Impunity - Declarations of Hermosillo and Pucallpa

WHEREAS executives of Mexican newspapers at the meeting of Newspaper Executives of the Northern Frontier, concerned about the growing number of murders and assaults against journalists especially in the northern part of the country and the negative consequences this criminal violence has for press freedom and the public’s right to be informed, signed the Declaration of Hermosillo in Hermosillo, Sonora, August 31 WHEREAS the Declaration of Hermosillo demands that both federal and state authorities solve the crimes committed against journalists in Mexico and requests that crimes against journalists be classified as federal crimes WHEREAS Peruvian executives, publishers, journalists and media professionals, concerned about murders of journalists while exercising their profession, and in particular the crime against Alberto Rivera Fernández, which has not yet been completely solved, and aware of the damage this criminal violence causes to the climate of freedom in the country, especially freedom of expression and the citizens’ basic right to be informed, signed the Declaration of Pucallpa, in Pucallpa, Peru, on September 20 WHEREAS the Declaration of Pucallpa condemns the murder and declares that all physical violence against journalists constitutes a crime against society, and demands that the Executive Branch, the Legislative Branch, the Judicial Branch and the Public Prosecutor’s Office provide the guarantees necessary for the exercise of the profession and especially that they solve the crimes against journalists that are still unsolved WHEREAS in agreement with the Recommendations to Combat Impunity that resulted from the Hemispheric Conference on Unsolved Crimes Against Journalists and Resolution 29 of UNESCO, both approved in 1997, the Declaration of Hermosillo and the Declaration of Pucallpa, establish as a requirement to combat impunity the adoption of the principle of no statute of limitation for crimes against people exercising freedom of expression and improvement of local legislation to make possible the prosecution and conviction of the masterminds of these murders WHEREAS the Declaration of Hermosillo and the Declaration of Pucallpa provide for the training of journalists and editors in the coverage of high-risk matters, ethics and professional development, the promotion of public education campaigns against crimes against journalists and a commitment to establish specialized teams of journalists of different media outlets to thoroughly investigate and develop the reports by the murdered journalists as well as publishing them simultaneously in the participating media outlets WHEREAS Article 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec says, “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 GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to emphasize the consolidation of efforts of the media and journalists in Mexico and Peru to establish a common front to combat impunity the request that the governments of Mexico and Peru increase legal reforms to apply the principle of no statute of limitations for crimes against journalists to encourage the media and journalists to form joint investigative teams and follow up their work to require that newspapers and media outlets in general participate in the IAPA’s public education campaign against impunity.