07 April 2014


WHEREAS the loss of democratic freedoms and fundamental rights in Venezuela under the administration of Nicolás Maduro Moros is evident in the way in which the public demonstrations, and the independent media’s coverage of them, have been repressed as a matter of state policy WHEREAS massive, systematic violations of human rights have occurred in Venezuela since the days prior to February 12, 2014, and continue to occur up until today, and protests posing legitimate demands have been treated as criminal acts, with no due process WHEREAS by presidential order, with no court approval, the broadcasts of the international television network NTN24 were suspended and CNN journalist Patricia Janot was expelled from the country; both had been documenting the violence caused, under government orders, by the actions of the government’s security forces, the militias of the Bolivarian National Guard, and groups of armed progovernment civilians, which has claimed a heavy toll in numbers of young people killed, injured, tortured, jailed, or subject to judicial measures for the alleged crimes of insurgency or terrorism WHEREAS more than 111 journalists and employees from various media outlets, both domestic and foreign, have been victims of this policy of repression; not only have they been arrested for their work or assaulted, but they have lost the implements of their work, which have been taken or destroyed WHEREAS the government refuses to provide, or delays providing, the foreign currency that the independent print media needs in order to import newsprint, and a number of newspapers are being forced to suspend circulation or reduce the space they devote to the news, as they are at imminent risk of having to shut down WHEREAS the Venezuelan government utilizes undue pressures, threats, and censorship, directly and indirectly, against the independent media, leading a number of journalists and media professionals to resign from their jobs as a way of protesting the censorship that makes it impossible for them to do their work. THE IAPA RESOLVES To express its solidarity with the people of Venezuela, with the victims and their families, and with the media outlets and journalists affected by the violence of the Venezuelan government, which should be responsible for maintaining and upholding public order in strict observance of human rights and constitutional and international guarantees To condemn the widespread, systematic violations of human rights by the Venezuelan administration and by the complicity or inaction of other government entities To salute the international initiatives to involve the good offices or mediation of impartial persons or institutions capable of acting in good faith, such as the Catholic Church To urge governments in the region and international organizations not to remain indifferent to the severe undermining of democracy and press freedom in Venezuela To invite the media outlets that are IAPA members to remain alert and inform the public in a timely manner on developments in Venezuela.