Bolivia’s Leftist Government Moves against Free Speech with “Professional Malpractice” Law

Karina Martin reports for PanAm Post:

Bolivia’s Leftist Government Moves against Free Speech with “Professional Malpractice” Law

Bolivia has drafted a law that would allow journalists to be tried for “professional malpractice,” which the country’s National Associated Press has subsequently denounced as threatening freedom of expression.

President of the Senate José Alberto Gonzales said the change to the law was analyzed by the Plurinational Legislative Assembly, which changed the term “medical malpractice” to “professional malpractice.” The term would apply to far more than just doctors.

The Bolivian Associated Press said the change in the law — which calls for punishment against “recklessness, negligence, malpractice, non-observance of protocols, regulations or duties inherent to the exercise” — encourages self-censorship.

“The project represents a historical setback that would sanction progressive thinking and the advancement of science itself,” the organization said in a statement.

The change “would have dire consequences in the journalistic field where self-censorship would be imposed, while all citizens of Bolivia would be subject to prior censorship in the dissemination of ideas and opinions,” the statement added.

The organization also said that restricting economic or administrative functions — or otherwise choking the possibility for freedom of expression, the dissemination of opinions or news — would violate Article 19 of Bolivia’s Human Rights Declaration of 1948. The article grants every individual the “right to freedom of speech and expression.”.

The Bolivian Associated Press reminded lawmakers of an “elementary principle” in the application of laws: “The constitution trumps the proposed Penal Code.”

Bolivian Thoughts opinion: This is nothing but a clear attempt to continue to push the illegitimate re-re-re-nomination of their coca grower caudillo to the Bolivian Presidency in 2019.

The demagogue masistas are relentlessly pushing all sectors to force the Constitution, to silence freedom of speech in Bolivian society. Our democracy is in real danger to become the new Venezuela …

Published by Bolivian Thoughts

Senior managerial experience on sustainable development projects.

2 thoughts on “Bolivia’s Leftist Government Moves against Free Speech with “Professional Malpractice” Law

  1. Hello my Bolivian friend! I am very soory because of what is happening in your homeland. It is outrages that Morales in trying to change constitution and run againt despite Bolivian people telling him NO. But I am also pissed of because there are almost no protest. Why we dont see tens or hundreds of thousands Bolivians protesting against narcodictator? Do they eant Bolivia to become new Venezuela? My spanish is not very good, so I would like to ask you are there any signs of mobilizing people to the streets? I know there are plans for protests on October 10th, but I dont think one day of demonstrations will be enough to stop dictator from changing constitution. Are there any hope TCP will reject this despicable petition? Or are they just MASistas man to the core? Greetings from Croatia

    1. Hi Leon, thanks for your message and thoughts about Bolivia.
      TCP is controlled by the MAS, thus they will comply with what the coca grower caudillo wants…
      Most people do not want to go out in the streets, remember that there are over 700 Bolivians that fled the country due to political persecution. Bolivia’s economy is mainly informal and most of the population is engaged in trading with smuggled goods, so people will not go out yet … in the meantime this government spends millions in cheap propaganda and in trying to build the myth of the caudillo …
      Ignorance is not a bliss… Bolivia has witnessed humongous corruption at public sector and still prefers to take the easy route … do nothing and wait.
      If Bolivia didn’t have a blooming smuggling and narcotrafficking economies, I am sure the streets would be filled with people. That cash inflow is the one that gives a hand to this inept government.
      Chances are we will replicate the misfortune of Venezuela and of course who will suffer the most will be the low-income class that supports this caudillo.

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