WHEREAS in the early hours of August 3 this year Panama’s Corporación La Prensa (Corprensa) was the object of a blockade of its plant in Panama City by employees of the company Transcaribe Trading (TCT) whose objective was to prevent its newspapers La Prensa and Mi Diario from being distributed WHEREAS such forceful action was carried out with the use of heavy equipment (trucks and dump-trucks) of the above-mentioned company with the aim of preventing the August 3 edition from being taken from the press room to the vehicles in which its local and national distribution was to be done WHEREAS this blockade was justified by the TCT employees with the argument that it was to protest investigations by La Prensa into alleged wrongdoing regarding successive multi-million-dollar TCT contracts with the government through the Public Works Ministry WHEREAS the blockade lasted several hours with no action being taken by the National Police, informed at the outset of the incident, which led the Corprensa executives to complain of connivance between Public Works Ministry officials and the police force and that led to the situation not being resolved until after the personal intervention of Panama’s President WHEREAS in said case there was a de facto violation of press freedom on seeking to prevent the distribution of media that serve freedom of expression and of information, which are the basis of the very existence of the IAPA WHEREAS the action also violated the principles contained in the Declaration of Chapultepec, of which Panama is a signatory THE 68th IAPA GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLVES To condemn the TCT actions in seeking to prevent the delivery to the readers of the Panama newspapers La Prensa and Mi Diario, in open violation of rights established internationally and subscribed to by the Republic of Panama to echo the general rejection by the Panamanian people and the country’s news media and the international community of this use of force to repudiate reprisals such as these against media and journalists for their denunciations of matters of public interest, measures that are both restrictions of physical distribution of the media and their investigations, in severe violation of press freedom and the people’s right to information to urge the Attorney General’s Office to act diligently in this case and determine who was responsible in order to punish those concerned and dissuade those who would act against freedom of the press.