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Costa Rica stands out in Latin America on press freedom

Costa Rica continues to stand out in Latin America in terms of press freedom, according to the latest report by the international organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

In the context of World Press Freedom Day (May 3rd), the organization revealed the ranking of 180 nations, with their overall global score on press freedom.

The analysis mentioned there is “an increasing toxic environment in Latin America,” forcing journalists to work in in unfavorable conditions.

“As it did in 2020, in 2021, the coronavirus crisis accelerated the rise in censorship, caused economic hardship for the press, and led to major difficulties in accessing information on the management of the epidemic by Latin American governments,” stated Reporters Without Border.

In general, the Latin American region has experienced major problems when it comes to press freedom. “Distrust of the press, fueled by anti-media rhetoric and the trivialization of politicians’ stigmatizing discourse – especially in Brazil (ranked 110th in the Index), Cuba (173rd), Venezuela (159th), Nicaragua (160th), and El Salvador (112th) – has gained ground,” the study details.

Nicaragua’s position was highlighted by Reporters Without Borders, revealing this country “recorded the biggest drop in rankings (- 39 places) and entered the Index’s red zone. A farcical election in November 2021 that carried Daniel Ortega into a fourth consecutive term as president was accompanied by a ferocious crackdown on dissenting voices.”

“The last bastions of the independent press came under fire, and the vast majority of independent journalists, threatened with abusive prosecution, were forced to leave the country,” concluded the investigation.

Costa Rica is currently 8th in the World Raking and is the only Latin American country among the first positions; the country’s overall score was 85.92. Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia and Finland are top of the list, followed by Ireland and Portugal.

According to Reporters Without Borders, “freedom of the press and freedom of expression are two highly respected principles in Costa Rica – an exception in Latin America, a region plagued by corruption, insecurity and daily violence against the press.”

“Costa Rica – the region’s star student – remains the exception (8th in the ranking),” mentioned the organization.

Overall, Costa Rica is a country where “journalists do not face harassment, threats or imprisonment from the government, and they are not monitored. Some politicians have criticized the press, although such cases are sporadic.”

The legal framework is very solid and the Constitutional Court has promoted and defended press freedom and has remarked the importance of having strong media, capable of informing accurately and being a counterweight in the democratic system.

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