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Mexico: PEN welcomes a historic decision regarding government advertising

Thursday 23 November 2017 - 12:00am

23 November 2017 - PEN International, PEN Mexico and PEN San Miguel de Allende welcome the Mexican Supreme Court’s (Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación – SCJN) ruling in favor of the regulation of government advertising expenditure. This is a historic step for Mexican justice, in favor of freedom of expression.

The ruling, which was announced on 15 November, obliges Mexico’s Congress to establish a law to regulate government spending of public funds on advertising in the media by 30 April 2018.

This ruling follows the filing of a writ by Article 19, which was championed within the SCJN by Minister Arturo Zaldívar, who stated that the lack of regulation of government advertising has had a silencing effect on the media, and has indirectly restricted freedom of expression.

PEN supports this moment of progress towards freedom of expression in Mexico. In both 2013 and 2014, PEN International shared its concerns regarding the regulation of government advertising with the Mexican authorities through its resolutions, passed at its Congresses in Iceland and Kyrgyzstan respectively.

PEN International, PEN Mexico and PEN San Miguel de Allende call on the Mexican Congress to make the legislation truly benefits citizens and guarantees the freedoms of information and expression. PEN emphasizes that it is vital that this ruling leads to the full exercise of the new law. It is essential in the Mexican context of corruption and impunity, that it does not become another law that exists but is not enforced.