Colombia II

Resolution of the Midyear Meeting Quito, Ecuador October 17 - 20, 2006 WHEREAS executives from the newspapers Vanguardia Liberal, Hoy Diario del Magdalena, La Tarde de Barrancabermeja, and El Universal have reported being threatened by members of government agencies, public officials, and private citizens WHEREAS thirty journalists were threatened in Colombia and five of them forced to leave they area where they work, which has had a harmful effect on journalism and the news WHEREAS a judge has dismissed the charges against a suspect in the threats against journalist Daniel Coronel, based on the weakness of the evidence found in the investigation by the Colombian Office of the Attorney General WHEREAS Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states: “Freedom of expression and of the press are severely limited by murder, terrorism, kidnapping, pressure, 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 urge the Office of the Attorney General to act as quickly as possible to investigate and punish those responsible for the threats against executives of Vanguardia Liberal, La Tarde de Barrancabermeja, Hoy Diario Del Magdalena, and El Universal, as well as against journalists working outside Bogotá to ask the government and its civilian and military authorities to ensure the safety of journalists outside Bogotá and implement security measures to ensure the free practice of journalism to reiterate the need for the Office of the Attorney General to conduct investigations that yield solid evidence, which in turn calls for enhancing its human and technical resources to allow judges to delegate responsibilities accordingly.