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Mexico: Congress moves to remove IFT powers

 |  April 11, 2017

The Radio and Television Commission in Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies has approved and ratified two initiatives, seeking to change the Federal Telecommunications and Broadcasting Law. The changes involve eliminating the distinction between an “opinion” and “information” within the media, while also stripping the sector regulator, IFT, of certain powers related to protecting consumers.

The initiatives were put forward simultaneously by deputy Clemente Castañeda Hoeflich of the Movimiento Ciudadano party and by National Action Party (PAN) deputy Federico Döring, moving against the guidelines set by the IFT to protect the rights of audiences and consumers.

First, the legal distinction between “opinion” and “information” would be eliminated, as the distinction has been considered to be arbitrary and limiting of natural forms of expression. Second, Döring’s proposal would strip the IFT from several of its current powers, including the right to impose “cautionary suspensions of broadcasting.” These, he said, could be considered “an act of pre-emptive censorship banned by our constitution.”

Opposing the bill the Mexican Association for the Right to Information (AMEDI) has said that “both initiatives echo a media campaign and the interests of the broadcasting industry, who want to jump through the audience’s rights and strip the IFT’s abilities to influence the sector, despite this being a great social success.” The NGO has called the move an attempt “to counter-reform legislation with political motivations.”

Full Content: Proceso

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