Local and international media have accused Javier Milei’s team of “discriminating” against journalists who are critical of the libertarian candidate by denying reporters access to his La Libertad Avanza coalition campaign house on election night.
The Forum of Argentine Journalism (FOPEA, by its Spanish initials) said that reporters from outlets including Brazil’s Folha and GloboNews and Spanish publication El Mundo had been refused access, while Spanish-language news agency EFE was permitted to send a photographer, but not a reporter.
Numerous outlets were denied access after they had paid for the insurance LLA asked for as a condition of entry, it said.
“FOPEA believes direct access to sources of information, especially on issues as important as a presidential election, is essential to complete journalistic work, and calls on the leadership of LLA to extend its precautions to avoid discrimination against media, wherever they are from, and reduce the demands for insurance, which may present additional barriers,” it wrote on X (formerly Twitter).
In Argentina, presidential candidates typically wait for results and give election night speeches in their campaign houses, making them a key spot for press coverage.
A LLA representative told the Herald that some journalists had been denied access because Milei’s campaign is using a hotel where space is limited, meaning that between 700 and 800 requests were received for 200 press places, and that most foreign journalists, as well as critical local media outlets, had been granted accreditation.
FOPEA wasn’t the only organization to raise the issue. In a statement on social media, the Buenos Aires Press Union (SiPreBA, by its Spanish initials) called on Argentina’s National Electoral Chamber to “take measures to guarantee the free exercise of our profession and freedom of expression.”
SiPreBA also posted a letter from the union’s Secretary General Agustín Lecchi to Dr Alberto Ricardo Dalla Vía, president of the National Electoral Chamber, accusing LLA of denying press accreditation to outlets that are critical of the coalition’s politics. It added that press had experienced similar obstacles during the August primaries and Milei’s end-of-campaign event.
The Association of Foreign Correspondents in Argentina issued a statement saying that it was in discussions with Milei’s press team and his head of international affairs, Diana Mondino, because “virtually all the press from foreign media” had been left out.