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"Transparency & Silence", the Open Society Justice Initiative's comparative survey of access to information laws and practices in 14 countries, is now available in Spanish.

"Transparencia & Silencio" documents how various countries, including Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Spain did - or did not - honour the right of access to information. In analysing more than 1,900 requests for information filed in 14 countries, "Transparencia & Silencio" finds that countries with access to information laws performed better than those with no law.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights referenced the book in its landmark Claude Reyes v. Chile decision, which ruled, for the first time by any international or regional court, that access to government-held information is a fundamental human right. Coincidentally, Chile's highest court ruled last week that that the right to access government information is protected by the constitution's guarantee of freedom of expression.

The 201-page book reports that government failure to provide information is common: 47 percent of requests received no response, with Chile, Ghana, and South Africa performing especially poorly. But the book also highlights specific successes, such as the Peruvian municipalities of Miraflores and San Isidro.

Click here to download the full report in English or Spanish or to order a hard copy:

(21 August 2007)

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