Media and Democracy in the Americas 


In every country in the Americas, the relationship between democracy and a free press has tensions and complications. In some countries, outright violence, censorship, or indirect restrictions on freedom of information threaten the free exchange of ideas and information, while in others, the threats to a free press are more subtle and pernicious—including disinformation, propaganda, and manipulation. In all cases, the press remains an essential tool to fight corruption and guarantee democratic accountability. As a result, efforts to expand transparency, freedom of expression, and access to information remain critical across the hemisphere. 

The Inter-American Dialogue is proud to partner with Fundamedios USA, the Organization of American States, the IACHR Special Rapporteurship for Freedom of Expression, Freedom House, the Pan American Development Foundation, and Colpin for a sustained conversation on the interplay between media and democracy in the Americas. This conference brings together Hispanic journalists in the United States with their counterparts in Latin America to discuss common challenges. 

Follow this event on Twitter at #MediosyDemocracia, @fundamediosUS, and @The_Dialogue.

Please note that this conference will be held in Spanish without interpretation.

9:00 am – 9:30 am — Opening Remarks



  • Luis Almagro, Secretary General, Organization of American States (@Almagro_OEA2015)

9:30 am – 11:00 am — Panel 1: Advances and Setbacks in Transparency and Access to Information


  • Alissa Del Riego, Attorney, Podhurst Orseck P.A.


  • Claudia Uceda, Washington Correspondent, Univisión (@ClaudiaUceda)
  • John Dinges, Godfrey Lowell Cabot Professor Emeritus, Columbia University (@jdinges)  
  • César Ricaurte, Executive Director, Fundamedios (@CesarRicaurte3)
  • María Peña, Washington Correspondent, Grupo Impremedia (@mariauxpen)

11:00 am – 11:15 am — Coffee Break

11:15 am – 12:30 pm — Panel 2: Old and New Challenges for Freedom of Expression in the Americas 


  • Fabiola Córdova, Associate Director, National Endowment for Democracy


  • Edison Lanza, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (@EdisonLanza)
  • Andrea Bernal, Director of Opinion Programs, NTN 24 (@andrebernal26)
  • Ewald Scharfenberg, Co-Director, (@Ewalds6)

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm — Lunch Break

1:30 pm – 2:45 pm — Panel 3: The Role of the Media in Democratic Politics


  • Carlos Ponce, Director for Latin America Programs, Freedom House (@ceponces)


  • Boris Muñoz, Opinion Editor, New York Times en Español (@borismunoz)
  • Jorge Carrasco, Director, EL DIARIO (Bolivia) 
  • Héctor Schamis, Columnist, El País (@hectorschamis)

2:45 pm – 3:00 pm — Coffee Break 

3:00 pm – 4:15 pm — Panel 4: Journalism and the Fight Against Corruption


  • Michael Camilleri, Director, Peter D. Bell Rule of Law Program, Inter-American Dialogue (@camillerimj)


  • Ricardo Uceda, Executive Director, Instituto Prensa y Sociedad (IPYS)
  • Claudia Méndez Arriaza, Editorial Director, Con Criterio (@cmendeza)
  • Fernando del Rincón, Anchor and Producer, CNN en Español (@soyfdelrincon)
  • Dolia Estévez, Political Columnist, SinEmbargo (@DoliaEstevez)

Conference Partners: