Impunity Murders

WHEREAS during these past six months 14 journalists were murdered – three in Mexico, two in Brazil, two in Colombia, two in Guatemala, two in Haiti and one each in Ecuador, Honduras and Paraguay, respectively WHEREAS in Mexico three journalists were murdered – Daniel Martínez Bazaldúa, photographer of the social section of Vanguardia in Saltillo, Coahuila, on April 24; Mario Ricardo Chávez Jorge, director of El Ciudadano Online in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, on June 29, and Alberto López Bello, police beat reporter of the newspaper El Imparcial in Oaxaca, Oaxaca, on July 17 – without state public prosecutor’s offices to date having announced any progress in the investigations or saying whether the crimes are linked to the victims’ work as journalists WHEREAS in Brazil the murder was committed of two journalists with the newspaper Jornal Vale do Aço in Minas Gerais – reporter Rodrigo Neto was killed on March 9 and photographer Walgney Carvalho on April 14. They both covered the police beat and before his murder Neto was investigating para-police groups in the Vale do Aço region WHEREAS In Colombia the murder occurred of a journalist and an employee of a news media outlet –  Édison Alberto Molina, host of the program “Consultor Jurídico” broadcast by Puerto Berrío Stereo radio in Puerto Berrío, Antioquia, on September 11, and José Darío Arenas, news vendor and occasional stringer of the newspaper Extra in Quindío, Caicedona, Valle del Cauca, on September 28 WHEREAS In Guatemala two journalists were murdered ¬– Carlos Orellana Chávez, host of the program “De la radio a la television” broadcast by Óptimo 3 channel in San Bernadino, Suchitepéquez, on August 19, and Luis de Jesús Lima, announcer on radio La Sultana and director of the radio magazine Somos Zacapa, in Zacapa on August 6 WHEREAS in Haiti two journalists were murdered – Pierre-Richard Alexandre, correspondent of Radio Kiskeya in Saint Marc, Artibonite, on May 17, and Georges Honorat, editor of the newspaper Haiti Progrès, secretary general of the National Popular Party and advisor to the Prime Minister, in Port-au-Prince on March 23 WHEREAS in Ecuador the murder was committed of journalist Fausto Valdiviezo in Guayaquil on April 11 WHEREAS in Honduras the murder was committed of Aníbal Barrow, host of the program “Aníbal Barrow y nada más” on Globo TV, in San Pedro Sula on June 14 WHEREAS in Paraguay the murder occurred of Carlos Artaza, photographer with the Amambay Government Ministry, in Pedro Juan Caballero on April 24 WHEREAS Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec 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 IAPA GENERAL ASSEMBLY RESOLVES to condemn the murders of journalists and employees of media committed in recent months in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Ecuador, Honduras and Paraguay and demand of the corresponding authorities greater political will, prompt investigations and rigorous administration of justice to prevent the violence being maintained as an instrument to silence and control freedom of the press to demand that in Mexico the offices of Attorney Generals in Coahuila, Tamaulipas and Oaxaca give transparency to the investigations into the murders of reporters Daniel Martínez Bazldúa, Mario Ricardo Chávez Jorge and Alberto López Bello, respectively, to demonstrate with evidence if the cases are linked to the victims’ work as journalists and bring the guilty to justice, and to urge the Mexican authorities to urgently put into practice all the legal instruments that they have to identify and punish those responsible to ask the authorities of Brazil to speed up the investigations in order to solve the murders of Rodrigo Neto and Walgney Carvalho, to require that protective measures be put in place for the full exercise of freedom of the press, and to urge that special attention be given to bills to amend the Constitution that foresee making crimes committed against journalists while they are doing their work federal offenses to require of the authorities in Colombia a prompt investigation into the murders of Édison Alberto Molina and José Darío Arenas, and to request activation of the protective measures needed to safeguard the physical integrity of reporters, stringers and news sources to reiterate to the authorities of Guatemala that they should act promptly and appropriately to solve the murders of Carlos Orellana Chávez and Luis de Jesús Lima and request action by the special prosecutor’s office that deals with crimes against journalists in order to learn the motives and determine responsibilities for these and other unpunished crimes to ask the authorities of Haiti to investigate promptly and in-depth the murders of Pierre-Richard Alexandre and Georges Homorat so as to determine the circumstances surrounding the crimes and identify and punish those responsible to urge the authorities in Ecuador to investigate in-depth in order to determine the motive for the murder of Fausto Valdiviezo and identify and punish the perpetrators and masterminds to reiterate to the authorities of Honduras the urgent need to carry out an in-depth investigation to solve the murder of Aníbal Barrow, especially to determine who was the mastermind, and to insist on the need to create a system of protection of journalists, among other measures of reforms of public policies that the country should adopt to punish those guilty of crimes against freedom of the press to urge the authorities of Paraguay to investigate promptly and rigorously the murder of Carlos Artaza so as to determine the motive for the crime, identify those responsible and bring them to justice.