Resolution of the 71th General Assembly

Charleston, South Carolina

October 2 – 6, 2015

WHEREAS lack of punishment for crimes and threats to journalists continues to be a serious problem in Colombia

WHEREAS for the first time there was convicted a mastermind of a murder of a journalist, with the sentencing to 36 years' imprisonment of former member of Congress Ferney Tapasco – who is at large – as instigator of the homicide in 2002 of the managing editor of the newspaper La Patria in Manizales, Orlando Sierra

WHEREAS of 145 murders since 1977 there have been convictions in only 19 cases, and since that date there have come to be subject to statute of limitations 70 murders of journalists, according to the Foundation for Press Freedom (FLIP)

WHEREAS the cases of Gildardo Ariza Olarte and Iván Darío Pelayo, murdered in 1995, became subject to statute of limitations in this period without the motives having been determined or those who committed the crime being identified, and about to expire are those of Gabriel Cruz Díaz, in November, and Ernesto Acero Cadena in December

WHEREAS this year there have occurred 84 violations of press freedom, among them threats, obstruction of the work of the press, attacks and a kidnapping, totaling 126 victims

WHEREAS 86 journalists are relying on security measures provided by the National Protection Unit due to their being at risk

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"


to reiterate to the Colombian government the request to carry out concrete legal actions to combat impunity and that the cases have justice, the truth be known and the victims be compensated

to urge the government to adopt the necessary security measures to ensure the free and independent practice of journalism.