Acclamation in the Public Defender’s Office continues: new Provisional Director

The last week of September, the Bicameral Commission for the Promotion and Monitoring of Audiovisual Communication, presided over by Senator Eduardo Costa (UCR), unexpectedly decided on the provisional appointment of a new Public Defender: Eduardo Jesús Alonso.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”

The decision to appoint a Provisional Defender was agreed by the ruling party with ignorance of the opposition. The Commission meeting was convened to deal with the anomalous situation that the Public Defender suffers and to be able to analyze the appointment process. The designation itself was not part of the agenda. The surprise then, was the designation of Alonso, whom the majority of the Commission did not know: neither his name, nor his career, nor his curriculum, nor the reasons why he proposes him as Provisional Defender.

Finally, as the designation did not take place, the deputies of all the blocks agreed on the appointment of Alonso, which will remain in force until the titular Defender is appointed, within a period of 60 days. It should be noted that since the Chair of the Commission it was clarified that the provisional designation is intended to fulfill the operational and administrative functions of the Public Defender’s Office and can not take any resolution of an institutional nature.

For now, the only thing that is known about the new Public Defender is that he is a young lawyer of 32 years who, with the assumption of the new management in 2015, went to work in the General Secretariat of the Presidency.
The Public Defender’s Office for Audiovisual Communication has been unaccompanied since November 14, 2016 when, before the end of the mandate of Lic. Cynthia Ottaviano, the Bicameral Commission of the Congress decided not to appoint a new defender or renew the mandate of the outgoing defender. From that moment, the lawyer María José Guembe, Director of Protection of Rights of the Ombudsman, was an interim reference.

The institution of the Public Defender’s Office is essential because it acts as an intermediary between the communication actors and the public, representing the interests and rights of the audiences. In recent weeks, we have carried out a report of media violence against the entity. From the Public Defender’s Office, they informed us that they have problems to respond to the procedures and claims and clarify that “The delay is due to the Bicameral Commission of promotion and monitoring of audiovisual communication, telecommunications technologies and digitalization of the which depends on this body, has decided to appoint a new person in charge of the Public Defender’s Office until the situation of acefalía is regularized and a new Public Defender is elected. ”

In this way, the continuity of this acclamation since 3 years ago, is a violation of the citizenship since their rights can not be fully enforced without the full action of this body. Until a new Public Defender is selected and appointed, the rights of the audiences remain at risk.

Writer:  Emilia Pioletti