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Bolivia - World Report 2009

115 sur 173 dans le dernier classement mondial

-  Area : 1,098,580 sq. km.
-  Population : 9,200,000.
-  Language : Spanish.
-  Head of state : Evo Morales Ayma, since January 2006

The press suffered from but also played a role in the polarisation between supporters and opponents of the government. Attacks against the press, both public and private, reached worrying levels in 2008. Some privately-owned local media incited racial hatred and also incited murder of President Evo Morales.

The press has suffered, through a massive upsurge in physical assaults, from the polarisation resulting from ever more open confrontation between President Evo Morales and the separatist opposition. But it also bears a share in the responsibility for the institutional and political crisis which plunged the country into a state of near civil war, narrowly avoided by the intervention of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), on 15 September 2008. Demonstrations in support of the government and the opposition often targeted journalists according to the media they work for - public and seen as pro-government or private and presumed hostile to Evo Morales. In Santa Cruz, attacks against the state press by the regionalist extreme right Unión Juvenil Cruceñista went on occasion as far as murder attempts, while some local privately-owned media like Radio Oriental called for racial hatred and murder of the president and some ministers, who like him, were of indigenous origin. On the other hand, in La Paz, members of the Popular Civic Committee, an organisation close to the government, launched violent attacks against representatives of newspapers, TV and radios in the private sector. One of its activists, Adolfo Cerrudo, accused with others of a threat to rape and an assault against a woman journalist on the daily La Razon, is now behind bars. But impunity is still the rule in most cases. The trial of the alleged killers of Carlos Quispe Quispe, a municipal radio journalist killed at work on 29 March 2008, was adjourned three months later and has never resumed since. Confronted with media that is 85% privately-owned and in the hands of financial interest groups far from sympathetic to the new government, President Evo Morales has promoted a new public and community network that even includes a daily newspaper, Cambio. The new constitution, adopted by referendum on 25 January 2009, has done nothing to alter guarantees of editorial independence. Nevertheless, and despite a relative lull since the Unasur intervention, relations between Evo Morales and the national privately-owned press remain tense. The president does not invite them to the presidential palace, the Palacio Quemado, replying during press conferences only to questions from foreign correspondents. A preliminary investigation was opened against the La Paz daily La Prensa in March 2009, for “insulting the head of state” and “denigration”, press offences still not having been decriminalised.

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