Self-censorship in Latin America

Empirical evidence from Mexico and Colombia


  • Teresa Flores
  • Dennis P. Petri


self-censorship, chilling effect, freedom of expression, religious freedom, Christians, Mexico, Colombia, Latin America


The trend of secular intolerance in Latin America has impacted the expression of the Christian faith, manifestations of faith-based views, and even the behavior of Chris- tians. Based on 40 interviews we conducted with Christian members and represen- tatives of the political sector, media, education and church, in Colombia and Mexico, we show that at least a subset of the Christian population self-censors in order not to be affected by legal sanctions or a hostile environment. This self-censorship is the result of a “chilling effect” whereby Christians tend to conform to dominant rules or norms for fear of being sanctioned or criticized.

Author Biographies

Teresa Flores

Teresa Flores is a Peruvian lawyer, with experience in the research and study of religious freedom in the region, and currently director of the Observatory of Religious Freedom in Latin America - OLIRE.

Dennis P. Petri

Dr Dennis P. Petri is international director of the International Institute for Religious Freedom; founder and scholar-at-large at the Observatory of Religious Freedom in Latin America; lec- turer at The Hague University of Applied Sciences, the Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tec- nología and the Latin American Faculty of Social Sciences (UNESCO); and director of the Foundation Platform for Social Transformation.



2022-03-02 — Updated on 2022-03-03


Most read articles by the same author(s)