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Grupo Salinas and Aspen Institute Present Freedom and Connectivity Report to Federal Government Elect in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY, Oct. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Grupo Salinas, a group of dynamic, fast-growing and technologically advanced companies deeply committed to the modernization of the countries in which they operate, is pleased to announce the Mexico release of the report Freedom and Connectivity: Advancing the Freedom to Communicate in the Americas, a joint report prepared by The Aspen Institute and Caminos de la Libertad.

The report cites connectivity, competition, censorship and protection of journalists as key areas for action in order to bring all citizens into a society of knowledge. The conclusions are the result of a conference held earlier this year in Mexico City's Tecnologico de Monterrey university.

The Mexico presentation follows an event led last week by Grupo Salinas Founder and Chairman Ricardo B. Salinas at The Aspen Institute's headquarters in Washington DC.

The ground-breaking report details steps that nations can take to address critical deficits in connectivity and the freedom to communicate across the Western Hemisphere. Freedom and Connectivity: Advancing the Freedom to Communicate in the Americas calls on government leaders to move communications issues to the top of national agendas and partner with other societal stakeholders to develop the digital infrastructure, tools and human capacity that will improve local economies, create good quality employment and educational opportunities, and enhance political, social and cultural life. National efforts must focus on reaching consensus, increasing investments, ensuring robust competition in telecommunications and media markets, nurturing innovation, and building a stronger legal environment for protecting the freedom to communicate.

The discussion accompanying the Mexico release was moderated by Sergio Sarmiento, President of Caminos de la Libertad, together with Charlie Firestone, Executive Director of the Communications and Society Program of The Aspen Institute.

The report highlights the need for markets, regulatory and policy structures, and attitudes to "change to align with the new realities of a global digital age." Among the key barriers to connectivity detailed in the report were the lack of political consensus across leading societal institutions, insufficient investment and competition due to Mexico's highly concentrated telecommunications sector, and direct and indirect censorship and the safety of journalists.

The Aspen Institute Forum on the Freedom to Communicate was created by the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program in association with Grupo Salinas to address issues surrounding the freedoms of expression, association, and connectivity and to develop actionable recommendations that can enhance these freedoms, particularly in the Western Hemisphere. The inaugural forum was held on February 22, 2012, at the Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico City.

About the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program
The Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program serves as a non-partisan venue for global leaders and experts to exchange insights on the societal impact of advances in digital technology and network communications. It also creates a multidisciplinary space in the communications policy-making world where veteran and emerging decision-makers can explore new concepts and develop new policy networks. Visit us on the web at www.aspeninstitute.org/c&s and follow on Twitter @aspencs and #Freedom2c

About Grupo Salinas
Grupo Salinas (www.gruposalinas.com) is a group of dynamic, fast growing, and technologically advanced companies focused on creating shareholder value, building the Mexican middle class, and improving society through excellence. Created by Mexican entrepreneur Ricardo B. Salinas (www.ricardosalinas.com), Grupo Salinas operates as a management development and decision forum for the top leaders of member companies. These companies include: TV Azteca (www.tvazteca.com.mx; irtvazteca.com), Azteca America (www.aztecaamerica.com), Grupo Elektra (www.grupoelektra.com.mx), Banco Azteca (www.bancoazteca.com.mx), Afore Azteca (www.aforeazteca.com.mx), Seguros Azteca (www.segurosazteca.com.mx), Advance America (www.advanceamerica.net) and Grupo Iusacell (www.iusacell.com). Each of the Grupo Salinas companies operates independently, with its own management, board of directors and shareholders. Grupo Salinas has no equity holdings.

Follow Ricardo Salinas on Facebook: Ricardo B. Salinas Pliego and on Twitter: @RicardoBSalinas in addition to @GrupoSalinas_GS

Contact:
Daniel McCosh
+52 (55) 1720-0059
dmccosh@gruposalinas.com

SOURCE Grupo Salinas; Caminos de la Libertad; Aspen Institute