27 January 2008

IAPA urges courts to act in crimes against journalists


IAPA urges courts to act in crimes against journalists


MIAMI, Florida (January 28, 2008)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today, through 380 newspapers in the Western Hemisphere and as part of its campaign to put an end to impunity surrounding crimes against journalists, called on courts throughout the region not to let those who commit such offenses go unpunished and praised recent convictions handed down in Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Haiti.


The IAPA has for four years been raising an international outcry against lack of punishment for crimes perpetrated in the Americas against journalists, calling on newspaper readers to add their signature to a letter sent to the senior officials in each country concerned that asks them to act to order police investigations and legal proceedings to identify the guilty ­– both the masterminds and the actual perpetrators – and bring them to justice.


A total of 333 journalists have been murdered in the Americas in the last 18 years. In the majority of cases the guilty have gone unpunished. The IAPA says, however, that the public in general has recently welcomed as an encouraging step to end such impunity the fact that sentences have been handed down against those responsible for the murder of journalists Parmenio Medina (in Costa Rica), Luis Orlando Martínez (Dominican Repubic), Adolfo Sánchez Guzmán (Mexico) and Brignol Lindor (Haiti).


The IAPA’s Anti-Impunity Program is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.