Impunity - Bolivia

WHEREAS the death of journalist Juan Carlos Encinas, a contributor to radio and television programs, could have been prevented if police and medical assistance units had responded to the scene of the crime, Catavi in Los Andes province, some 50 km from La Paz, as soon as they were notified of the incidents July 29, 2001 between groups at odds over the exploitation of a limestone-rich hill. WHEREAS at the prosecutor’s request, the judge ordered the arrests of eight suspects who where later released on bond, and the judge subsequently ordered eight new arrests; and the prosecutor has six months, running from the date of the crime, to conduct the investigation WHEREAS Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec provides that “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 ask the government of Bolivia to review the investigation and court case, as well as to study the actions of the police to ask the government of Bolivia to take such action as may be appropriate to put on trial promptly the suspects who have been arrested, one of whose hands bore evidence of having discharged a firearm, according to police reports to ask the government of Bolivia to provide the Encinas family with adequate protection, given that fact that the murdered journalist’s widow, Betty Falcón, is a member one of the rival groups, Cooperativa Multiactiva Catavi Limitada.