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President Donald Trump's attacks on the press, and those fake news that those provocations entail, have a profound effect on freedom of speech and other civil rights.

Systematic intolerance to the media´s oversight role on Trump´s policies -the President falsely describes the media as enemies of the people- is a direct attack on the democratic right that allows us all to speak, circulate, oversee and express an opinion.

We firmly reject any attempt to undermine the purpose of journalism to inform the public, such as the recent White House decision to revoke a CNN journalist´s credentials. The news network filed a motion to court for the White House to immediately hand the credentials back to the journalist, bringing out the necessary and protected freedom of speech for journalism.

Rightfully, media have to come out in defense of our informative mission. Even Fox, which openly favors Trump's policies, has joined in solidarity with the claim.

Trump's blind accusations result in unexpected acts. In his political rallies, the US President encourages and manipulates his supporters, and launches accusations and criticism to the press. Then, those present turn to the area where journalists are to blame them, boo them and make rude gestures.

When persecution and intransigence practices spread among citizens, they can turn into murderous violence. We have just seen that the cases of the mail bombs sent by a Trump supporter to public figures and the cowardly murders of Jews in a Pittsburgh synagogue.

It is also a battle for the control of reality and current affairs. Nowadays, in the middle of social media explosion, figures like Trump attack, criticize and lie because they feel supported by a large part of American voters. Through social media, these unconditional followers take over his words. Therefore, it is necessary to confront presidential harassment and discord to demonstrate their invalidity and illegitimacy in a society that treasures democratic values.

But that battle for freedom is not only fought in the United States. Currently, there are many presidents through out America who are attacking media because they do not like what they informe the public about them and their governments.

Besides Trump in the United States, Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua and newly elected Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil  -who also uses social media to communicate live with his electoral base- they spend time and fury to verbally or physically attack media and journalists or to directly intervene news media to prevent them from doing their work.

In Puerto Rico, there are no open attacks like the ones mentioned above. In Puerto Rico, hostility is less evident, through personal pressures, bureaucratization and methodical delay of established protocols, information requests through Court.

In these new times, attacks to freedom of speech will have unpredictable consequences if we do not face them together. Not only do they undermine the work of media and journalists, but they also weaken the foundations of the whole society, starting with citizen’s behavior towards the idea of expressing themselves freely.

It is frightening that countries that suffer these senseless attacks from great-power spheres every day are –little by little- remaining silent to then remain silent definitely. We will not allow it.


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