On the attacks on freedom of expression in Argentina and Brazil:

The Forum on Communication for Integration presents a letter to the Parlatino

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On the afternoon of July 13 2016, the Forum on Communication for the Integration of Our America (FCINA) presented a letter to the President of the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino), Gabriela Rivadeneira, and to Ecuadorian MP María Augusta Calle, member of the Parlatino Consultative Council, in which they express their rejection of the violations of legislative dispositions on communication matters which are taking place in Argentina and Brazil.


In Argentina, they refer to the modification of the Law of Audiovisual Communication Services and in particular the suspension of the Fund for Promotion of Community Media (FOMECA), and in Brazil, to the offensive against public media, specifically, the Empresa Brasil de Comunicaçao (EBC).



The President of Parlatino, who is also President of the Ecuadorian National Assembly, indicated that she will bring the letter presented by the FCINA to the Board of Directors of Parlatino, which will meet on the 29th of this month so that they can undertake the corresponding procedure. "Independent of the result, it would be good that they make a pronouncement, since it is necessary to mark precedents that there is observation, there is oversight, that we are not simply passive spectators, that there is some action", she commented,


The following is the text of the letter presented to the Parlatino:



Quito, 04-07-2016



Gabriela Rivadeneira

President of the PARLATINO



Madam President:


The Forum on Communication for the Integration of Our America (FCINA), in a meeting in the City of Quito, on the 26th and 27th of June of this year -- as an activity in preparation for the "Latin American and Caribbean Forum on Popular and Community Communication", -- co-organized with CIESPAL, FLACSO and ALAI –has analyzed the violations of legislative dispositions in the area of communication which have been registered in several countries of the region.


In particular, we would like to inform you, and through your distinguished intermediation, to PARLATINO, of our rejection of the attacks that are being registered in two sister countries of Our America, Argentina and Brazil.


In Argentina, in the case of the threats to Freedom of Expression that the country is suffering as a result of the modification of the Law of Audiovisual Communication Services and particularly the suspension of the policies for promoting community and indigenous media, we call for the fulfilment of the Law through continuation of the assignations of the Fund for the Promotion of Community Media (FOMECA).


The networks and organizations of popular and community communication in Latin America and the Caribbean have welcomed the creation and implementation of FOMECA in the framework of the Law of Audiovisual Communication Services, as a public policy in favour of the diversity and plurality of voices and hence of freedom of expression.


With deep disappointment and preoccupation we have received news of the suspension of the disbursement of resources already approved, as well as of the new tender that should have been called this year for the assignation of FOMECA funds corresponding to this year, in accordance with the law.


We therefore call on the Argentine authorities to provide immediate continuity to the implementation of the Fund for Promotion of Community Media (FOMECA). At the same time we indicate that we will follow up on this issue and signal it to international bodies as a regression of a legitimately acquired Right.


In Brazil, the interim government proposes to alter legislative dispositions affecting public media and, specifically, the Empresa Brasil de Comunicaçao (EBC) that was created in 2008 by law 11.652, and is constituted by 9 radio stations, Brasil TV, Brazil TV International and Agencia Brasil. This public enterprise was established to guarantee the disposition of the federal Constitution of 1988 that stipulates, in article 223, that it is necessary to preserve the complementarity between the public, private and state systems in Brazilian broadcasting.


With the law, the national public communication system was born.  The EBC has a mechanism that guarantees its autonomy and independence, elements necessary to guarantee its public character. The director-president has a mandate of 4 years established by law, a curator council that includes the participation of civil society organizations, representing the plurality and diversity of the Brazilian people and an auditor who receives requests from society. In spite of this, the first measure of the provisional president Michel Temer was to sack the director-president. The Supreme Federal Tribunal reversed this decision, while at the same time a widespread social mobilization is being sustained to prevent the closing of the EBC or its capture by the provisional government, which would put an end to a new experience in public communication initiated in Brazil. This citizens’ conquest is therefore under threat.


We are confident that PARLATINO will now take action on this matter to prevent these attacks on legislative dispositions adopted democratically in these countries to further the democratization of communication.


We should add that the Forum on Communication for Integration of Our America (FCINA) brings together continental social movements and media platforms and networks from Latin America and the Caribbean.


Fraternally, on behalf of the operative secretary of the Forum on Communication for the Integration of our America. 




Osvaldo León                        Hugo Ramírez                        Nelsy Lizarazo          

ALAI                                     ALER                                    PRESSENZA        




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