MIAMI, Florida (October 11, 2018)—The serious violence against journalists of the Americas which this year has left 29 of them murdered, one of the highest numbers in recent times and the subject of great concern for the Inter American Press Association (IAPA, will be dealt with in depth during its General Assembly in Salta, Argentina, October 21-22.
Between January and October this year there were murdered 11 Mexican journalists, six in the United States, four in Brazil, three in Ecuador, two in Colombia, two in Guatemala and one in Nicaragua, and a Haitian news photographer continues to be missing.
"Murder is the culmination of the acts of violence against the press that on many occasions begins with threats and physical attacks," declared IAPA President Gustavo Mohme, who assured that protection of journalists and legal action in these cases is a matter of high priority for the organization.
Mohme, editor of the Peruvian newspaper La República, added, "The impunity that tends to go along with the attacks and murder in more than 90% of the cases aggravates the sensation of lack of defense of the journalists, even more if they are working in inland areas of the countries" and in this regard he said that "swift, independent, exhaustive and technical investigations in these cases are what can lessen the scourge of impunity."
For his part Roberto Rock, chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information and editor of the Mexican news portal La Silla Rota, said that the IAPA has been calling upon governments to provide guarantees for the safe practice of journalism and urgently deal with the reports of threats. He added, "We will continue insisting, because, as the Declaration of Chapultepec states 'murder, intimidation, violence of any kind and lack of punishment of aggressors severely restrict freedom of expression and of the press.'"
According to information compiled by the IAPA 29 murders were of the following:
Mario Leonel Gómez Sánchez, Rodolfo García González, Rubén Pat Cauich, Luis Pérez García, José Guadalupe Chan Dzib, María del Sol Cruz Jarquín, Héctor González Antonio, Juan Carlos Huerta, Pamela Montenegro del Real, Leobardo Vázquez Atzin and Carlos Domínguez, of México; Rob Hiaasen, Wendi Winters, Gerald Fischman, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and
Zachary Stoner, of the United States; Marlon de Carvalho Araújo, Jairo Sousa, Jefferson Pureza Lopes and Ueliton Bayer Brizon, of Brazil; Javier Ortega, Paúl Rivas and Efraín Segarra, of Ecuador; Jairo Alberto Calderón Plaza and Valentín Rúa Tezada, of Colombia; Laurent Ángel Castillo Cifuentes and Luis Alfredo de León Miranda, of Guatemala and Ángel Gahona, of Nicaragua. Vladjimir Legagneur, of Haiti, is missing since March.
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 publications from throughout the Western Hemisphere and is based in Miami, Florida.