Adducing a "grid reorganization" process, Bolivia's state-owned cable company Entel on Thursday took TeleSUR Spanish off the air, which represents a new case of press censorship carried out by the coup-born government headed by Jeanine Añez, who self-proclaimed as interim president on Nov. 11.
Bolivia: Coup-Born Government Threatens Independent Journalists
"Previously they said they had technical problems. Censorship does not accept euphemisms," TeleSUR multinational network director Patricia Villegas said.
"We will continue to inform and hold strong to our commitment to reporting the truth."
As part of a strategy to prevent the international community from knowing what is happening in Bolivia, the coup-based government disqualified journalists who keep reporting social protests.
Last week independent reporters were accused of being promoting rebellion against the coup-born regime, which threatened to initiate criminal proceedings against them.
"Law will be fully enforced against those journalists or pseudo-journalists who are seditious, whether they are nationals or foreigners," Communications Minister Roxana Lizarraga said.
Tremendous report on what happened yesterday in Bolivia. The same day @teleSURtv published @FreddyteleSUR report, the Bolivian de-facto government took teleSUR off the air. The more tear gas they shoot, the more clear is their coup.
A few minutes after her statement, press censorship had its first victims: cameramen from Argentina's Telefe network were forced to leave the hotel where they were staying in La Paz.
On Nov. 14, Channels A24, Cronica TV, and TN journalists, who were also covering the protests, they had to take refuge in the Argentine Embassy to protect themselves from possible attacks.
Security conditions for journalists have worsened. Bolivia's National Press Association (ANP) reported at least 13 attacks against journalists in Cochabamba and 8 attacks against reporters in Santa Cruz.
For its part, international organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) denounced that Bolivian press has had to interrupt its usual work on several occasions.
Since the Oct. 20 elections, Bolivia's far-right has been deploying its militants and paramilitary groups against journalists, whom they consider as "allies" of an alleged international socialist conspiracy.
So far, over 30 actions have been registered against journalists, who have suffered intimidation, online harassment, threats, physical attacks and theft of equipment.
During the implementation of the coup, radio and television stations were also burned, accusing them of being "Masistas", that is, accusing them of supporting the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS).
On Friday, CodePink, the Black Alliance for Peace and other 29 social organizations published an open letter rejecting the brutal repression unleashed by the Añez coup-born administration.
"We urge an immediate investigation by the United Nations of the killing of at least 32 people and the wounding of more than 700 by the police and security forces since the coup against President Evo Morales on November 10," the U.S.-based organizations said.
"We urge the U.S. Congress and the Organization of American States (OAS) to condemn the coup against the constitutional government and support the path of dialogue over escalating confrontation."