Impunity - Costa Rica, Haití, Nicaragua, República Dominicana

IMPUNITY COSTA RICA, HAITI , NICARAGUA,DOMINICAN REPUBLIC Resolution of the Midyear Meeting Caracas, Venezuela March 28 - 30, 2008 WHEREAS a Costa Rican Court convicted Omar Cháves, the instigator, to 35 years in prison and the assailant Luis Alberto Aguirre Jaime to 30 years for the murder of Parmenio Medina on July 7, 2001; the priest, Minor Calvor suspected mastermind, was acquitted for that crime, but sentenced to 15 years for fraud, an offense that the journalist had reported on his program “La Patada” on Radio Monumental WHEREAS in the case of Brignol Lindor, journalist of Radio Echo 2000 in Petit-Goâve, Haiti, who was murdered on December 3, 2000, Joubert Saint-Juste and Jean-Rémy Démosthène were sentenced to life in prison on December 12, 2007, two people were acquitted and on January 23, 2008, a court convicted in absentia the fugitives Maxi Zéphyr, Bernard Désamour, Tiresias (Téré), Fritznel Duvergé, Mackenzi, Belony Colin and Fritznel Doudoute (Lionel o Nènèl), members of an armed group called Domi nan Bwa (Sleep in the Woods) WHEREAS William Hurtado García, sentenced on April 19 2004 to 21 years in prison for murderIing Carlos Guadamuz, host of the program “Dardos al Centro” on Canal 23 in Managua, Nicaragua on February 10 of that year, was released for humanitarian reasons on February 29, 2008, and granted the benefit of house arrest and it was reported that the same benefit might be granted to Eugenio Hernández González, a former mayor sentenced on January 26, 2005 to 25 years in prison for killing María José Bravo in November 9, 2004 WHEREAS the Supreme Court of the Dominican Republic on December 19, 2007, determined that the definitive sentence against Joaquín Antonio Pou Castro, codefendant in the murder of Luis Orlando Martínez, editor of the magazine Ahora of Santo Domingo, would be raised from 20 to 30 years in prison and confirmed the 30-year sentences of Mariano Cabrera Durán and Rabel Lluberes Ricard, however, the masterminds of the crime have not been prosecuted WHEREAS Principle 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 MIDYEAR MEETING OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to salute the Costa Rican judiciary for conducting and concluding the prosecution with convictions of those guilty of murdering Parmenio Medina and to urge them to continue the same efforts in other cases to seek truth and prevent violence from going unpunished to recognize the Haitian judiciary for convicting those responsible for murdering Brignol Lindor, to urge the arrest of the fugitives who have been sentenced and to exhort the authorities of that country to follow up and solve in the same way other crimes against journalists including those of Jean Léopold Dominique of radio station Haiti Inter on April 3, 2000, and Alix Joseph of Radio-Télé on May 16, 2007 to reiterate to the Nicaraguan judicial authorities concern about the privileges, sometimes politically motivated , that could be granted to those convicted of killing journalists to applaud the action of the judiciary in the Dominican Republic for concluding and confirming the sentences of those who murdered Luis Orlando Martínez and to insist that the instigators be put on trial, and to ask for the same treatment and impetus to solve the case of Narciso González, a university professor, of the magazine Muralla, who disappeared on May 26, 1994