We, the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), together with the Colombian Association of Information Media (AMI), the Ecuadorian Association of Newspaper Publishers (AEDEP) and representatives of the hemispheric press meeting in Medellin, repudiate before the public the cowardly murder of our three Ecuadorian colleagues kidnapped by criminal narco-terrorists.
The criminals took the lives of journalist Javier Ortega, photographer Paúl Rivas, and driver Efraín Segarra of El Comercio in Quito, a tragedy that plunges journalism and the world press into mourning.
Not only these three colleagues, but also the peoples of Ecuador and Colombia - and journalism throughout Latin America, have been outraged by this kind of inhuman and atrocious crime that we thought had disappeared from the region.
We call on the relevant authorities to abstain from making any concessions to terror and that - in the face of it, all countries and institutions act with the utmost speed and energy – always respecting human rights, to capture the criminals and bring them to justice.
We demand from the leaders gathered at the VIII Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru, that the brutal murder of these three new martyrs of journalism not go unpunished, nor all the other acts of violence that journalists suffer on a daily basis in the exercise of their work.
The fact that the killers called for a truce to hand over the bodies of the victims reveals the extreme cowardice and boastful contempt for life these narco-terrorists have - hiding behind these martyrs of journalism in the Americas.
In this hour of mourning and pain - on behalf of the thousands of journalists who risk their lives every day to keep the public informed, we demand Justice and Protection, as well as an end to impunity.
From Medellin, our solidarity and condolences from the hemispheric press go out to the families of the victims and to our Ecuadorian colleagues.
Medellin, April 13, 2018