Throttled, systematically attacked

Under supreme decree 181 of 2009, journalists who “lie,” “play party politics” or “insult” the government may be denied income from state advertising. Such financial pressure is all the more effective because Bolivia is South America’s poorest country. Combined with arbitrary arrests and a high level of impunity for violence against journalists, this has helped to foster a climate of self-censorship throughout the country. The period of political turmoil and instability that began with President Evo Morales’s resignation and forced exile in November 2019 and ended with Luis Arce’s election and installation as president in November 2020 was marked by many attacks against journalists by both demonstrators and police during street protests and strikes. Journalists regarded as overly troublesome are subjected to judicial harassment. There were physical attacks on media outlets in 2020, especially in rural areas.

in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index



114 in 2020

Global score


35.37 in 2020

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2021
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2021
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