President opposes 'gagging law'

17 June 2018

A piece of legislation proposed by Mauricio Mulder has been approved by Congress in spite of firm opposition from President Martín Vizcarra. This is the so-called ‘Ley de Mordaza’ (or Gagging Law), sometimes also referred to as the Ley Mulder; it seeks to prohibit the use of state publicity in privately-owned media outlets. It was passed by a substantial majority on 14 June.

Vizcarra is quoted as saying that it is inappropriate to limit the state’s ability to provide information to citizens. “We are in disagreement with this norm” he said “the state should have the facility to communicate to the people everything that is required for it to fulfil its objectives”. He may therefore refuse to promulgate the new law.

Mulder’s law has been energetically opposed by the media, especially by those that adopt a critical posture towards Fuerza Popular and its APRA allies. Opposition journalists and commentators have come under ever more aggressive attacks from leading members of the Fujimorista circle in Congress in recent weeks.

José Luis Saca, president of the International Radio Association, claims that the bill is unconstitutional and would be an unprecedented attack on the freedom of the media in Latin America. 

The state-owned media reach only a tiny proportion of the population. Newspapers and radio, meanwhile, are highly dependent on state publicity to fund their activities.

The bill is widely viewed as seeking to thwart those sectors of the media that have been most critical of the Fujimoristas. The Instituto de Prensa y Sociedad (IPYS), the Consejo de Prensa, and the Sociedad Nacional de Radio y TV have issued a statement criticising what they see as a serious attack on press freedom. 


All articles

  • PSG Aims

    The Peru Support Group exists to promote social inclusion, sustainable development and the observance of human rights in Peru. To that end the PSG highlights shortcomings in observance of established norms, whether international or local in nature, in its research, advocacy and publications. In so doing, it underscores the relationships that exist within the political system, how institutions work, and the effectiveness of policies that aim to reduce poverty and inequality within the context of sustainable development.

  • Historical Overview

    Over the past century Peru has suffered a series of autocratic governments and a civil war in which nearly 70,000 people died. Many of the country's ongoing political and social problems are a legacy of its somewhat turbulent past. 

  • Human Rights

    Human rights violations were widespread during the twenty years after the initiation of armed conflict in 1980. Efforts to convict perpetrators since the war's end have made only limited progress. Today, concerns remain over the treatment of those engaged in social protest, particularly against strategically important investment projects.

  • Why join the PSG?

    • Keep up to date with latest news and developments in Peru
    • Learn about key issues of poverty, development and human rights in Peru
    • Support the work of the Peru Support Group

    Become a member