BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (August 2, 2016)—Within the framework of a ceremony held today at the Casa Rosada government palace Argentinian President Mauricio Macri endorsed the Declaration of Chapultepec and reaffirmed his commitment to respect freedom of expression and of the press.
"It is a pleasure that all this appears to be far-off history," President Macri said in reference to the lack of respect for free speech and press freedom in the previous governments that were mentioned by Claudio Paolillo, chairman of the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information in his message during the official act of signing of the Declaration in which also participated representatives of Argentina's Association of News Entities (Adepa), executives of various local media and government officials.
Paolillo, who headed the IAPA delegation, said that this is a ceremony "of great real and symbolic significance" of "Argentina's return to the group of countries where a free journalism reigns, without harassment from those in power, without persecutions, without discriminations and without 'escraches' (demonstrations) aired in obligatory television broadcasts against those who think differently."
The editor of the Montevideo, Uruguay, weekly Búsqueda declared that during the last 12 years seven of the 10 principles of the Declaration of Chapultepec "were violated in Argentina by the governments or by officials or pro-government militants funded by public monies" and said that between 2003 and 2015 the IAPA sent six international missions to the South American country with the objective of establishing some kind of dialogue with the authorities, but "we never were received."
Paolillo concluded by expressing to President Macri his confidence "that this commitment that you have assumed on signing the Declaration of Chapultepec will hold well during your term of office."
The Declaration of Chapultepec contains 10 principles on freedom of expression and of the press that should reign in a democratic society.
The IAPA delegation was also made up of Danilo Arbilla, former presidents of the organization, Uruguay; Jorge Fascetto, Diario Popular, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Raúl Kraiselburd, El Día, La Plata, Argentina; Jorge Canahuati, chairman of the Executive Committee, Grupo Opsa, Honduras; Lourdes de Obaldía, vice chair of the Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, La Prensa, Panama, and Executive Director Ricardo Trotti, Miami, Florida.
For Adepa attending the ceremony were Guillermo Ignacio, its president, Ecos Diarios, Necochea; Carlos Jornet, chairman of the Press Freedom Committee, La Voz del Interior, Córdoba; Daniel Dessein, chairman of the International Relations Committee, La Gaceta, Tucumán; Miguel Gaíta, secretary general, La Palabra, Berazategui; Martín Etchevers, secretary of the organization, Clarín, Buenos Aires; José Claudio Escribano, chairman of the Awards Committee, La Nación, Buenos Aires, and Gregorio Badeni, chairman of the Legal Guidance Service, Buenos Aires.
Macri is the second Argentinian president to sign the Declaration of Chapultepec. Carlos Menem, president from 1989 to 1999, added his signature on June 6, 1994.
The IAPA is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and of expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 print publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida. For more information please go to http://www.sipiapa.org.