Since the beginning of the 1980s, Latin America-s booming drug trade sometimes has made deadlines for journalists literal. According to the Miami-based InterAmerican Press Association (IAPA), which monitors the media throughout the western hemisphere, during the last two decades drug traffickers and their paramilitary units have effectively suppressed press freedom in 10 countries: Peru, Colombia, Guatemala, El Salvador, Guyana, Bolivia, Chile, Haiti, Mexico, and Paraguay.
Drug-related terrorism of the media has taken many forms. Journalists have been threatened, beaten, kidnapped, and murdered; advertisers have been intimidated; and physical plants and distribution centers have been bombed. Those targeted have included columnists, reporters, publishers, radio commentators, and television anchors.