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IFEX members in Latin America and the Caribbean join forces to monitor free expression violations

Organisations of the Regional Alliance of IFEX members in Latin America and the Caribbean met in Lima, Peru, last week to develop a standardised mechanism that would monitor free expression threats in the region and accurately capture the nature and scale of these attacks.

Such an approach was applauded by Catalina Botero, Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression for the Organisation of American States, who joined the meeting via Skype. Botero said the monitoring mechanism will assist in hemispheric efforts to ensure that the principles of free expression are observed by all countries.

Through an initiative of Peru-based IFEX members, Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPYS) and the Observatorio Latinoamericano para la Libertad de Expresión (OLA), the organisations of the alliance adopted a declaration that endorsed the joint statement issued by the Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Expression in the world in February.

Other components of the meeting included a very valuable discussion on Alliance-initiated country missions and the extent to which the organisations, as a collective, could lend voice and visibility to interventions associated with the work of the Alliance. There was also a special focus on emerging issues in the Caribbean and exploring ways to improve collaboration between Latin American and Caribbean free expression organisations.

This meeting was undertaken with the financial support of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT), the Open Society Institute (OSI) and others.


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