Impunity murdered

Resolution presented to the IAPA
WHEREAS, since the Mid-Year Meeting in March 2020, 12 journalists have been murdered: four in Mexico, three in Honduras, two in Venezuela, and one each in Barbados, Brazil, and Colombia - for reasons apparently related to the exercise of journalism

WHEREAS, in Mexico, Julio Valdivia Rodríguez - a reporter for the newspaper El Mundo, in Córdoba, Veracruz - was murdered, and his body was found on September 9; Pablo Morrugares - director of the website PM Noticias, Iguala, Guerrero - was murdered along with his bodyguard on August 2; Jorge Armenta - director of Medios Obson, Ciudad Obregón, Sonora, was murdered on May 16, and María Elena Ferral - correspondent of Diario de Xalapa of the Organización Editorial Mexicana (OEM) and director of the website Quinto Poder, Papantla, Veracruz - was murdered on March 30

WHEREAS, in Honduras, Luis Alonso Almendares - an independent journalist in Comayagua, Comayagua - was attacked on September 27 and died the next day; Germán Vallecillo Jr. - journalist, and Jorge Posas - cameraman, both from Channel 45, La Ceiba - were murdered on July 1

WHEREAS, in Venezuela, journalists Andrés Eloy Nieves Zacarías and Víctor Torres - of Guacamaya TV, Zulia - were murdered on August 21

WHEREAS, in Barbados, Christoff Griffith - a photojournalist for The Nation, Bridgetown - was murdered on June 22

WHEREAS, in Brazil, journalist Leonardo Pinheiro - who reported on his space A Voz Araruamense on Facebook, and was a contributor to the page Fala Araruama, in Rio de Janeiro - was murdered on May 13

WHEREAS, in Colombia, Abelardo Liz - a journalist from the radio station Nación Nasa Estéreo, Corinto, Cauca - was murdered on August 13

WHEREAS, in Colombia, due to the lack of progress in the criminal proceedings, the statute of limitations expired this semester in the cases related to the murders of the journalists María Elena Salinas, Jhon Jairo Restrepo, Carlos José Restrepo Rocha and Juan Camilo Restrepo Guerra; that in the next few months, the statute of limitations will also expire in the cases related to the murders of journalists Abad López, Guillermo León and Gustavo Ruiz Cantillo

WHEREAS, these crimes are aimed at discouraging the free exercise of journalism and that, leaving them unpunished or unresolved, would cause serious harm to society as a whole

WHEREAS, Principle 4 of the Chapultepec Declaration states that: "Murder, terrorism, kidnapping, coercion, intimidation, unjust imprisonment of journalists, physical destruction of the media, violence of any kind, and impunity for perpetrators severely restrict freedom of expression and of the press. These actions must be promptly investigated and severely punished."


To condemn the murders of Julio Valdivia Rodríguez, Pablo Morrugares, Jorge Armenta, and María Elena Ferral, from Mexico; Luis Alonso Almendares, Germán Vallecillo Jr., and Jorge Posas, from Honduras; Andrés Eloy Nieves Zacarías, and Víctor Torres, from Venezuela; Leonardo Pinheiro, from Brazil; Christoff Griffith, from Barbados; and Abelardo Liz, from Colombia

To urge the governments of Mexico, Honduras, Venezuela, Barbados, Brazil and Colombia to assume their responsibility to identify and bring to justice all those responsible for these serious crimes

To emphasize that the murder and disappearance of journalists and media workers constitutes an extreme form of censorship, and that impunity and lack of justice encourage other acts of violence - leading to self-censorship as a defense mechanism and generating an inhibiting effect on the exercise of freedom of expression

To ask authorities in countries with security systems to guarantee efficient protection mechanisms for journalists, providing adequate economic, technical and human resources, so the mission of protecting the lives of the communicators can be properly carried out

To reiterate that solidarity and timely denunciation are the main antidotes to counteract violence and murders against journalists.