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Attacking Freedom of Speech Is Attacking Democracy

Roundtable Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Press in Latin America

San José, April 19th, 2012
Roundtable with journalists from Costa Rica (U.S. State Department)

Roundtable Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Press in Latin America

Three women (U.S. State Department)

The U.S. Ambassador, Anne Andrew; the U.S. Representative at OAS,Carmen Lomellin and the President of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, Sonia Picado,; they led the roundtable Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Press in Latin America

“Attacking Freedom of Speech Is Attacking Democracy” With these words the U.S. Permanent Representative before the OAS, Ambassador Carmen Lomellin highlighted the importance that freedom of press and freedom of speech have within a democracy.

Ambassador Lomellin was the special invitee of the roundtable Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Press in Latin America: Current Situation. Journalists from different Costa Rican media outlets, the U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica Anne Andrew, Constitutional Court Magistrate Fernando Cruz and the President of the Freedom of Press and Freedom of Speech Institute Alejandro Delgado participated in this roundtable. The moderator of this dialogue was the President of the Inter-American Human Rights Institute Sonia Picado.

For more than an hour, speakers and attendees shared their points of view, concerns and possible solutions to the topic. Among the ideas to improve the situation the region is facing was educating civil society and the media on human rights, freedom of press and freedom of speech.

This roundtable was part of Ambassador Lomellin’s visit to Costa Rica where she also learned more about smart grid technology that the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) is developing in the country.  Ambassador Lomellin’s agenda also included a meeting with mentors of the Vital Voices Project.