01 April 2008

IAPA calls on governments to act in cases of journalists


IAPA calls on governments to act in cases

of journalists’ murder, kidnap, disappearance


MIAMI, Florida (April 1, 2008)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today issued a series of resolutions on the murder, disappearance or kidnap of journalists in Argentina, Colombia, Honduras and Mexico, as well as other still-unpunished crimes in the Americas and announced it is sending them to the authorities in each respective country.


Following an in-depth review of the state of freedom of the press in the Western Hemisphere the IAPA at its Midyear Meeting called for prompt and exhaustive investigations – so as to learn the motives and identify those responsible – into the murders committed between October last year and last month of Juan Carlos Zambrano (March 19, 2008) in Argentina, Carlos Salgado (October 18, 2007) in Honduras and Bonifacio Cruz Santiago, also his son Alfonso de la Cruz Cruz (February 7) and Gerardo García Pimentel (December 8, 2007) in Mexico.

It also noted the disappearance of Juan Pablo Solís (December 17, 2007) and Mauricio Estrada Zamora (February 12, 2008) in Mexico and in Colombia the abduction of Mario Alfonso Puello (February 17, 2008), and urged the government of each country to locate the journalists’ whereabouts and take action to guarantee the unfettered practice of journalism and the safety of news men and women in doing their job.


The IAPA’s resolution concerning Brazil draws the attention of that country’s state and federal governments to the cases of 17 journalists murdered between 1988 and 2007. In the Colombia resolution there is a call, among other aspects, for the Colombian Attorney General’s Office to report on what progress has been made in 12 cases of murder. And in the resolution on Mexico the IAPA also requested an update on 28 murders and disappearances reported there.


In another resolution the IAPA welcomed court action in Costa Rica, Haiti and the Dominican Republic that led to the convictions in murder cases and called for other crimes against journalists in those countries to be followed up and the guilty to be punished. It also express concern that in Nicaragua courts could be commuting sentences of those convicted for such crimes, while in Peru crimes committed against journalists while doing their job might remain unpunished. 


To access these and other resolutions and official IAPA documents emerging from the March 28-30 meeting in Caracas, Venezuela, go to the Web site www.sipiapa.org.