A Former public TV journalist Yadira Pelaez claims her boss for a sexual harassment and the Reporters without borders (RSF) is claiming the harassment from this Bolivian state. There were three legal cases against her done by the government and the associates and she request them to withdraw them. Canal 7 is a channel which is operated by Bolivia TV, overseen by the Bolivia’s communication ministry and Pelaez was working there. On 13th December 2016 Pelaez reported against the director Carlos Flores Menacho saying she had to face a sexual harassment from him.
After this complains Pelaez had to face so much of sufferings. After few weeks without any explanations BTV asked her to leave. After firing her Flores started to do various things to demolish her reputation on the field. He arranged to sign a statement on her reliability and professionalism and he gave this to BTV employees to sign.
Flores has many contacts and supporters within the communication ministry and he has sent the total of 23 letters statement to and moreover he has sent all the main departments of the Bolivian state too.
On March 06th 2017 Palaez announced about this sexual harassment to the public and Flores got suspended by the BTV within two days’ time. Soon after he got suspended he filed a complaint blaming her for the claims which she spread in public. During the last couple of months Pelaez prepared her answer by stating the difficulties she faced from the Bolivian state and said that she got no permission to enter or take any information from public buildings.
Apart from Flores’s complain two more legal cases were filed against Pelaez. One complain is from Gisela Lopez who is the communications minister and former Canal 7 boss saying the political harassments and violence against women against Pelaez at the same time he rejects the claims made about the sexual harassments too which he knows true but he didn’t helped her at all. The second claim is about the public corruption and it was done by the Fabiola Rollana Pena who is the current head of Canal 7.
Giving a statement Pelaez saying that she felt really uncomfortable and helpless at the time of filing her complain. Furthermore she said, she doesn’t have any clue on what to do and she said without a job she is unable to pay her legal fees and travel expenses too. The financial situation is not good at all. Her court case is at La Paz but she is not a resident there, so she has to travel there which costs money.
The head of RSF’s Latin America bureau Emmanuel Colobie said “The persecution of Yadira Peláez is unacceptable”. “The proceedings initiated against her as a result of her workplace harassment complaint must be withdrawn".
“Instead of resorting to these bizarre methods and to further harassing a journalist who was already harassed, the Bolivian authorities should use this case to start a debate about the role of women in Bolivia’s media and to establish procedures for protecting and developing the work of women journalists.”
Claudia Pardo, who is another Canal 7 journalist on 2017, had made a complaint against Flores for same sexual harassment. She has been claimed for political harassment and violence against women by the communications ministry. She is also a target of court proceedings.
According to the research done by CPJ, to stop the voice of the journalists Bolivian officials used to threaten them by harassing and with the criminal charges. In 2017 RSF said in the World Press freedom Index Bolivia is in the 107th Place out of 180 countries.
INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR THE PROTECTION AND FREEDOM OF JOURNALISTS