Impunity/Interamerican Commission On Human Rights (ICHR)

WHEREAS through the intermediation of the ICHR, an amicable agreement was reached with Brazil in the case of Manoel Leal Oliveira, murdered in January, 1998, by which the state of Bahia acknowledged its international responsibility in the murder, compensated the journalist’s family members, and committed to reopening the investigation to identify the instigators of the crime; and WHEREAS there has been no progress in the cases of Hector Félix Miranda andVíctor Manuel Oropeza, 10 years after the ICHR issued a series of recommendations to the Mexican government; and WHEREAS the ICHR accepted and has followed the cases of AristeuGuida da Silva, Zaqueu de Oliveira and Ronaldo Santana de Araújo in Brazil;Carlos LajudCatalán, Guillermo Cano and Nelson Carvajal in Colombia; and WHEREAS the IAPA submitted to the ICHR investigations into the murders of Carlos Quispe and Juan Carlos Encinas of Bolivia; Edgar Lopes de Faria, Ivan Rocha, Mario de Almeida Coelho Filho, Reinaldo Coutinho da Silva, Luiz Otávio Monteiro, Jorge Vieira and Nivanildo Barbosa Lima of Brazil ;Gerardo Bedoya Borrero, Jairo Elías Márquez and Hernando Rangel Moreno of Colombia; José Alfredo Jiménez Mota, Francisco Ortiz Franco y Benjamín Flores Morales of Mexico; and Santiago Leguizamón of Paraguay; and WHEREAS the adoption of national legal and judicial instruments and international mechanisms is fundamental to guarantee greater efficiency and challenge the impunity of crimes against journalists, recognizing that the lack of justice or slow and delayed application of justice, encourages impunity; and WHEREAS article 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec states that “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 GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE IAPA RESOLVES to highlight the efforts of the ICHR, acknowledge the willingness shown by the state of Bahia in the case of Manoel Leal de Oliveira, as well as to call on the state government to fulfill completely its commitment to abide by the amicable agreement to reopen the investigation, and identify and punish the instigators of the crime; and to ask the ICHR to urge the Mexican government to comply with and carry out recommendations, and satisfactorily resolve the cases of Héctor Félix Miranda and Víctor Manuel Oropeza; and to call upon the ICHR to streamline the processing of submitted cases of violence against journalists of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Paraguay, and to demand greater political will from the governments to advance its investigations and reach justice in each one of these murders; and to request that the ICHR encourage legal and judicial reforms in governments affected by violence, finding support in the 9th article of the Declaration of Principles on Freedom of Expression, which states: “The murder, kidnapping, intimidation of and/or threats to social communicators, as well as the material destruction of communications media violate the fundamental rights of individuals and strongly restrict freedom of expression. It is the duty of the state to prevent and investigate such occurrences, to punish their perpetrators and to ensure that victims receive due compensation.”