Officials defend controversial communications law

November 14, 2012

Officials responded Tuesday to public backlash following the passage of the “Ley Mordaza,” or “gag law,” stating that the new law would not limit press freedom.

“The fact is that people will be able to do investigations the same way they always have,” Communications Minister Francisco Chacón said Tuesday at Casa Presidencial. “Everyone will still have access to public records. The intention is not to restrict the access of journalists.”

According to Chacón the legislation is not new, but rather an expansion of a law from the 1940s that made the release of state secrets illegal. The new wording, the minister said, is intended only to extend those same principals to electronic communications that did not exist when the law was passed. 

The minister promised a formal clarification to be released as early as Wednesday to further explain the law’s intent. His response comes in the wake of criticism from the Costa Rican Journalists Association and rights groups, which claim that the law is designed to cover up government corruption.

“According to this law, the publication of political secrets using tools like email, social media, video or any digital recording that is or can be damaging is subject to police persecution,” said Journalists Association President José Rodolfo Ibarra in a video on the group’s website.

Ibarra said that recent investigations into government corruption would not have been possible under this law.

You may be interested

Jean Marc Calvet, part III: Leaving Marco behind
Artists
207 views
Artists
207 views

Jean Marc Calvet, part III: Leaving Marco behind

Elizabeth Lang - May 18, 2018

This is the story of Nicaraguan-based French artist Jean Marc Calvet: a man whose complex life, obscurities and misfortunes overwhelmed…

Traditional masks
Tico Times Pic of the Day
215 views
Tico Times Pic of the Day
215 views

Traditional masks

The Tico Times - May 18, 2018

Creating masks out of balsa wood, carved by their own hands and based on the their community's traditions, the Brunca…

Through adaptive surfing, disabled athletes conquer Costa Rica’s waves
Changemakers
281 views
Changemakers
281 views

Through adaptive surfing, disabled athletes conquer Costa Rica’s waves

Ellen Zoe Golden - May 18, 2018

Part I of III. Costa Rica already maintains a stellar reputation as a surfing destination. According to Carlos Brenes of…