WHEREAS judicial harassment and legal intimidation of the press are on the rise in many countries in the Caribbean and Central and South America, owing to a lack of judiciary independence WHEREAS this lack of judiciary independence is attributable to a concentration of power in the executive branch of governments, heavily influencing judiciary branches and seriously jeopardizing the constitutional duty of judges to fairly, impartially and autonomously administer justice under the rule of law WHEREAS court proceedings against the press are proliferating as a way to punish the press for publishing reports on the public or private conduct of officials and others, often in matters concerning the general welfare which citizens have a right to know WHEREAS such court proceedings against the press are manipulated by the executive branch, often resulting in censorship and steep monetary fines and damages awards that threaten periodicals' existence, or in criminal sentences and prison terms for journalists and newspapers that seriously curtail freedom of speech, freedom of the press and citizens' right to know and can lead to self-censorship of the media WHEREAS there have been confirmed cases of contradictory judgments and unreasonable damages awards against the independent press with the aim of censoring media and journalists critical of the government WHEREAS Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec establishes that "[f]reedom 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; [s]uch acts must be investigated promptly and punished harshly" WHEREAS Principle 5 of the Declaration of Chapultepec establishes that "[p]rior censorship, restrictions on the circulation of the media or dissemination of their reports, forced publication of information, the imposition of obstacles to the free flow of news, and restrictions on the activities and movements of journalists directly contradict freedom of the press" WHEREAS Principle 6 of the Declaration of Chapultepec establishes that "[t]he media and journalists should neither be discriminated against nor favored because of what they write or say" WHEREAS Principle 10 of the Declaration of Chapultepec establishes that "[n]o news medium nor journalist may be punished for publishing the truth or criticizing or denouncing the government" THE MIDYEAR MEETING OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to call upon the judiciary to regain its independence and objectivity, and thus do its constitutional duty to administer justice fairly, impartially and autonomously from the other branches of government