El precio del silencio de los medios

SANTIAGO – En 1986, el periodista opositor José Carrasco Tapia fue arrastrado de su casa en Santiago, Chile, por uno de los escuadrones de la muerte del general Augusto Pinochet. Le dispararon 13 veces en la nuca y lo arrojaron en un cementerio. Así se sumó a una lista macabra de periodistas latinoamericanos tratados brutalmente por atreverse a hablar durante los años 1970 y 1980.

Durante esa época, los secuestros, la tortura y los asesinatos tenían asida por la garganta a la prensa latinoamericana; la estenografía era una opción infinitamente más segura para los que reportaban las noticias. A medida que América latina se volvía cada vez democrática en los años subsiguientes, más periodistas eligieron investigar en lugar de reescribir gacetillas de prensa gubernamentales.

Especialmente al atacar la corrupción oficial, los periodistas valientes hicieron del saqueo de las arcas públicas un negocio arriesgado más que un derecho de nacimiento –y enfurecieron a muchos de los corruptos-. Hoy, muchos gobiernos latinoamericanos, temerosos de la capacidad de los medios para exponer delitos, alteraron sus tácticas aunque siguen decididos a cercenar la libertad de prensa.

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