Impunity - Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Dominican Republic and Venezuela

WHEREAS in Ecuador on February 14, photographer Raúl Suárez Sandoval, who worked with the newspapers La Hora Durandeña and La Prensa de Durán, was murdered in the province of Guayas WHEREAS in Ecuador on February 13, radio journalist José Luís León Desiderio was also murdered, after denouncing delinquency and criticizing the inefficiency of local police in his program “Opinión” on Radio Minutera in Guayaquil WHEREAS in Guyana on January 30, Ronald Waddell, former television host on HBTV, channel 9, a well-known critic of local politics, was murdered WHEREAS in Paraguay, Enrique Ramón Galeano, who hosted programs on the radio stations Yby Yaú and Parque, of Yby Yaú, 350 kilometers north of Asunción, has disappeared since February 4, and that in this country aggressions and threats against journalists have intensified WHEREAS in the Dominican Republic, the murders of Gregorio García on March 28, 1973; Orlando Martínez on March 17, 1975; Narciso González on May 26, 1994 and Juan Andujar on September 14, 2004, have thus far gone unpunished WHEREAS in Venezuela, the murders of Mauro Marcano on September 1, 2004, and Jorge Tortoza on April 11, 2002, have never been resolved WHEREAS 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 authorities of Ecuador to investigate, attribute responsibilities and bring to trial the material and intellectual authors of the crimes against journalists Suárez Sandoval and León to call upon the authorities in charge in Guiana to investigate who ordered and carried out the crime and to bring those responsible to trial to insist to the authorities of Paraguay that they should intensify their search for Galeano until he is found, as well as offering guarantees and security to journalists in the face of the new wave of crimes produced by organized crime, officials and police to ask the authorities in the Dominican Republic to be more effective in their investigation into assaults on active journalists and to ask the criminal justice authorities to pursue the prosecution of crimes against journalists that remain unpunished to reiterate to the authorities in Venezuela the need to pursue the investigation and subsequent prosecution of those who murdered the journalists to remind States that it is their obligation to investigate and punish those guilty of crimes against journalists because they constitute a violation of freedom of press and expression.