Impunity - Murders

WHEREAS from October 2008 to March 2009 six journalists were murdered for reasons that could be linked to their work – four in Mexico and one each in Paraguay and Venezuela WHEREAS Luis Daniel Méndez Hernández, a reporter for radio station La Poderosa of the Radiorama network, Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico, was murdwered on February 22, 2009 WHEREAS Orel Sambrano, a columnist for the newspaper Notitarde, Valencia, Carabobo, Venezuela, was murdered on January 16, 2009 WHEREAS Martín Ocampo Páez, director of community radio station Hugua Ñandú FM, Concepción, Paraguay, was murdered on January 12, 2009 WHEREAS Armando Rodríguez, a reporter for El Diario de Ciudad Juárez, Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico, was murdered on November 13, 2008 WHEREAS Miguel Angel Villagomez, editor and founder of the newspaper La Noticia de Michoacán, Zihuatenejo, Michoacán, Mexico, was murdered on October 10, 2008 WHEREAS David García Monroy, columnist and freelance stringer for various media in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico, was murdered on October 9, 2008 WHEREAS Article 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 IAPA MIDYEAR MEETING RESOLVES to urge the governments of Mexico, Paraguay and Venezuela to place greater emphasis and investigate in depth the murder of journalists, so at to determine the motives and bring the full weight of the law to bear on both the perpetrators and the instigators to call upon the governments concerned to take steps to ensure the safety of journalists, the independence and freedom of the work of the press, the people’s right to be informed and to avoid – out of fear of reprisals – the ravages of self-censorship, a fissure in freedom of expression and of the press in a democratic society.