14 May 2010
Two-day IAPA events in Rio to focus on press freedom
Miami (May 13, 2010)The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) will hold two events focusing on press freedom next week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil focusing on impunity surrounding crimes against journalists and the application of free speech principles.
Additional activities scheduled in Uruguay, Peru in coming week Miami (May 13, 2010)The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) will hold two events focusing on press freedom next week in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil focusing on impunity surrounding crimes against journalists and the application of free speech principles. On May 18 the organization, in collaboration with the Brazilian investigative reporters association, Abraji, and the Catholic Pontifical University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio), will host a forum titled Failures and Gaps in Justice: How to Prevent Impunity in Offenses Against the Press, which will analyze Penal Code application and how effective the justice system is in combating impunity. During the day an IAPA video on reporting under risk in Rio de Janeiro, produced by reporter Guillermo Planel, will be shown. Taking part in the panel discussions will be Fernando Matos, head of the Presidents Human Rights Defense Department; Janice Ascari, Regional Attorney General; Hélio Bicudo, a jurist and former Sáo Paulo State Attorney General; Viviane Tavares Henriques, Rio de Janeiro District Attorney; Marcel Leal,, a journalist and son of Manoel Leal de Oliveira, a newsman murdered in Bahia in 1998; Marcelo Moreira, a reporter and vice president of Abraji; IAPA Press Freedom Director Ricardo Trotti, and Clarinha Glock, investigative reporter with the IAPAs Rapid Response Unit in Brazil. The forum will be conducted by Sidnei Basile of São Paulos Grupo Abril and regional vice chairman for Brazil of the IAPAs Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information; Angelina Nunes, Abraji director, and Leonel Aguiar, a lecturer and coordinator of the PUC-Rios journalism course. The following day, May 19, on the same university campus and with the support of PUC-Rios Communications Department and Abraji IAPA will hold a Chapultepec Ambassadors forum for law and journalism students designed to create awareness of the threat and obstacles to freedom of expression, based on the 10 principles of the IAPA-sponsored Declaration of Chapultepec. Jessica Morris, a University of Miami, Florida, law professor and director of Amnesty International, in her role as a Chapultepec Ambassador, will discuss with Júlio C.F. de Mesquita of the O Estado newspaper group and a former IAPA president, the international tools that protect people in times of crisis. In another panel discussion Chico Otavio of the Brazil newspaper O Globo; Leonel Aguiar of PUC-Rio, and Trotti will share their views on threats to freedom of expression in Brazil. The program will also provide an opportunity for the university students to speak of their experiences and points of view concerning freedom of the press. The event will be carried on the Internet at http://www.puc-riodigital.com.puc-rio-br. Uruguay Early the same week, on May 17 and 18, the IAPA will also be taking part in Montevideo, Uruguay, in the Annual Conference on Legal and Political Matters in the Americas, organized by the Center for Governmental Responsibility of the Frederic G. Levin College of Law, University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. Representing the organization will be Claudio Paolillo, editor of the Montevideo weekly news magazine Búsqueda and regional vice chairman for Uruguay of the IAPAs Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information. Paolillo will present a report on access to public information as an essential element of democracy and peoples right to transparency and will be accompanied by IAPA Executive Director Julio E. Muñoz who will add comments on the need for an access law in order to define the rights of the government and to protect citizens rights. In addition to the IAPA delegates taking part in the conference will be international experts including Jon Mills, dean of the University of Floridas College of Law; Peter J. Messitte, district court judge in Maryland; Jorge Santistevan, attorney and former Peru Ombudsman, and Stephen N. Zack, attorney and president-elect of the American Bar Association, as well as other jurists and leading academics. Peru Once the activities in Brazil are concluded an IAPA international delegation will spend May 20 and 21 in Peru where it plans to meet with President Alan García and the heads of the other branches of the Peruvian government to discuss press freedom issues, among them the closure of the La Voz de Bagua radio station, the situation of América TV Canal 4 television channel, and unsolved crimes against journalists. The IAPA delegation will be headed by the organizations 1st Vice President, Gonzalo Marroquín of the Guatemala City, Guatemala, newspaper Prensa Libre, and also includes former IAPA President Danilo Arbilla of Uruguay, Executive Director Julio E. Muñoz and Press Freedom Director Ricardo Trotti.