Monday, 23 November 2020

Costa Rica Officials Assault Press Freedom


QCOSTARICA – Top officials of the Legislative Assembly have attempted to gag the press, requiring news to be channeled through a member of the elite committee steering congressional affairs, bringing into question as to just what country’s congress they think they are members of.

The accord came on Dec. 10 by agreement of three lawmakers, including Henry Mora, president of the body. But National Liberation Party lawmaker Roland Gonzalez, immediately filed an appeal with the Constitutional Court Chamber (Sala IV), charging violation of free speech and press freedom.

- Advertisement -

We have often said that few politicians, once they gain office, pay attention to press freedom, preferring to conduct public affairs in the shadows — deep blackness, if possible. So it appears with Mora, first congressional secretary Luis Vasquez and second secretary Jorge Rodriguez who signed the accord.

Mora is, of course, a member of the Citizen Action Party which ran a campaign promising transparency in government. The latter two are Social Christian Unity members, few of whose colleagues are probably in accord with the gag order.

Vasquez even went so far as to tell La Nacion, “What we did was to strengthen a 2009 accord that all institutions use that utilizes an official spokesman. Here, we’ve been giving out information on accords that haven’t been totally finished.” That he would attempt to justify the move shows where he’s coming from.

Jorge Rodriguez, La Nacion reported, when asked to comment on the system, “ran screaming that he was not going to make statements to the paper.” It was a weird performance for an official elected in a free society.

- Advertisement -

According to the agreement, lawmaker Antonio Ayales, the executive director of the steering body of congress, was named the go-to person for news reporters. Ayales seemed to not see anything amiss with this job, explaining that he would give technical information and data to the press.

“For me,” Ayales said, “that spokesman is to channel through me…” He did not seem to realize that that is the objection that the press has with this arrangement. He who controls the flow of information controls the news. “Never has it been the sense to limit criteria or opinion,” he told the paper.

Like most politicians, Ayales seems to equate reporting with opinion. It is fair to say that when a politician finds himself on the short end of an issue or is discovered doing something wrong, it is the opinion of the news medium or reporters that is expressed. Apparently they think that if the press is not against them, the newshounds would let them get away with it.

Moreover, reporters like to dig out the facts for themselves so they know that they are not being fed distorted facts or being stonewalled. Now, this blog has nothing against Ayales but his avid embracing of the job of “channeling” news shows he doesn’t understand the nature or importance of news to a democracy.

(Article by Rod Huges,

- Advertisement -
"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Canada’s largest city going on Covid lockdown

QTRAVEL - Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, on Friday warned so-called...

Remittances grow in Nicaragua despite the coronavirus pandemic

“Everybody sends money to family members for their daily subsistence and...


Woman promised a 15-year-old to meet with father to bring her to Costa Rica and exploit her sexually

QCOSTARICA - A woman, facing eight to sixteen in prison, accused of smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons for the purpose of sexual...

Traveller’s Tale: Costa Rica has reopened to travelers. Here’s what it’s like to visit

LONELY PLANET -  Twenty-one years ago, Costa Rica was the first country I had ever visited outside the United States. Since that first trip,...

Team of 200 prepare vaccination of three million Ticos against covid-19

QCOSTARICA - The exact date is not known, but the plan has already been drawn up and about 200 people work daily to organize...

Dengue cases in 2020 already exceed all cases in 2019

QCOSTARICA - As the Minister of Health, Dr. Daniel Salas, remarked Friday during the noon press conference from Casa Presidencial, "Dengue has not taken...

Covid-19 contagion rate in Costa Rica highest in five weeks

QCOSTARICA - The rate or speed of contagion, also called the R rate, of covid-19 in Costa Rica this last week registered its highest...

Blockades are back!

QCOSTARICA - On Wednesday, a group in Upala, in northern Costa Rica, decided to bring back the blockades. However, the protest action did not...

Let's Keep This Going!

To be updated with all the latest news and information about Costa Rica and Latin America.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.