They say that the first victims of wars are the truth and freedom of the press. For a year, when it became common to see politicians and public figures invoke war metaphors (1) in order to educate ourselves on the need to close ranks in the fight against the pandemic, we have in effect seen how media of all profiles ideological offered a monocolor vision about the health crisis, ignoring and silencing voices and opinions that advocated a different approach, thus hijacking any possibility of a public and plural debate. Now, El Salto Diario has just played the role of censor.

In recent months, the doctor José R. Loayssa, the jurist Paz Francés and the historian Ariel Petruccelli have worked on an analysis of the first year of the pandemic, from a scientific and medical point of view, as well as a political and social one. The result has been the Covid-19 book . The authoritarian response and the strategy of fear . The authors had proposed an article to El Salto Diario as a summary of the theses developed in the essay, and it had been accepted. One day before its appearance, those responsible for El Salto Diario have decided not to publish it. Proof of the swerve in the last minute is that the article was published for a few hours on the El Salto website , as can be seen in this link(2) .

The published book is an exhaustive study, of 440 pages, where the most controversial questions about the virus and the disease are reviewed, examining dozens of scientific articles; also offering a political reading of the management carried out by the authorities. The article that the authors proposed to El Salto Diario , “Covid-19, year one: balance of an authoritarian nightmare and a failed administration”, a summary of the book, has been rejected by the media arguing that:

1. The content of the article is not compatible with the position of El Salto .

2. Scientific analysis and political opinions are mixed, being a format incompatible with that of the medium (¿?).

3. It could hurt the sensibilities of thousands of people who have lost loved ones.

4. The article would contain “false claims.”

In their response to El Salto Diario , the authors proposed that the media add a note stating that they did not share what was stated in the article; They argued that the perpetrators have also suffered personal losses as a result of the pandemic; and they urged El Salto to explain what those “false claims” would be and why. On this last point, there has still been no response, and El Salto has reaffirmed its willingness not to publish the article.

For those who do not know, during the first weeks of confinement, one of the authors, the doctor José R. Loayssa, published several articles in El Salto critical of the management of the pandemic; and, in October, together with the historian Ariel Petruccelli, they wrote an article in which they took stock of what had happened until then: ” Covid-19, authoritarianism and the confined left “, a text that was read massively and that, apparently, raised blisters among some people in charge of El Salto , irritating those who not only did not share the exposed analysis, but also and above all deny the possibility of an open, plural and controversial debate on the pandemic.

It should not be surprising that, in general as well as with regard to the coronavirus crisis, the mainstream media hijack public opinion, depriving it of free discussion, even going as far as strict censorship (3) ; The old adage “freedom of the press is the freedom of the owners of the press” remains just as true.

But that a medium such as El Salto Diario , born of social movements as a “counter-power” and a “counter-information” medium, which is largely financed by its partners, carry out this act of censorship, preventing a debate on the pandemic as much More urgent precisely because of the lack of plurality of voices that offer other perspectives, in addition to being devastating, it constitutes a frontal attack on freedom of expression.

From the publishing house responsible for the publication of the book, it has been considered necessary to make these facts public, and that everyone can form their opinion on the matter.

Editions El Salmón
May 9, 2021

[1] It even got to the point of seeing leaders and scientists surrounded by the military in public appearances.

[2] The article has been replicated on other internet sites, with the paradox of not including the names of the authors and thus remaining as an opinion article by El Salto himself ( covid-19-year-one-balance-of-an-authoritarian-nightmare-and-a-failed-management-the-jump /)

[3] The Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, one of the few voices critical of the authorities for his handling of the pandemic, was commissioned by Le Monde to write an article on the issue, which they later refused to publish.