Peru’s Ollanta Seeks Greater Control Over Free Press


It’s a trifecta: add this to the list too.

In Peru, where Castro-style “socialism” is in earlier stages than in Venezuela and Ecuador, the steps being taken against a free press are not as heavy-handed.  Not yet, anyway, but all the signs indicate that there is more to come.

From The PanAm Post:

Peru: Media Merger Serving as Pretext for Manipulation

Peru has started 2014 on a controversial note, with media conglomerate El Comercio attempting to increase their market dominance. They have purchased 54 percent of another media outlet, Empresa Periodística Nacional S.A. (EPENSA), in order to commercialize, distribute, and manage newspapers throughout the country.

President Ollanta Humala criticized the transaction recently, suggesting that media acquisition is a matter subject to Congress, claiming it poses a threat to freedom of expression.

“It is a shame that in Peru we have a group that practically owns mass communication media; that is dangerous for freedom of expression,” he stated. When pushed by reporters about the legal grounds for the acquisition, however, he conceded that “it is not illegal, right now it is not illegal.”

Some analysts believe the Peruvian government is using the media consolidation as a means to divert attention from other recent controversies. The scandal over wrongful protection given to Peruvian criminal Óscar López Meneses and Nadine Heredia — the First Lady — becoming president of the Nationalist Party are two examples that have otherwise drawn extensive public attention recently.

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