Impunity - special jurisdiction

WHEREAS a group of more than 50 Mexican publishers, at the Second Meeting of Mexican Publishers on June 26 and 27 of 2008 in Mexico City, called by the IAPA, drafted and presented proposals for the executive and judicial branches concerning administrative changes to redirect the function of the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Crimes Against Journalists of the federal Office of the Attorney General; and to advocate for a thorough amendment to the federal Penal Codes and to the organic law of the judicial branch; both initiatives intended to promote the federalization and rigorous sanction of crimes against press freedom WHEREAS in Colombia, a meeting on impunity and the press held on September 2, 2008, by IAPA and ANDIARIOS discussed and communicated to representatives of the judicial and legislative branches a legal study and recommendations about reforms in public policy to ensure that, among other things, lenient measures would not be granted automatically; that inconsistencies in the way many criminals are favored be eliminated, as well as the practice of granting general reduction in sentences, especially regarding crimes against journalists WHEREAS on Sept. 22, in Peru the Press Council and IAPA gave the president of the judiciary, Francisco Távara Carrasco, a study and proposals about the establishment of a special jurisdiction for crimes against press freedom, elimination of the statute of limitations, stiffening of sentences and the need for legal and constitutional amendments to increase the length of prison sentences for crimes against journalists 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 Mexican officials to accept the proposals presented by Mexican publishers, which would set up mechanisms and tools to combat impunity to ask the judicial and legislative branches of Colombia to analyze the proposals for reforms that would allow greater rigor in granting benefits to those who commit crimes against journalists and press freedom to urge the Peruvian judicial branch to adopt concrete reforms to combat effectively impunity for crimes against journalists, bringing them into the jurisdiction of national agencies where there are greater transparency and guarantees of due process to highlight the effort to establish a special jurisdiction concerning the crimes against the freedom of expression, to increase sentences, to eliminate statutes of limitations or increase their length are part of the follow-up and commitment process of the First Hemispheric Conference on the Judicial Branch, Press and Impunity, held by the IAPA in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic from July 18 to 20, 2007.