Impunity / Declaration of Puebla

WHEREAS the Universities Hemisphere Conference “Public Policies to Combat Impunity” held on August 25-26 in Puebla, Mexico, motivated students, professors and deans from 22 universities in 13 countries of the Americas and other participants to adopt the Declaration of Puebla, in which they committed to seek legal reforms to combat violence against the press and pursue changes in study plans to adapt them to the reality that the work of journalists is undergoing WHEREAS the inter-disciplinary teams of the participating universities came up with proposals for reforms of public policies, among them that cases of crimes against freedom of expression not be subject to statutes of limitations; that penalties be stiffened when such crimes are committed by public officials, and that there be created or perfected programs of protection of and assistance to victims and witnesses of crimes committed against journalists, and that there be a call upon the media to provide better working conditions and salaries, as well as systems for the protection of journalists WHEREAS to achieve the success of the proposals envisioned in the Declaration of Puebla regarding combating impunity what is essential is greater effort and joint work by those in government, news media, universities, civil society and the people in general WHEREAS Principle 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” THE 67 IAPA GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLVES to urge the governments of the Americas to show greater political will to pursue legal reforms to combat violence against the press and impunity, and to ensure the protection and safety of journalists in the course of their work to ask the participating universities to pursue the commitments made in the Declaration of Puebla for the creation of a university network with the aim of sharing experiences and information and promoting forums, conferences and campaigns to raise public awareness of the issue of impunity to request the news media of the Americas to publicly disseminate the Declaration of Puebla to call on organizations dedicated to watching over freedom of expression and freedom of the press in the Americas to publicize and join in the commitments contained in the Declaration of Puebla.