Impunity - Argentina, Honduras, México, Colombia

IMPUNITY MURDERS – DISAPPEARANCES – ABDUCTIONS (ARGENTINA, HONDURAS, MEXICO, COLOMBIA) Resolution of the Midyear Meeting Caracas, Venezuela March 28 - 30, 2008 WHEREAS between October 2007 and March 2008, five journalists were killed in Argentina, Honduras, and Mexico; two others went missing in Mexico; and one was abducted in Colombia WHEREAS Juan Carlos Zambrano, a journalist for radio station LW8 and news director for Channel 7 in San Salvador de Jujuy, in Argentina’s Jujuy province, was shot and killed on March 19, 2008, by two unknown assailants; one of the alleged perpetrators was arrested; and though Zambrano had received threats in connection with his work as a journalist, other motives have not been ruled out WHEREAS Carlos Salgado, a satirical journalist and host of the program “Frijol el Terrible” on Radio Cadena Voces in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, was killed on October 18, 2007, and shortly thereafter Germán David Almendárez Amador was arrested as a suspect in the case; employees at the same radio station had received death threats, including some directed at the station director, who was forced to leave the country as a result WHEREAS Gerardo García Pimentel, a reporter for La Opinión in Uruapan, Michoacán, Mexico, was killed on December 8, 2007, when he was shot at point-blank range outside his home, and his brother and cousin were abducted the next day and have yet to be found; the authorities have made no progress in the case WHEREAS On Feburary 7, Bonifacio Cruz Santiago, publisher of the weekly newspaper El Real, and his son, Alfonso de la Cruz Cruz, editor-in-chief of El Real, were killed while they were awaiting Chimalhuacán Mayor Raymundo Olivares Díaz; the federal Office of the Attorney General has taken over the case, but the investigation is still ongoing and the motive behind the crime has not been determined WHEREAS in the state of Michoacán, Mexico, Juan Pablo Solís, owner of radio and television stations in Zitácuaro, and Mauricio Estrada Zamora, a reporter and photographer for La Opinión de Apaztingán, went missing on December 17, 2007, and February 12, 2008, respectively; the local authorities’ efforts to find the two journalists have been unsuccessful thus far, and the investigation into their whereabouts has made no progress WHEREAS Mario Alfonso Puello, of the news program “En Línea con la Noticia” (In Line with the News) on Radio Delfín in Riohacha, department of Guajira, Colombia, was abducted on February 17 by a group of armed individuals who have yet to be identified, and his whereabouts are unknown WHEREAS Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states, “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 MIDYEAR MEETING OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to insist that the Argentine authorities conduct a prompt and thorough investigation into the killing of Juan Carlos Zambrano, so that those who planned and carried out the murder may be brought to justice and the motives behind this crime may be discovered to request that the authorities pursue the investigation into the killing of Carlos Salgado, so that those who planned and carried out the murder may be caught and the motives behind the crime brought to light; and to request that they ensure the safety of journalists to urgently request that the Michoacán state government and the state attorney general’s office adopt the firm measures needed to allow journalists to conduct their work freely and to ensure that cases involving slain or missing journalists are solved in a prompt, transparent manner; and to request that the federal Office of the Attorney General solve the killings of Bonifacio Cruz Santiago and Alfonso Cruz Cruz, of which it has taken over jurisdiction to urge the Colombian authorities to diligently pursue their investigation in order to determine the whereabouts of Mario Alfonso Puello, ensure his physical safety, and prosecute the culprits to the fullest extent of the law.