Impunity - Colombia

WHEREAS that the Colombian Attorney General, in response to a February 22 request from the IAPA, transferred the assignment of the dossier regarding the murder of the deputy editor of the newspaper La Patria, Orlando Sierra Hernández, killed on January 30, 2003, from the prosecutor´s office in Manizales to the Unit on Human Rights in Bogotá, since no advances at all had been made in the investigation of the masterminds of the murder WHEREAS that the Attorney General´s office accepted the IAPA request to participate in the role of oversight in a friendly agreement to clear up the murder of journalist Nelson Carvajal Carvajal, who was killed in Pitalito, Huila, on October 16, 1998 WHEREAS that 34 percent of the cases of murder between 1993 and 2005 involving 55 journalists killed as a result of their profession remain in the same stage of the initial gathering of evidence—in some cases for almost 10 years—and that some cases have merely been filed away or put on hold in a clear demonstration of impunity WHEREAS that in spite of the commitment of the Colombian Attorney General to reactivate the division that dealt with crimes against journalists and that was handling 15 cases, in the last semester, there was not one single sentence against gunmen or those masterminding crimes against journalists, maintaining in a state of impunity the cases, among others, of Jairo Elias Márquez (Armenia Quindío, November 20 1997), Hernando Rangel Moreno (El Banco, Magdalena, June 10, 1999), Francisco Castro Menco (Majagual, Sucre, November 8, 1997), Efraín Varela (Arauca, June 28, 2002) and Gerardo Bedoya (Cali, Valle del Cauca, March 20, 1997), Alfredo Abad Colorado (Florencia, Caquetá, December 13, 2000), Flavio Bedoya Sarria (Tumaco, Nariño, Abril 27, 2001), Jaime Rengifo Revero (Maicao, Guajira, April 29, 2003) and Guillermo Bravo Vega (Neiva, Huila, April 28, 2003) WHEREAS that Article 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec establishes: “Freedom of expression and of the press are severely limited by murder, terrorism, kidnapping, intimidation, the unjust imprisonment of journalists, the destruction of facilities, violence of any kind and impunity for perpetrators. Such acts must be investigated promptly and punished harshly” THE MIDYEAR MEETING OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to exhort the Colombian Attorney General that once he receives the dossier for the murder of the deputy editor of La Patria, Orlando Sierra, in the Unit for Human Rights in Bogotá, that he will take the necessary steps to discover and punish the masterminds of this murder, guaranteeing all the technical, human and economic resources necessary to emphasize the Attorney General´s decision to accept the role of oversight in the context of the friendly agreement that is being reached between the Inter American Press Association and the Colombian government under the auspices of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights CIDH to clarify the murder of journalist Nelson Carvajal Carvajal.