Vice President Amado Boudou´s Bodyguards Assault Journalists in Tucumán

Fundación LED (Libertad de Expresión + Democracia) condemns the assaults on media workers while they were covering Independence Day celebrations led by the Vice President of Argentina, Amado Boudou, in the Province of Tucumán.

On occasion of the official 9th of July celebrations, while Vice President Boudou was representing the Executive, his bodyguards assaulted Carolina Ponce de León (Radio Universidad), Sergio Silva (Channel 26 correspondent) and Marisa Suárez (Laser FM station).

Central celebrations were being covered both by local media and by correspondents of the principal nationwide media.

Fundación LED has repeatedly denounced the assaults on press workers while they are covering official ceremonies, whether national, provincial or municipal.

In this case, however, the zeal of the official bodyguards seems rather exacerbated by the fact that they had to find a way of stopping journalists from asking the Vice President questions after he was indicted—having therefore become the object of even greater media scrutiny.

Indeed, Principle 9 of the OAS Declaration on Principles of Freedom of Expression sets forth:  “The… intimidation of and/or threats to social communicators, as well as the material destruction of communications media violate the fundamental rights of individuals and strongly restrict freedom of expression. It is the duty of the state to prevent and investigate such occurrences, to punish their perpetrators and to ensure that victims receive due compensation.”

We therefore believe that the Tucumán events are a limitation to the exercise of freedom of expression and press in our country, and that the State should take action decidedly, promoting the full validity of such rights, bringing proceedings to establish responsibilities and imposing relevant sanctions.

Fundación LED once more shows solidarity with press workers and media whose work is thwarted time and again and insists on the need to understand the central role that the free circulation of ideas has in a democratic society.