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(Credit: Larga-Vista.com, screenshot)

Bolivian journalist Rogelio Peláez received the “first criminal sentence against a reporter” in his country in the past 15 years, the Knight Center for Journalism in Americas reported.

Peláez’s 2010 article for monthly newspaper Larga Vista claimed that lawyer Waldo Molina “charged possessional fees” that were excessive, according to Reporters without Borders.  Molina denied the claims.

He has been “sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison” over the libel case.  According to Committee to Protect Journalists, he is the “founder and editor” of the newspaper which publishes “opinion and news analysis.”

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Reporters without Borders noted that Peláez can still appeal his case.

Committee to Protect Journalists called for the court “to reverse Peláez’s conviction on appeal” and “eliminate archaic criminal defamation provisions, which run counter to international standards on freedom of expression.”

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Bolivian Journalist Gets Jail Sentence After Losing Libel Lawsuit

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