Impunity - Tijuana

WHEREAS the conclusions of the conference Drug Traffic: Journalists at Risk, organized by the IAPA in Tijuana, Mexico, August 28-30, showed that the drug traffic, with its interest in silencing the right of people to inform and to be informed, is one of the worst forms of aggression against press freedom WHEREAS there are areas of the Western Hemisphere where illicit groups, including drug traffickers, operate, where the practice of journalism is most risky and, therefore, new and more effective measures should be established to guarantee freedom of expression WHEREAS governments have the obligation to provide the greatest security for the free practice of journalism, since true democracy cannot exist without a free press WHEREAS the Inter American Press Association has been stressing concrete aspects of the murders of journalists since its hemisphere-wide meeting Unpunished Crimes Against Journalists held in Guatemala in 1997 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 Mexican state governments and the National Congress to consider the murders of journalists federal crimes or crimes that can be handled with a change of jurisdiction to special courts as a way to guarantee greater clarity in the trials and to prevent impunity for this type of crime to encourage the governments of the Americas to establish the principle of no statute of limitations for the murders of journalists since they are crimes against society to request that the governments of the Americas establish special prosecutors’ offices to investigate attacks on journalists and the media more efficiently and quickly to encourage legislatures to amend procedural and criminal codes so an attack that harms a journalist will be considered an aggravating circumstance to insist that international organizations consider press freedom a condition for financial or economic aid to nations in the hemisphere.