Impunity killings

WHEREAS Between March and October 2008, eight journalists were killed; three in Mexico, two in Venezuela and one in each of Ecuador, Guatemala and Bolivia WHEREAS Alejandro Fonseca Estrada, host of the morning social program “El Padrino” on radio station EXA FM in Vllahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico, was attacked on September 23, 2008 and died the next day of bullet wounds WHEREAS Raúl Rodríguez Coronel, news director of Radio Sucre in Guayaquil, Ecuador, was killed on June 23 of 2008 after he left his home WHEREAS Javier García, host of the nightly news on RCTV Internacional, was found dead in his apartment in Caracas, Venezuela, on June 15, 2008, and his body had knife marks in the chest and one leg WHEREAS Pierre Fould Gerges, vice president of the newspaper Reporte Diario de la Economía, was killed on June 2, 2008 in Caracas, Venezuela, and although the motive is not known, it is possible that he may have been mistaken for his brother who looks like him and is also an executive of the paper and who had also been threatened WHEREAS Jorge Mérida Pérez, correspondent of Prensa Libre in Coatepeque, Quetzaltenango department, Guatemala, was killed on May 10, 2008 by a person who entered his house and shot him in the face four times as he was writing a news story WHEREAS Announcers Felicitas Martínez and Teresa Bautista Flores of radio station La Voz que Rompe el Silencio, of the Indian community Trique in Oaxaca state, Mexico, were killed on April 7, 2008 and the vehicle they were travelling in was ambushed and shot up WHEREAS Carlos Quispe Quispe, a journalist of Radio Municipal of Pucarani, Bolivia, was beaten unconscious on March 27 by supposed political opponents of the mayor who attacked the radio station and he died two days later as a result of the beating and the investigation is stalled WHEREAS in Haiti, in an unprecedented measure to combat impunity, the courts have convicted 11 murderers of journalists and their accomplices to life in prison in less than one year 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 GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to urge the authorities of Mexico, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guatemala and Bolivia to investigate the killings thoroughly to find those responsible for them and bring to justice the perpetrators and masterminds and to find out the causes of the crimes so they do not go unpunished to demand that the authorities of these countries adopt the strongest measures necessary to guarantee the security of journalists, the free practice of journalism and the public’s right to be informed.