President Solís sacks technology minister over media ‘gag law’

April 10, 2015

The fallout from a controversial media reform bill that would have given the government broad powers to punish and even shutter Costa Rican media outlets pushed President Luis Guillermo Solís to clean house at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications (MICITT).

Casa Presidencial released a statement Friday morning saying that Solís had asked MICITT Minister Gisella Kopper and Vice Minister of Telecommunications Allan Ruiz to resign.

Kopper’s resignation would be the third cabinet post vacated this year, after former Health Minister María Elena López and Public Security Minister Celso Gamboa both stepped down in February.

Solís, who gave his remarks from the Summit of the Americas in Panama Friday, said that both officials failed to oversee the drafting of the new Radio and Television Law.

Solís ordered Presidency Minister Melvin Jiménez to investigate what led MICITT officials to draft a bill that contradicted Costa Rica’s principles of respect for freedom of expression, according to the statement.

Solís didn’t wait for Jiménez’s findings, and requested the officials’ resignation.

Kopper allegedly tried to save her skin when she asked Ruiz to accept responsibility and step down earlier this week, the daily La Nación reported. But one resignation was not enough to make a pound of flesh.

The bill’s critics were especially outraged by provisions that they said could get a radio or television station closed if it broadcast two “lies” or offended “moral standards” twice in a given year. La Nación reported that many of the draft legislation’s most controversial articles were copied from media laws in Venezuela and Ecuador, nations criticized by Reporters Without Borders in its World Press Freedom Index for fomenting self-censorship and taking an aggressive stance toward the press.

Solís acted quickly in an attempt to bolster Costa Rica’s reputation for press freedom.

“Today and always, we are going to defend freedom of expression and press freedom because they are fundamental principles of a democracy that is an example to Latin America and the world. We are not going to permit anyone to tarnish these principles,” he said.

Facebook Comments

You may be interested

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica’s Isla Nublar (aka Cocos Island)
Pic of the Day
8 views
Pic of the Day
8 views

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica’s Isla Nublar (aka Cocos Island)

Alejandro Zúñiga - April 18, 2019

Isla Nublar, the setting for much of the "Jurassic Park" series, is unfortunately not a real Costa Rican island. Cocos…

Costa Rica holds Maduro regime responsible for diplomat’s safety
Costa Rica
5 views
Costa Rica
5 views

Costa Rica holds Maduro regime responsible for diplomat’s safety

AFP and The Tico Times - April 18, 2019

The Costa Rican Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that it places responsibility with the Venezuelan government of Nicolás Maduro for…

Venezuela withdraws diplomatic credential from Costa Rican diplomat
Latin America
20 views
Latin America
20 views

Venezuela withdraws diplomatic credential from Costa Rican diplomat

AFP and The Tico Times - April 17, 2019

Venezuela withdrew the diplomatic credential from the Costa Rican chargé d'affaires on Tuesday in retaliation for the country’s acceptance of…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!