In March 2011 the Argentine Supreme Court of Justice ruled for Editorial Perfil in a case against the Argentine State re. Arbitrary allocation of government advertising to the detriment of Editorial Perfil.
From then on to date, the Authorities have been dodging the ruling by the Supreme Court by means of subsequent delaying maneuvers at Court, in other words, the Authorities are upholding the policy of using public funding as a tool to reward or punish the media, depending on how supporting the media is of official positions.
The Administration Still Refuses to Advertise through Editorial Perfil
Once again, the Federal Authorities are delaying performance of the obligations imposed on them by the Court in connection with equitable, transparent allocation of public funding intended for advertising.
By appealing the decision handed down by Panel IV of the Federal Court of Administrative Appeals, establishing a plan for the allocation of Government advertising to the different Editorial Perfil publications, the Authorities are upholding their idea that government advertising is a tool used by the Authorities to reward or punish the media, depending on how supporting the media is of official positions.
Just as Fundación LED has repeatedly said, the policy for the allocation of government advertising which is being implemented by the Federal Government is clearly against the OAS Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression which was embraced by our country, namely: “…the arbitrary and discriminatory placement of official advertising and government loans; …with the intent to put pressure on and punish or reward and provide privileges to social communicators and communications media because of the opinions they express threaten freedom of expression…”.
A contradiction indeed—while different sectors are expected to comply with Court terms and to abide by the law, the Federal Authorities systematically ignore the Supreme Court rulings. Unfortunately, such non-observance of the sanctions imposed by the Court on the State is becoming a distinctive feature of the party in office in Argentina today, together with the pressure exerted on the Judicature through questionable actions at the Board of Magistrates (the “Consejo de la Magistratura”) and direct action on judges presiding over cases involving the Federal Government.
At our Foundation we shall never tire of repeating again and again that everybody, the State included, is to abide by Court decisions as an essential requisite for a democratic society.
It is in this understanding that we demand that the Federal Government obey the decision handed down by the Federal Court of Administrative Appeals, thus allocating State advertising on an equitable, transparent basis to all the media, all of Editorial Perfil publications included, as ordered by the Supreme Court of Justice.
At the same time, Fundación LED shall keep on endeavoring at getting the current initiatives and bills passed for an equal and transparent use of public funding intended for government advertising.