Tuesday 28 March 2023

Pilar Cisneros: “The government should be totally open to the press”

The legislator was emphatic that "there is no room for censorship"

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QCOSTARICA – The press must have access to public information without any type of restriction or censorship, empathized Pilar Cisneros, the head of the Partido Progreso Social Democratico (PPSD) legislative faction, who denied that the government of Rodrigo Chaves will limit the data provided to communicators.

Legislator Pilar Cisneros: “(…) said by an official who has neither authority nor competence to give an opinion, it cannot be considered as such.”

The supposed line of government announced this Monday to the directors of Communication of public institutions to not provide information to the press, by Jorge Rodríguez, chief of staff of the President, was harshly criticized by the legislator.

“Tomorrow we have a meeting with Natalia Díaz, Minister of the Presidency and with the President to coordinate strategy between the Executive and the Assembly and we are going to ask him there. It seems to me that the opening with the press has to be total and the citizens have the right to know everything,” Cisneros said in statements to the media.

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The controversy is due to the fact that Rodríguez described the press as “enemies of the government”, at the same time that he issued a guideline so that the least amount of information possible would be provided, which was not to the liking of the communicators of the various ministries and autonomous institutions.

“The media is our enemy; we need absolute discipline; the enemy is outside and you know who it is,” we the words allegedly spoken by Rodriguez from various of the civil servants present at the meeting.

Read more: Casa Presidencial orders secrecy in public institutions

‘Allegedly’ because the official minutes of the meeting did not include the words of the presidential advisor. Instead, instructions such as the following are cited: “Cooperate and not censor: Comply with a coherent discourse, avoid contradictions, coordinate with the Ministry of Communication.”

Pilar Cisneros’ professional life has been linked to journalism in Costa Rica since 1975. In the photo, Cisneros at the anchor desk of Channel 7 teleiviosn Telenoticias, where she was also co-director of news

“For me, it is not a line of government, if the President or a Minister of Communication had said it, it would be a line of government, but said by an official who has neither authority nor competence to give an opinion, it cannot be considered as such,” Cisneros stressed.

The heads of other party factions also reacted,  branding the alleged instructions issued by the presidential advisor as “reprehensible”, “unacceptable” and “outrageous”.

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