Violence against members of the press will take priority at General Assembly in Salt Lake City
MIAMI, Florida (October 9, 2017)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today condemned the recent murder of Mexican news photographer Édgar Daniel Esqueda Castro and announced that violence against journalists will be one of the discussion topics of greatest relevance during its General Assembly to be held October 27-30 in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Mexican media reported that around 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 5th, persons wearing police uniforms entered Esqueda Castro's home in San Luis Potosí and took him away. He was found dead the following day, with signs of having been tortured, half undressed and with his hands tied behind his back.
Esqueda Castro, 23, who covered the police beat for the media Vox Populi and Metrópolis San Luis, some months ago denounced before the state human rights body and the State Attorney's Office that he had been threatened. He was the 10th journalist to be murdered in Mexico this year according to data gathered by the IAPA.
Roberto Rock, chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, declared that the number of 18 journalists murdered this year in the Americas (10 in Mexico, three in Honduras, two in Peru, two in the Dominican Republic and one in Guatemala) "is a serious cry of alarm that as news media we are obliged to look into in depth."
"We will be taking advantage of the framework of our General Assembly, which brings together editors, publishers and reporters, to reinforce the demands on governments concerning their duty to ensure the safety of members of the press and to investigate, put on trial and punish those responsible for acts of violence against the press," added Rock, director of the Mexican news Web site La Silla Rota.
The IAPA half-yearly meeting has as its main objective the country-by-country review of the state of press freedom. The Salt Lake City program also includes the holding of seminars on matters related to technology in the news industry and thematic sessions with the participation of specialists, while to be recognized will be the winners of the IAPA excellence in journalism contest and the Press Freedom Grand Prize will be presented to Organization of American States Secretary General Luis Almagro, among other activities scheduled during the four days of the assembly.
The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida.