CELE: Improving the Monitoring of Press Freedom in the Andean Region
Attacks on the press in the sub-Andean region are adopting increasingly indirect modalities, which require a more complex, ample and precise monitoring than has been traditionally conducted. Part of this problem is related to the arbitrary enforcement of laws and regulations dealing with the press, radio and television, as well as the aggressive intervention of government officials, and other covert forms of harassment that are difficult to objectively report. It is important to point out that there is no adequate record of the trials against journalists and media organizations. Furthermore, in the case of regulations or laws, it is necessary to ensure that NGOs have a greater capacity for legal analysis in order to detect violations. In consequence, this project intends to assist a group of non-governmental organizations that defend freedom of expression ?henceforth the Andean Group for Freedom of Information (GALI, Spanish acronym)? in elevating the scope and precision of the registration of violations of freedom of expression and of the press in the Andean countries ? Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia and Colombia. The organizations that make up GALI have built networks of duly trained monitors on a national level in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela, and monitors specialized in access to information in Colombia. These monitors have been working for the past few years, and due to the advances detected, GALI has agreed to move forward with an oversight plan with a more sophisticated common methodology that can help to obtain a better understanding of the phenomena that produce violations to freedom of expression and freedom of the press. CELE will develop the following products to comply with the project's general and specific objectives: an initial workshop between CELE and the organizations; a half-yearly analysis report on GALI's oversight work; a final report, which will contain specific recommendations on the improvement of the oversight instruments, a proposal for legislative changes or changes in the practices that the organizations should promote, and an evaluation, according to the data obtained to that moment, of the state of freedom of the press in the countries and during the period of the oversight; a final workshop for evaluation between CELE and the organizations.