Miami (March 10, 2020) - The president of the Inter American Press Association (IAPA), Christopher Barnes, announced that the organization has postponed its meeting in Saltillo, Mexico, scheduled for late March, citing reasons including the continued uncertainty regarding the spread and impact of the COVID-19 coronavirus, and a desire not to subject the organisation's members and persons in the host country to the potential risk.
Barnes said that, "the safety of our members and stakeholders is paramount and we collectively feel this (postponing) is the responsible approach to take in the circumstances," in a direct message to all the stakeholders involved in organizing the IAPA mid-year meeting in Saltillo.
The decision to postpone resulted from consultation and unanimous agreement of the Executive Committee the highest deciding body of the organization. Barnes clarified that the decision to postpone "does not however mean that we will forego the important business of the meeting which includes receiving the press freedom reports from our member countries, which remains the essence of our work."
In expressing his deep gratitude to the host committee of Saltillo, comprised of the publishers of the Vanguardia and Diario de Coahuila newspapers, the scheduled speakers, the City and State governments, the Quinta Real Hotel and the Bosques de Monterreal convention center, major sponsors, and the participants, Barnes said that, "while this is a disappointment for us all, we appreciate your generous understanding of the need to take this course of action and are resolute that you, like IAPA, will overcome this challenge."
The IAPA mid-year meeting was scheduled from March 26 to the 29 in Saltillo and Bosques de Monterreal in the state of Coahuila. IAPA will soon announce the rescheduled date for this mid-year meeting in 2021.
The IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to the defense and promotion of freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. It is made up of more than 1,300 publications from the Western Hemisphere; and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.