Freedom of Expression: An Unbreakable Pillar for a Democratic and Transparent Society

The issue of freedom of expression is evident in governments of all ideologies, whether left or right and is particularly prevalent in many Central American countries, where extreme political positions restrict freedom of expression. Paradoxically, both extremes seek to limit press freedom to act with impunity and obstruct transparency, thereby generating corruption and human rights violations.

The closure of a newspaper in Latin America due to a lack of paper or the shutdown of a local newspaper in the United States for profitability reasons represents clear examples of the significant harm caused by these restrictions. A highly recommended article published by the University of Notre Dame in June 2018, titled “When local newspapers close, the government runs unchecked, costs increase,” highlights how the loss of local press has contributed to the rise of corruption and increased government costs, lacking critical oversight of societal rights by the media.

Preserving and strengthening press freedom is crucial to combating impunity and authoritarianism throughout the Americas. Freedom of expression empowers citizens by providing them with accurate and objective information, enabling active participation in democratic life, and demanding accountability from those in power. Only through unrestricted and independent press can we build more just and transparent societies for the benefit of all citizens.

Freedom of expression is an unbreakable pillar that should not be limited by borders or political agendas. It is our responsibility to promote and protect this fundamental right at all levels, both locally and internationally. Governments, institutions, and society as a whole have the responsibility to ensure and promote an environment conducive to citizens exercising their freedom of expression fully and safely. Only then can we build a future based on justice, transparency, and respect for human rights.

Vicente Jubes

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