La Paz (Agenzia Fides) - The Vice-President of the Episcopal Conference of Bolivia, His Exc. Mgr. Jesús Pérez, Bishop of Sucre, asked the journalists and media executives to be strong and to face the difficult times the country is living. In the note sent to Fides Agency, Mgr. Pérez recalls that, like the prophets, workers of the press are messengers of truth. Now "is the time to remain calm," but it is up to journalists to tell the truth and "be brave" and therefore asked them, once again, to be calm despite the circumstances.
Mgr. Pérez’s words come after the announcement of a government lawsuit against three media, one of which is "Agencia de Noticias Fides" (ANF), run by the Catholic Church, for having distorted some of the President’s statements. Last week, the Bolivian Episcopal Conference, in a letter to the director of ANF, the Jesuit priest José Gramunt of Moragas, expressed "support and solidarity to the journalistic work of ANF, before the attacks he received in recent days by representatives of the national government ". In the letter the Bishops say that there are "no reasonable grounds for the allegations that the authorities released publicly discrediting a job at the service of truth and the common good, which is linked to the history of this means of comunication of the Catholic Church in Bolivia ".
Several other institutions have expressed themselves in favor of ANF, including the Departamental Federación de Trabajadores de la Prensa de Santa Cruz and the Confederación Sindical de Trabajadores de la Prensa de Bolivia. The Observatorio Nacional de Medios (Onadem) de la Fundación Unir Bolivia denounced the increase in attacks against journalists in Bolivia and the representative of the Latin American Colegio de Periodistas (Colaper) announced that at the end of September will present a report on the situation to the Congress of Journalists of Ecuador and Colombia. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 05/09/2012)