Miami (March 17, 2010)–The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) will present the 2010 Chapultepec Grand Prize to José Miguel Vivanco of the Human Rights Watch organization during its Midyear Meeting. More than 250 editors and publishers are meeting to review the state of free speech and press freedom in the Americas over the last six months beginning on Friday.
Vivanco, the director of Human Rights Watch’s Americas division, selected for his outstanding work in defense of freedom of expression and the principles of the IAPA-sponsored Declaration of Chapultepec, will receive the award on Sunday (March 21) during a special IAPA ceremony; later that day he will take part as a speaker on a panel discussion on “Freedom of the Press in Latin America,” with a special emphasis on Venezuela.
A lawyer and expert in Latin American affairs and human rights, Vivanco was ordered to leave Venezuela in September 2008 after presenting a report by his organization that described the growth of intolerance and violations of human rights in the South American country.
The Chapultepec Grand Prize has been awarded annually since 1998; previous recipients were Federico Mayor Zaragoza, UNESCO; Arthur O. Sulzberger, The New York Times Company; Dana Bullen, World Press Freedom Committee; Jorge Santistevan, Peru Ombudsman; Claudio Grossman; Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; Anthony Lewis, The New York Times; Santiago Cantón, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; Ricardo Lorenzetti, Argentine Supreme Court; the World Bank; and Asdrúbal Aguiar, El Universal, Caracas, Venezuela, and the Inter-American Human Rights Court.
Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti last January, the IAPA March 19-22 meeting will devote this Sunday to two presentations that will examine news coverage and the role of social networks and of traditional media during the catastrophe, and strategies and ways to help stricken news media and journalists there.
The meeting, to be held at The Westin Aruba Resort in Oranjestad, will be officially opened on Saturday (March 20) by Aruba Prime Minister Michiel Eman and his Netherlands Antilles counterpart, Emily De Jongh-Elhage. During the four-day event series of six seminars on resources, innovations and new forms of sources of revenue for news companies is scheduled.
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 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. For more information, please go to http://www.sipiapa.org