Miami (October 12, 2010)—Under the title “Impunidad, el periodismo en la mira” (Impunity, The Press In The Sights) the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) today launched on its Youtube channel a series of videos highlighting its international campaign to put an end to the impunity surrounding crimes against journalists.
The documentaries, each some five minutes long, in Spanish with English sub-titles, depict events occurring in places regarded as of the greatest danger for the free practice of journalism in the Americas – such as Mexico, Honduras, Colombia and Peru – and showing the lack of punishment in cases of the murder of a reporter and/or for attacks on news media outlets’ offices.
The first in the series, “Bajo la línea de fuego” (In The Line Of Fire), takes place in Nuevo Laredo, a Mexican border town on whose streets the federal government is fighting the illicit drug trade, while the local newspaper El Mañana finds itself caught in the midst of the battle, with bullet marks still on the walls of its newsroom and reporter Jaime Orozco who while working on his computer was shot in the back, leaving him in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
Journalists in Nuevo Laredo now work under the slogan “No item of news is worth a life,” while editor Ramón Cantú, whose grandfather founded the paper in 1932 proud of its press freedom, regrets having to tell his reporters to adopt self-censorship. “This is no time for heroics,” he says. The institutions are beyond their limits, we have no guarantees. Our police beat reporter covers only accidents, crimes of passion, perhaps a robbery, but he doesn’t get involved in the drug scene.”
The IAPA videos were produced by the Dutch company VJMovement and the general public is invited to see them free of charge by going to http://www.youtube.com/ProyectoImpunidad#p/a/u/0/8Dqgn1wbxJw, where they can also view Impunity Project documentaries and other filmed matter.
The IAPAis 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. The IAPA Impunity Project is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and has the mission of combating violence against journalists and lessening the impunity surrounding the majority of such crimes. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org; http://www.impunidad.com