Constant state censorship

Often at the centre of tension between supporters and opponents of Evo Morales, Bolivia’s president since 2006, the media are advised to refrain from any negative comments about the president and his government. Journalists regarded as overly troublesome are subjected to judicial harassment. 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. Journalists regarded as troublesome are subjected to judicial harassment. In September 2018, President Morales said he wanted a “Ley de la Mentira” ("Law against Lying") with criminal penalties for politicians and media outlets found guilty of disseminating “false” information. His announcement alarmed journalists, who saw that it could be used to censor criticism of the government. 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.

in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index



110 in 2018

Global score


32.45 in 2018

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2020
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