Legislative initiative demands complete censorship of all pornography
Civil rights activists in Peru oppose a legislative initiative to ban pornography on the Internet. They criticise the restriction of their freedom and fear above all that the establishment of a censorship infrastructure could soon block more content.
Peruvian Congressman Yonhy Lescano of Acción Popular has proposed a law to ban the distribution of all types of pornography in the country. If the law were passed by Congress, the country would build a censorship infrastructure.
The digital civil rights organization Hiperderecho opposes the legislative initiative for various reasons. On the one hand, the consumption of pornography, however one morally stands by it, is not prohibited in Peru, and a ban is an encroachment on the freedom of people.
On the other hand, the civil rights activists criticize that it is not possible to filter pornography without setting up a censorship infrastructure and blocking more sites than necessary. A comprehensive ban on pornography would also affect large websites such as Blogger or Tumblr. An existing censorship infrastructure can also be used to censor other content.
Miguel Morachimo, lawyer and chairman of Hiperderecho, told:
The law shows that certain politicians neither understand freedom of expression nor how the Internet works. To demand that every porn website be blocked is tantamount to banning the production and consumption of clearly legal content. In addition, the law could indirectly open the door to the censorship of other content, programs and utterances on the web.
Peru already has sufficient legal regulations to protect minors. Hiperderecho announces that he will go to the Constitutional Court if the legislative initiative is successful.
Press and other public media
On the one hand, Peru’s mass media are characterized by the fact that the majority of them are owned by a few groups and are therefore susceptible to corruption.
With a circulation of about 0.5 million (2003), El Comercio is the largest of a total of 21 daily newspapers. Since its foundation in 1839, it has belonged to the Miró Quesada family, is considered a quality newspaper and conservative. Its competitor is the liberal La República with about 150,000 readers. Then follow the tabloids La Razón and “El Chino” of the Wolfenson family with 100,000 readers each. Other print media include the weekly Caretas magazine and the bimonthly Que Hacer magazine published by the DESCO research centre.
The television landscape consists of terrestrial and cable channels. The publishing house “El Comercio” bought the cable programme Canal N and acquired 33.33% of the shares in the terrestrial Canal 4 (America Televisión). Other owners are the publishing house of La República and a subsidiary of the Colombian media group Caracol. After Canal 5 (Panamericana Televisión), America Televisión has the largest number of viewers in the country.
In the broadcasting sector, 65 religious, non-profit, municipal and culturally oriented stations have joined together under the umbrella of the “Coordinadora Nacional de Radio”. The radio station Radio Programas del Perú RPP is one of the most listened to stations in the country. Violations of the freedom of the press are not uncommon.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the armed movement of Sendero Luminoso and the security forces of the police and army committed massive violations of human rights. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) presented its report in 2003, which was intended to contribute to clarifying and dealing with these crimes and to reconciliation. Well over 10 years have passed since then and important recommendations of the VVC have not yet been implemented. Even under the democratic government of Humala, the rights of the indigenous population (forced sterilization, pseudo-consultations) are not respected. In September 2014, leaders of indigenous peoples were killed. The office of the ombudsman and the IDL Institute have worked to uphold the rights of disadvantaged groups and individuals.
Economic policy and development
In recent decades, the economy and politics have been subject to strong fluctuations between dirigisme and liberalism, interventionism and free trade, state and market economy, resulting in an unstable development.
Since 1990, however, the various governments in the country have pursued a consistent neoliberal economic policy aimed at privatization, budgetary discipline, monetary stability, export promotion, increased competitiveness and growth. Fujimori (1990-2000) initiated this process in August 1990 with the “Fujischock”, which was accompanied by high social costs. Growing poverty, unemployment, underemployment, worsening education and health conditions, and privatization of old-age provision were the consequences (many people are left out because of low incomes).
The modernization processes in politics and business have a strong influence on each other. The Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI), which also refers to Peru, covers both dimensions quantitatively and qualitatively.
Peru has 2,400 km of Pacific coastline and borders Colombia and Ecuador to the north, Brazil and Bolivia to the east and Chile to the south. Peru is divided into 24 departments and the constitutional province of Callao. The departments are divided into 194 provinces and these into 1,828 districts (Distritos).
With the decentralization of the country, which began again in 2001, an accelerated regionalization goes hand in hand with the formation of macro-regions (union of departments). One example of this is the Amazonas-San Martin pilot region in the northeast of the country.