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By: Britta Crandall, Guest Blogger

At a rally commemorating the ninth anniversary of the electoral victory of her late husband, former president Néstor Kirchner, President Fernández sang the praises of Argentina’s vibrant democracy and political progress. Under the slogan “United and Organized,” her fiery 45-minute speech was enthusiastically received by the estimated 100,000 supporters in attendance. However, most in the Argentine media would beg to differ with their president’s depiction of the current level of democracy in the country. Indeed, contrary to Fernández’s idealistic portrayal, freedom of speech in Argentina is in a dismal state, and is poised to worsen before it improves.

Freedom House applauds the approval of two landmark laws in Argentina and Chile this week, which protect and advance the rights of minorities, in particular Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people.

Senator Robert Menendez expressed concern with the state of media freedom in Latin America at a panel hosted by Freedom House, and reiterated his concerns at a press conference with Senator Marco Rubio.

The World Press Freedom Committee (www.wpfc.org), an international organization representing 45 press freedom groups from throughout the world, expressed condemnation of the blocking of the Sunday editions of Argentina’s two largest newspapers, Clarín and La Nación, on March 27.

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Evaluation of 2008-2011 UN Human Rights Council Candidates

On May 21, 2008, the UN General Assembly will elect 15 new Human Rights Council members. Twenty countries are candidates. Freedom House and UN Watch evaluated each candidate’s suitability for election to the Human Rights Council by examining its record of human rights protection at home and its record of human rights promotion at the UN.

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