio Mejía Mendoza was murdered by hitmen in the municipality of San Pedro (Sucre). Mejía was the director of the community radio station Sonora Estéreo and was one of the most recognized journalists in San Pedro. The journalist was dedicated to covering judicial, security and political issues in his municipality. According to the information collected by the Foundation for Freedom of the Press (FLIP), Mejía had been a victim for years of extortion and anonymous calls, where they questioned his position towards the municipal administration. One of the alleged perpetrators of the crime.

VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS

10/01

The organizations Article 19 and the Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the attack suffered by the Director of the Tlaxcala Press on January 9 of that same year. It is noteworthy that the journalist is currently a beneficiary of the Federal Protection Mechanism. Due to the above, the Attorney General's Office of the State of Tlaxcala was required to diligently investigate the attack and the Federal Mechanism for the Protection of Journalists to coordinate with state authorities to provide effective protection to the journalist.

VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

12/01

The Article 19 organization informed citizens that the judiciary, through a control judge, determined the “acquittal” of a person accused of wiretapping with the Pegasus malware. journalist Carmen Aristegui. However, the judge in the case determined that the journalist's phone was tapped and that said tap was as a consequence of her journalistic activity. 

PRIVACY SURVEILLANCE

18/01

The organizations Article 19 and the PRODH Center reported that a Judge determined that the Secretariat of National Defense should not purify, destroy, eliminate, hide or conceal information contained in the investigation of the Mechanism for Access to the Truth and Historical Clarification of the serious violations of human rights committed from 1965 to 1990

ACCESS TO INFORMATION

28/01

The newspaper The Republic warned of the existence of Fiscal Folder No. 87-2023, a secret folder whose content refers to an order for monitoring, video surveillance and interception of communications against journalists César Romero and Juan Tafur. Reportedly, the investigation began following reports related to the “Cuello Blancos del Puerto” corruption case, which involves a significant number of politicians, businessmen, judges and prosecutors. As a result of these accusations, on January 7, 2024, the Public Ministry issued a statement in which denies the existence of said tax folder. 

SURVEILLANCE PRIVACY VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS

03/01

The National Association of Journalists (ANP) reported that in 2023, a total of 352 attacks on press freedom were recorded in Peru, marking the highest number in the last 23 years. Likewise, according to data collected by the Journalist's Human Rights Office (OFIP) of the ANP, there were 206 attacks against male journalists, 83 against female journalists and 63 against media outlets. 

VIOLENCE AGAINST JOURNALISTS FREEDOM OF THE PRESS

14/01

The Press and Society Institute (IPYS) reported on the criminal complaint “for violence against authority” that the congresswoman Kelly Portalatino (Perú Libre) filed against journalist William Torres. This occurred after, weeks ago, the journalist asked the congresswoman about a television report that linked her, her father and her partner to the arbitrary appointment of jobs in the health sector of the regional government of Ancash. On that occasion - during a public hearing in the health sector - the parliamentarian became upset and ordered the police to remove the journalist from the premises. IPYS expressed its concern about the legal actions taken by the legislator.

FREEDOM OF THE PRESS