Obligando Silencio

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Esta semana destaco otro golpe imprudente en vuestros derechos fundamentalmente democráticos y constitucionalmente consagrados como ciudadano de Belice. El ataque a la Libertad de Expresión y la Libertad de Prensa vino del propio gánster original (OG, en inglés) y fue un verdadero retroceso a la censura tipo vieja escuela. Hubo una amenaza flagrante de acciones legales contra cualquiera que se atreviera a repetir o reproducir o publicar la información proporcionada al Tribunal de Quiebras de los Estados Unidos para el Distrito Sur de Florida por la Comisión Federal de Comercio (FTC, en inglés).

La libertad de expresión es un derecho inalienable de todo individuo y es una parte integral del desarrollo personal. La libertad de prensa se basa en la suposición natural de que los líderes políticos son tan infalibles como cualquier otro mortal. Ambos son importantes porque mantienen vivos la esperanza y los ideales del desarrollo político. La Prensa se conoce a menudo como el Cuarto Pilar de una Democracia, los otros son el Ejecutivo, la Legislatura y el Poder Judicial. En nuestro tipo de Democracia el Ejecutivo ya está comprometido por la Legislatura porque nuestro Gabinete debe venir del cuerpo legislativo. En los últimos años, el Poder Judicial también parece haber perdido una parte de su autonomía. La Prensa es el último pilar sobre el que nuestra Democracia está precariamente perchada. Por lo tanto, debemos proteger nuestra libertad de La Prensa celosamente, para evitar que nuestra Democracia se derrumbe.

No toda censura es tan obvia como el debilitamiento intencional de las instituciones que impiden la concentración del poder. Los beliceños han sido víctimas de una censura discreta antes. En enero de 2015, Bennett y Naim hablaron de la censura sigilosa, donde existe la práctica de crear GONGOS (siglas en inglés, organizaciones no gubernamentales organizadas por el gobierno). Pensemos en el cuestionable Ciudadanos para la Defensa de la Soberanía que se negaron a revelar su financiación. Estos GONGOS a menudo influyen en conversaciones reales y virtuales en salas de chat y grupos de discusión a través de funcionarios bien entrenados y financiados. A estos funcionarios se les paga para difundir la desinformación y datos alternativos sancionados por el gobierno y a menudo para interrumpir la presencia en Internet de los críticos.

Otro intento sutil de amordazar a la prensa es la revocación repentina y abrupta de la publicidad por parte de fuentes estatales y las amistosas al estado. Este ha sido también el caso de una entidad mediática en particular que se negó a acatar las normas. También existe el castigo a las empresas mediáticas, en este caso la BBN que fue removida de un grupo de chat que proporciona a los medios de comunicación con información policial sobre los casos. En algunos casos, el Departamento de Policía se ha negado a conceder sesiones informativas de prensa o responder preguntas durante períodos de tiempo selectos.

La verdad es que también ha habido ataques más directos y violentos contra la Prensa. Pregúntele a la Srta. Amaya que ha sido dos veces el objetivo e incluso al editor de noticias en jefe, el Sr. Jules Vásquez, que en una ocasión fueron sacados por la fuerza de una sesión de la Cámara de Representantes. La táctica de intimidación actualmente en uso es que los periodistas serán demandados por difamación. El Diablo Rojo tiene confianza en el hecho del que los periodistas no quieran correr el riesgo personal de escribir y exponer la corrupción dentro del gobierno de Belice (GOB, en inglés). Todas las cosas consideradas y especialmente con la triste tasa de éxito que el GOB ha tenido en los litigios, no hay duda de que tal vez incluso más de un periodista con integridad y honor encontrará que vale la pena tomar el riesgo.

En una nota ligeramente diferente, vote PUP y siga enviando el mensaje #DEANUDONE!

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