Resolution to the Midyear Meeting

Panama, Panama

March 6 - 9, 2015


an international mission of the IAPA on February 9-10 was held in Bogotá where it met with President Juan Manuel Santos and asked him for concrete legal actions to combat and lessen impunity


President Santos was open to receive recommendations on actions that his government could take so that justice could be obtained in unpunished cases of crimes against journalists, the truth could be learned and reparations could be made for the victims


This year the statute of limitations expires on five cases of unpunished murders committed nearly 20 years ago where those responsible remain unidentified and no convictions have been secured, these being the murders of Gildardo Ariza Olarte on April 19, 1995; Iván Darío Pelayo on August 17, 1995; Gabriel Cruz Díaz on November 11, 1995; Álvaro Gómez Hurtado on November 2, 1995, and Ernesto Acerto Cadena on December 12, 1995


142 journalists have been murdered by virtue of their work since 1977, of which 67 cases have become subject to statute of limitations according to a report of the Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP)


the IAPA delegation met in Bogotá with members of the families of murdered journalists Guillermo Cano, Orlando Sierra and Nelson Carvajal, who expressed their despair at the lack of punishment in the cases and at the lethargy of the justice system


the IAPA submitted to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) the results of its investigations into the murders of Colombian journalists Guillermo Cano, Nelson Carvajal, Gerardo Bedoya Borrero, Jairo Elías Márquez, Carlos Lajud Catalán, Hernando Rangel Moreno, Julio Daniel Chaparro Hurtado and Jorge Enrique Torres Navas


in the Nelson Carvajal case, submitted to the IACHR in 2002, seven meetings were held between 2005 and 2009 with representatives of different governments of Colombia; however the IAPA wound up the amicable solution process on considering that few advances had been made in solving the crime


at the meeting with the IAPA, the Colombian Association of Editors and Publishers of Newspapers and News Media (Andiarios) denounced the lack of protection that journalists are suffering, mainly in the interior of the country


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."


to reiterate to the President of Colombia the importance for the country's process of social reconstruction of putting an end to impunity in crimes committed against journalists and of adopting additional measures to prevent these crimes from becoming subject to statutes of limitations

to urge the government to move ahead in bringing actions to reduce impunity in those crimes and provide the necessary resources to ensure effectiveness in the instrumentation of the mechanisms for protection of journalists

to urge the Colombian Attorney-General's Office to review elements that could serve to reopen proceedings and to take the necessary steps to prevent other crimes against journalists from becoming subject to statutes of limitations, as occurred in the cases of the murder of Guillermo Cano and José Eustorgio Colmenares, all declared to be crimes against humanity

to urge the authorities to continue the judicial proceedings in the case of Nelson Carvajal so that it does not remain unpunished.