The firing of Mauricio Funes, and several of his co-workers at El Salvador's Channel 12 continue to stir protests and concerns about the freedom of the press in the country. Funes hosted a daily interview show which asked tough questions of those in power, and was fired at the insistence of the station's owners, the Mexican company AZTECA. Reporters Without Borders has a good article about the situation:
The decision by Salvadorean TV station Canal 12 to fire news director and presenter Mauricio Funes and seven other journalists continues to elicit criticism from many quarters, including President Antonio Saca.
"As someone who supports free expression, I regret that his programme has been stopped," said President Saca, a former sports journalist and radio producer, on 19 February, while stressing that he could not "meddle in company decisions as President of the Republic."
Herminia Funes, the president of the Association of Journalists of El Salvador (APES), said on 20 February : "We have insisted that forums offering diverse news and information should not be closed, because the closure of these spaces is a harsh blow to free expression in this country."
Human rights ombudsman Beatrice Alamanni voiced her "concern" on 19 February about "events likely to obstruct the right to freedom of expression and undermine the practice of independent journalism."
Accompanied by demonstrators, San Salvador archbishop Fernando Saez warned on 20 February that "peace will not be attained by silencing the voice of the people."
In its 2004 report on the state of press freedom in El Salvador, Reporters Without Borders gave El Salvador a grade of "satisfactory."