The head of the Ombudsman’s Office, Walter Gutierrezsent a letter to the President of the Republic, Pedro Castilloregarding the notarial letter addressed to the journalist Rosana Cueva in which a rectification is required within 24 hours for the report issued in the Sunday Panorama last Sunday, April 10 in which the president appears together with Roberto Aguilar Quispelegal representative of INIP Engineering Project Integration, a company that signed contracts for 530 million soles.
For Walter Gutierrezsuch a request peter castle to the media “transgresses the Constitution, the American Convention on Human Rights and the most basic standards in terms of freedom of the press and expression”.
“The aforementioned letter transgresses article 2, paragraph 4, of the Constitution, which establishes as fundamental rights the freedoms of information and expression, by any means of social communication without prior authorization or censorship or any impediment; and article 13 of the American Convention on Human Rights, referring to freedom of expression and the press,” the letter states.
In that sense, he still Ombudsman mention that, in this case, peter castle “omits that every state authority must have a wide openness regarding those expressions or information that are related to its public work or regarding suitability to hold a public office, ignoring that the aforementioned protection is justified to the extent that it ensures transparency in state management and control of their work in the State.”
Similarly, the institution points out that the letter from the head of state “violates the standard of special protection of the media and journalistsbased on the work they carry out in our democratic system, since they are unaware that this protection responds to the fact that thanks to the media and journalism in general, citizens can be duly informed.”
At another point, Gutiérrez reminded Castle Lumps what “The State must avoid restricting by any means the free dissemination of ideas or information, especially when the freedoms of expression and information are exercised by journalists”.
On the other hand, the advocacy he recalled that last December he carried out “supervision of compliance by his government with constitutional and conventional standards relating to freedom of expression.” In addition, the entity pointed out that in a subsequent report “no improvements were found, but, on the contrary, serious setbacks.”
“In this line, We consider that the notarial letter constitutes a willful breach of the constitutional and conventional obligations that Peru has on the matter. (…). For our institution, both freedom of expression and information can be violated when the criminal sphere is resorted to —as threatened in your document— as a means to intimidate journalists,” express.
In the same way, it was stressed that, in the event that a public official considers that a media outlet has disseminated inaccurate information about his person, then this “You can request the respective rectification without the need to resort to threats and, in any case, it may resort to other means of communication to make the details it deems appropriate”.
Lastly, it considered that “this type of aggression” against the media not only violates the Constitution and the American Convention, but also is not “consistent with the speech of national reconciliation that in the last hours has been proposing “the president in the face of the crisis who lives in the country. Therefore, in our institutional opinion, must annul the notarial letter that it has issued (against Panorama)”, add the text.