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REVIEW: After the Passage of the DIC in Bolivia, 2009-2013

 “The book states that the incorporation of the DIC into the Constitution advanced national standards in this area and placed Bolivia on the cutting edge in the field of recognition of the respective fundamental rights. However, it does not clearly delineate its area of coverage or precisely define the prerogatives that it involves or the responsibilities that shape it.”

Erick Torrico*/ Bolivia, October 2014

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This book describes the situation that Bolivia experienced in relation to the Right to Information and Communication (DIC): regulatory innovation and very important progress in this area, insufficient definition of the new right, contradictions and doubts regarding the drafting of laws related to the same, reduction of the horizon of guarantees that correspond to the duality of government/media, questions and resistance on the part of the major private media outlets, limited knowledge and interest on the part of the population in regard to the issue, and an incipient and necessary public discussion.

Bills, laws which have been passed and others whose consideration has been announced that involve aspects of the DIC generated criticism and uncertainty, especially among business organizations, unions and academics in the field of Journalism.

The confrontations that took place over the standards reduced the possible space for discussion to periodic disputes between the regulatory government and private media outlets and journalists in which the nature of the DIC was misunderstood.

That led to a tense relationship between government officials and representatives of the National Press Association, Bolivian Radio Broadcasters Association, National Association of Bolivian Journalists, La Paz Journalists Association and, at one point, the Professional Confederation of Press Workers of Bolivia. That relationship had peaks as well as some moments of “normalization.”

That dynamic stood as an obstacle to citizen involvement in the analysis and discussion of the DIC, which is to date mainly understood as a matter that is only of interest to politicians and journalists. Another result of this situation is the absence of a real public discussion about the DIC due to a lack of spaces, opportunities and interest in holding one.

The book states that the incorporation of the DIC into the Constitution advanced national standards in this area and placed Bolivia on the cutting edge in the field of recognition of the respective fundamental rights. However, it does not clearly delineate its area of coverage or precisely define the prerogatives that it involves or the responsibilities that shape it.

*Author of the book.

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