Solís signs press freedom document

President Luis Guillermo Solís signed Wednesday morning the Declaration of  Chapultepec, a document created in 1994 that contained 10 principles on freedom of the press.

Solís did this in a meeting with representatives of the Inter American Press Association who were in town for a seminar.

They are Gustavo Mohme, president of the association, Claudio Paolillo, director of the weekly Búsqueda in Uruguay and José Roberto Dutriz, director of La Prensa Gráfica in El Salvador.

Paolillo is chairman of the association’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information. Mohme is editor of the Lima, Peru, newspaper La República.

In its preamble the declaration, drafted by former democratic presidents, Nobel Prize winners, leaders and journalists, declares that “Without freedom there can be no true order, stability and justice. And without freedom of expression there can be no freedom,” the association notes.

The Declaration of Chapultepec contains 10 fundamental principles necessary for a free press to comply with its essential role in a democracy, according to the association. It was approved during the Hemisphere Conference on Freedom of Expression on March 11, 1994 in Mexico City and since then has been adopted by heads of state, leaders, academics, students and citizens of the Americas, it said.

Dutriz has had a leading role in presenting the concept of the declaration to political leaders.

Solís had a press freedom problem last month when a draft of a radio-television law gave the government the right to shut down stations that it didn’t like. The bill had been copied from similar laws in authoritarian regimes.

Solís quickly repudiated the draft and a minister and vice minister lost their jobs.

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