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 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.
Several national and international press freedom groups have criticized alleged spying on Costa Rican journalists by the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ), including the Inter American Press Association and Reporters Without Borders. Claudio Paolillo, chairman of the press freedom group’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information condemned the apparent snooping and said it threw into question Costa Rica’s respect for press freedom.