Impunity Murders / Desapperances

WHEREAS Since the Mid-Year Meeting in San Diego, 21 journalists have been murdered: five in Mexico, five in Honduras, four in Brazil, three in Peru and one in each of the following countries: Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic, with a total of 24 murders so far in 2011 WHEREAS In Mexico during the past six months the following individuals have been murdered: María Elizabeth Macías Castro, in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, on September 24; Humberto Millán Salazar, in Culiacán, Sinaloa, on August 23; Yolanda Ordaz de la Cruz, in Boca del Río, on July 24; Miguel Angel López Velasco, on June 20; Noel López Olguín, in Veracruz, on June 1; WHEREAS In Honduras during the past six months the following individuals have been murdered: Medardo Flores, in San Pedro Sula, on September 8; Nery Jeremías Orellana, in Candelaria, Lempira, on July 14; Adán Benítez, in La Ceiba, Atlántida, on July 4; Luis Mendoza, in Danlí, El Paraíso, on May 19; and Héctor Francisco Medina Polanco, in Morazán, Yoro, on May 10; WHEREAS In Brazil during the past six months the following individuals have been murdered: Valderlei Canuto Leandro (Wanderley), in Tabatinga, Amazonas, on September 1; Edinaldo Filgueira, in Serra do Mel, in Rio Grande do Norte, on June 15; Valério Nascimento, in Rio Claro, Río de Janeiro, on May 3; and Luciano Leitão Pedrosa, in Vitória de Santo Antão, Pernambuco, on April 9; WHEREAS In Peru over the past six months the following individuals have been murdered: José Oquendo Reyes, in Chincha, on September 14; Pedro Alonso Flores Silva, in Casma, Ancash, on September 8; and Julio Castillo Narváez, in Virú, on May 3; WHEREAS Another four journalists have been murdered over the past six months in: Colombia, Luis Eduardo Gómez, in Urabá, Antioquia, on June 30; in El Salvador, Alfredo Hurtado, in San Salvador, on April 25; in Guatemala, Yansi Roberto Ordóñez Galdámez, in Escuintla, on May 19; and in the Dominican Republic, José Agustín Silvestre, in La Romana, on August 2; WHEREAS Between January and March, 2011, the following individuals were murdered in Mexico: Luis Emmanuel Ruiz Carrillo, in Monclova, on March 24 and Rodolfo Ochoa Moreno, in Torreón, Coahuila, on February 10; and in Paraguay, Medardo Moreno, in Itakyry, Alto Paraná, on March 3; WHEREAS In Mexico two young people were also killed on September 13 in Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, in apparent reprisal for their revelations about drug trafficking on Twitter; WHEREAS In most cases the lack of political will on the part government authorities to investigate and mete out justice for the crimes maintains a veil of impunity, and this engenders a climate of self-censorship; WHEREAS Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultpec 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 67 GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE IAPA RESOLVES To demand the Mexican state to solve these murders and other unpunished crimes; to redouble efforts to guarantee the safety of journalists and to restart legal reforms so that these crimes may be covered by federal authorities, commitments made by President Felipe Calderón that have still not been accomplished To ask the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Mexican Republic, in particular the Special Prosecutor for Attention to Crimes Against Freedom of Expression, to exercise its faculties of attraction and submit under its jurisdiction the investigations of the murders, since local authorities are not in a position to carry out an impartial investigation To demand that Brazilian authorities conduct deeper investigations and move them along speedily , while remaining alert to the increase of crime against journalists this year To demand investigative authorities in Honduras to increase their efforts to protect journalistic activities and to show genuine results from their investigations of these and the other 17 unpunished murders that have occurred since 2007 To ask investigative and judicial entities in Peru to attend in an expeditious manner these new murders in order to find out the true motives and discover those responsible; as well as to observe with caution the increase in violence against journalists in that country To condemn the murders of journalists in Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic and to call on the authorities of those countries to conduct expedited investigations and apply justice rigorously to prevent those utilizing violence as a tool to control freedom of the press to continue doing so.