AMERICA/BOLIVIA - Church promotes dialogue between journalists and government on anti-racism law

Thursday, 14 October 2010

La Paz (Agenzia Fides) – The Bolivian Bishops' Conference (CEB) has asked journalists to end their hunger strike against the anti-racism law (see Fides 12/10/2010), and has asked the government to listen to the needs of this group as part of the life of a democratic state. In a statement, the Church of Bolivia expressed concern about an increase in pressure measurements, by journalists and media owners, in defense of freedom of expression and thought in Bolivia.
"We recognize the legitimacy of the demands of the media and their actions in defense of freedom of expression, one of the pillars of any democratic society. However, we ask those who are on hunger strike to stop this extreme action that threatens their lives and to opt for other alternatives to gain their constitutional claims,” the statement said, also asking the government to "listen to these voices as a sign of democratic maturity and wisdom."
"As a Church we reaffirm our commitment to any initiative that leads to the removal of racism and discrimination, but we also reaffirm our attention to the imminent risk associated with the recent approval and promulgation of that law, in regards to the exercise of the principles and fundamental rights of individuals and institutions," notes the document.
The situation at this time is not yet resolved. Yesterday, October 13, there was a march held, with many participants, in favor of the journalists. Even the National Press Association (ANP) and the Confederation of Bolivian Workers of the Press came out in favor of the protest. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 14/10/2010)