investment in this sector, which some have cited as partially responsible for the weakness of the sector,
would require legislative change, and more effective lobbying for such by the major media interests
themselves. Effective regulation of public advertising requires greater political will on the part of the
International pressure can play a critical role in assuring greater respect for freedom of
the press, and numerous international organizations have focused attention on the Peruvian case. The
OAS has included restoration of press freedom, regulation of public advertising, and legislative changes
to assure equal access to the media by all candidates during electoral campaigns, on its agenda of
proposed reforms, along with the resolution of certain high profile media freedom cases.
For leaders of the political opposition and civil society organizations, there is freedom in selected sectors
of the media, such as on cable TV, a number of radio stations and newspapers in the capital, as well as a
variety of TV, radio, and print media in the provinces. Although there is room for improvement, it
appears that many journalists have the basic skills to do good investigative reporting.
The team recommends modest support for media
monitor the media, document violations of press freedom, track the use and abuse of public advertising,
and maintain international attention on these issues. It also recommends enabling such groups, or other
human rights organizations, to provide legal assistance for journalists or media owners embroiled in
high profile cases. A few organizations are already doing these activities on their own, and some receive
funding from other donors. USAID and the U.S. Embassy's PAS might be able to complement these
efforts in strategic ways.
Decentralization and Local Government
Municipal governments are underfunded through direct revenue transfers and are overly
dependent on Executive level budgetary authority and decision making.
This situation undermines an
important element of competition between local and central levels of government and thwarts what
should be a system of institutionalized checks and balances to Executive authority at the local level.
Although established as a national objective in the 1993 Constitution, formal
decentralization is stalled and incomplete, due in large part to a lack of political will on the part of the
central government to promote relevant legislation. Among the most important constraints on the
autonomy and effectiveness of decentralized levels of government are the following;
The regional and departmental levels of government (the same since 1998) are not elected, but
rather, they are appointed by and dependent on the Executive.
Although there has been an increase in resource transfers to the local level, decision making and
budgets are concentrated in the central government;
The National Mayors Association (AMPE) is not currently viewed as an effective instrument to
promote municipal interests; and
Other donors (e.g., GTZ) are waiting for greater political will and progress on decentralization
before making investments in this area.
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