Threats and assaults on journalists and community radio stations are frequent in Paraguay. Criminal organisations and local officials lead these attacks, and benefit from a strong climate of impunity.
Online media have been expanding recently, but the media landscape remains heavily concentrated in three big media companies: Vierci, Albavisión, and Cartes. Community media are struggling to survive. The leading newspapers are ABC Color, La Nación, and Última Hora.
The presidential election of 2018 ended in victory for Mario Abdo Benítez of the Colorado party, which has been in power since 1947 (with the exception of the 2008-2013 period), but is now weakened and divided. At the local level, the political class is the source of pressure on the critical press.
The Paraguayan Constitution and laws guarantee the free practice of journalism. Alternative and digital media enjoy a favourable environment in which to develop, and transparency and access to information are guaranteed by law No. 5282/14.
Though Paraguay is among South America’s poorest countries, it has experienced high and steady growth over the past decade, with an economy that is the most open among Mercosur countries. The major sectors are agribusiness, informal economy, and trade with Brazil and Argentina.
The Argentina and Brazil border region, where drug trafficking and corruption are rampant, is especially dangerous for journalists. Journalists who report there may pay with their lives, as did Brazilian journalist Léo Veras, who was killed in 2020. Reporters are regularly targeted for assault during demonstrations, and attacks on journalists for the most part go unpunished.