State censorship and financial pressure

President Evo Morales’s resignation and forced exile as a result of a dispute over the November 2019 presidential election have plunged Bolivia into a period of uncertainty and instability. The elections were marked by many attacks against journalists during street protests and strikes. During Morales’s three consecutive terms as president (2006-2019), the media were often the focus of tension between government supporters and opponents, and were under strong pressure to refrain from any negative comments about Morales and his government. Journalists regarded as overly troublesome have been 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. 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 2020 World Press Freedom Index



113 in 2019

Global score


35.38 in 2019

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