Numerous organizations, including a commission in the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Argentine Forum of Journalists (FOPEA,) have condemned journalist Laura Di Marco for making harmful conjectures about the health of Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s daughter on the La Nación + TV channel.
Last Thursday, in a program hosted by journalist Viviana Canosa, Di Marco suggested that Kirchner’s daughter, who is not a public figure, suffered from an eating disorder based on a photo. Moreover, Di Marco said that it was due to a “lack of maternal love,” blaming the vice president for the supposed health problem.
Yesterday, the Minister of Women, Genders and Diversities, Ayelén Mazzina, filed a complaint against Di Marco at government’s communications authority, Enacom. In her presentation, she said that Di Marco’s expressions were “violent, discriminatory and offensive.” Enacom announced that the channel could “receive a significant fine.”
The OAS’s Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence against Women also voiced their condemnation, tweeting that Di Marco’s remarks “feed hate speech and constitute violence against women.”
FOPEA released a statement saying that Di Marco’s remarks were “not consistent” with the forum’s ethical standards and respect for good professional practices. They did not mention Canosa, Di Marco or the TV channel by name.
“Journalists must respect the privacy and intimacy of individuals,,” FOPEA said in their press release. “Only when a public good or value is affected by an aspect related to the privacy or intimacy of an individual, can the right to information of citizens prevail over the privacy of an individual.”
After that, Di Marco, who until today had been adamant in defending her comments, apologized on Twitter.
“I apologize if I hurt the vice president or her family with the information I presented about her daughter’s health,” she wrote. “Nevertheless, I understand that, within the sensitiveness caused by the electoral year, that information could have acquired other meanings.”
According to a 2022 report by the Argentine Pediatric Society, one in three young women suffers from an eating disorder in the country. The vice president has not commented on the issue and her daughter has not voluntarily offered the public information on her health.