Impunity - Argentina, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Haiti and Dominican Rep.

WHEREAS the alleged perpetrators of the murder of Ricardo Gangeme, owner and editor of El Informador Chubutense of Trelew, Chubut province, Argentina, on May 13, 1999, have been freed for lack of evidence against them and that apart from the findings in the case the only grounds given by the judges have been the ballistics test on the bullet, damaged and supposedly subjected to manipulation, with which he was killed WHEREAS despite the fact that President Abel Pacheco de la Espriella asked the judicial police to speed up the investigation into the murder of journalist Parmenio Medina on July 7, 2001, in Costa Rica, the murder remains unpunished and the authorities continue close-mouthed, saying only that a person arrested for bank holdups is “of special interest” in the investigations, and the fact that two district attorneys, four investigators and a crime specialist interviewed more than 100 people, searched 30 homes in a search for the .38 caliber weapon with which the murder was committed and took statements from 75 convicted felons who had been in contact with Medina as he did investigative reporting on issues of national interest WHEREAS the case of the murder of Guatemalan journalist Jorge Mario Alegría Armendáriz in September 2001 has followed the normal process of investigation by the Public Prosecutors Office, which has named a special state attorney to handle the case and bring the guilty to trial WHEREAS remaining unsolved are the murders in Haiti of journalists Jean Leopold Dominique on April 3, 2000, Brignol Lindor on November 3, 2001, and Gerard Denoze on December 15, 2001, and serious anomalies and obstacles have been noted in the application of justice WHEREAS the investigation into the disappearance in the Dominican Republic of columnist Narciso Pinales González in May 1994 remains stalled and unsolved WHEREAS Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec declares that “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 IAPA GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLVES to urge the government of Argentina to use all means at its command to reactivate the investigation and solve the murder to reiterate to the police and judicial authorities of Costa Rica the need for them to continue the investigations until the crime is solved and to share with the people of Costa Rica any progress, without endangering the outcome of their inquiries to recommend to the attorney general and judicial authorities of Guatemala that they intensify the investigation and bring those who masterminded and committed the murder to trial to demand that the Haitian government complies with its duty to investigate and punish those responsible for the murder of journalists, with the aim of putting an end to crimes against freedom of the press and leading the Haitian people on the road to democracy to urge the government of the Dominican Republic to reactivate and follow up the case until those responsible for the crime are identified and brought to justice.