Radio Station Owner and Journalist Threatened With Audit For Criticizing Martinelli’s Government

Radio Station Owner and Journalist Threatened With Audit For Criticizing Martinelli’s Government

Friday, November 19 2010 @ 11:18 AM EST
Contributed by: Don Winner
Views: 46
The journalist Guillermo Antonio Adames, the President of the National Journalism Council (CNP), said that a businessman with ties to the president told him last Monday they were going to do him harm, and said when they told him they used strong words. “Hey … they sent me to tell you … they’re going to take out your … you can take it any way you want,” said the veteran journalist who is the owner of the Omega Stereo radio station. Adames said last Sunday an interview was published in a local newspaper in which he spoke of how he sees the situation in the country, and yesterday some inspectors of the Directorate General of Income (DIG) of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) were going to perform an audit on his company.

“Among the other messages they sent to me is that ‘you have a lot to lose, change your tone because you have a lot to lose, because you went out on a campaign that departs from the freedom of expression,'” he added. However, he did not reveal the source that said they were going to do this, nor the reason why they would conduct an audit. Adams reiterated that on Monday the National Council of Private Enterprise (CONEP) and the CNP would formalize an alliance to defend the freedom of expression. (La Estrella)

Editor’s Comment: In Panamanian Spanish the expression “te voy a sacar la chucha” (literally – I’m going to take out your pussy) is an offensive slang commonly understood to be taken as a threat, meaning that a fight and the threat of a beating is imminent. That’s the expression that was used in this original article in Spanish. They cut off the “chucha” part with … but the reader is left to understand what was said as a threat. Now, it is becoming increasingly clear that the administration of Ricardo Martinelli is doing everything they can think of to crack down on journalists in an attempt to control them, shut them up, manage the message, and manipulate the media with ham fisted and ill conceived attempts. They are using legal action as well as the power of the government to trample on the freedom of the press and freedom of expression. It’s gone beyond the point of isolated incidents and is now emerging as an undeniable trend – indicating the implementation of a thought out and developed strategy. Expect news outlets to go underground. In this digital day and age you can’t shut people up, but you can make them go “anonymous”. In the meantime, the Republic of Panama will continue to take some more hits in the eyes of the international community. And when you’re a member of the media, it doesn’t matter if the fire is coming from the left or the right – it’s fire all the same. Somebody needs to sit down and talk some sense into Martinelli on this one. He’s making a huge mistake.

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