Miami (January 5, 2011)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) is showing a series of videos on the impact of violence and the risks that journalists face in the area known as the tri-border zone where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet.
On the IAPA’s YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=834C5B6235041C32seven videos of interviews with six reporters who cover the region have been posted during which the journalists discuss the dangers, threats and obstacles they face when reporting the news there.
“The fear that something might happen to your family is the biggest influence on how you exercise freedom of the press and self-censorship,” said Juan Augusto Roa, correspondent for ABC Color in the Paraguayan province of Itapúa.
The interviews were conducted by Clarinha Glock, Brazilian investigative reporter with the IAPA’s Rapid Response Unit, during the 1st International Meeting of Journalists on the Tri-Border Zone held in late November in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay.
In the tri-border area, where the three countries are separated only by streets and bridges, merchandise and arms smuggling reign along with drug trafficking and crimes sustained by the high degree of corruption, impunity and absence of justice. Within this setting few journalists are prepared to report on what is going on, out of fear of becoming victims of threats and attacks, and so they resort to self-censorship.
Others, as in the case of Andrés Colmán Gutiérrez of the Paraguayan newspaper Ultima Hora, fear that if the government does not take strong action against organized crime the assaults and murders that are occurring in Mexico could be repeated here.
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. 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