MIAMI, Florida (March 24, 2009)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today called on newspaper readers throughout the Americas to add their signatures to an open letter to be sent to Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, urging him to act to have the August 29, 1995 murder of Reinaldo Coutinho da Silva, editor of the São Gonzalo, Río de Janeiro, newspaper Cachoeiras Jornal, solved.
Now more than 13 years since the crime it continues to go unpunished, despite its having been declared a priority by the police. Internal differences in the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which is investigating the case, have prevented the proceedings from moving ahead. No suspect has been arrested.
Given this state of affairs, the IAPA has submitted the case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Through ads published in some 400 newspapers in the Western Hemisphere the IAPA is inviting readers to go to the Web site www.impunidad.com and join its campaign titled “Let’s Put an End to Impunity.” The initiative has received the support of nearly 20,000 signatories to a letter that month to month is sent to the authorities concerned demanding greater effort in police and judicial inquiries and harsh punishment for the guilty.
The program is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.