A draft of an article that threatened press freedom in Colombia was leaked: the Minister of Justice assured that it will never be presented

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It would be a proposal by the Deputy Minister of Criminal Policy and Justice, Camilo Umaña, to article 167-A included in Law 65 of 1993

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A draft of an article was leaked that threatened press freedom in Colombia: the Minister of Justice assured that it was never will present

Criminal policy reform in Colombia. EFE/Esteban Biba/Archivo

This Tuesday in the program Secreto de Darcy Quinn of La FM, the proposal of the deputy minister of Criminal Policy and Justice was revealed,< /b> Camilo Umaña, in which a reform of Colombia's criminal policy is sought, which could undermine press freedom.

One of the most controversial points of the Government of Gustavo Petro in the first 100 days of his mandate, without a doubt, is the tax reform project, a project approved in the House of Representatives with 125 votes. Due to articles eliminated in the debates, the initiative would no longer raise 20 billion pesos, as stipulated.

Journalist Darcy Quinn reported during the program that, according to the reform in the criminal policy that has been discussed for months, would be theArticle 167-A included in Law 65 of 1993: CITIZEN AWARENESS STRATEGY ON CRIMINAL POLICY IN THE PRESS, RADIO AND TELEVISION. As of the effective date of this law, the written press, sound broadcasting stations and television programmers operating in the country must carry out campaigns aimed at generating a change in citizen awareness about the humanization of criminal policy. , the creation of opportunities and the potential of restorative justice. The contents may be prepared directly by the corresponding means of communication, but for their dissemination they must be submitted to the approval of the Superior Council of Criminal Policy. The Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications will ensure the dissemination of the aforementioned content through massive virtual media.

Just as Darcy pointed out, the foregoing it would be forcing the media to create specific content that will be monitored by the ICT Ministry and the Criminal Policy Council. “It's totally getting into the ranch. Force the media to make content that suits the government. Do not give us the opportunity to disagree and question ”, he added.

“It is the greatest affront to freedom of expression in the history of Colombia. It is a bill that has to end. That article cannot even be discussed. I had never seen so much intention to end press freedom in Colombia. Just thinking that you have to create content that must be approved by the government to put it on the air is an absolute, determining, conclusive affront for Colombian democracy”, expressed the director of the FM, Luis Carlos Velez.

Similarly, the journalist highlighted that in October the proposal was discussed with the Attorney General's Office, along with other institutions, and the proposal presented would be included in the adjustments.

For his part, the Minister of Justice, Nestor Osuna, in dialogues with Blu Radio, assured that there will be no censorship or conditions for the media, nor will a bill be included that threatens the freedom of expression.

I do not share it, but first a small clarification. This bill has nothing to do with the policy of subjugation or fostering, this is an initiative that we are preparing, there are hardly any drafts, to present it in March of next year in Congress< i> of the Republic, but we certainly wanted to publish successive drafts that we have been doing to open the discussion, because we know that it will generate controversy. What I don't want is for it to generate surprises. The controversy makes sense to improve it”, indicated the head of Portfolio for the aforementioned newspaper.

The minister added that: “Perhaps it is a story that needs to be corrected, not only in this draft, but in the Colombian legislation. Law 30 of 1986, of the government of Virgilio Barco,which is the narcotics law, it contains a very similar article, it says that the written media, television, radio, communication, have the obligation to carry out campaigns to avoid drug trafficking and prevent consumption and drug addiction and that the contents, or they can take, from the means that the Government does or can be done by the media itself, but in that case it requires the approval of the National Narcotics Council. That is in force today.”.

It is worth mentioning that, on Thursday, September 22, the president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, announced that propose a possible multilateral ceasefire with the criminal structures that commit crimes in the country, which would be part of the policy of “total peace” that seeks to de-escalate violence in the country .

This was announced by the president at the end of his agenda in New York, in which he delivered his first speech as head of state before the United Nations General Assembly, detailing that this cessation would link the illegal armed groups that have expressed their intention to participate in a negotiated solution to the armed conflict.