Reporters Without Borders ranked Costa Rica 16th out of 180 countries surveyed in its annual press freedom index. The ranking is Costa Rica’s best showing since 2002, when the country was listed at 15th, despite police intercepting phone records from a journalist at the daily Diario Extra.
Costa Rica remains a beacon of press freedom in a region where the average press freedom score fell to its lowest level in five years, according to the human rights organization Freedom House’s 2014 Freedom of the Press report.
On Friday afternoon, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court ruled that the Prosecutor’s Office and the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) broke the law when they traced a journalist’s phone calls. The decision served as a strong rebuke to law enforcement and reinforced Costa Rica’s long history of respect for press freedom.
Costa Rica maintained an impressive ranking in the 2014 World Press Freedom Index released Wednesday, placing 21st worldwide for press freedom, third in the Americas and first in Latin America. But we queried whether recent scandals were taken into account.
Costa Rica's Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court ordered the Judicial Investigation Police – accused of spying – to allow the daily Diario Extra access to public information relevant to the case and to not to take any action against the newspaper. A court spokeswoman, Vanilly Cantillo, communicated the information in a Friday statement.