Words of Miguel Franjul, to present President, Luis Abinader, at the signing ceremony of the Chapultepec and Salta Declarations.
National Palace, October 23, 2020
Ms. Vice President,
Ministers and Directors of Communications of the Presidency,
Fellow Members of IAPA
In my capacity as member of the Board of Directors and regional vice president for the DOMINICAN REPUBLIC of the IAPA Commission on Freedom of the Press, I have the honor to present President Abinader with two sets of the Chapultepec and Salta declarations, respectively, which enshrine the principles of freedom of expression for both traditional and digital media - the basis of our organization's principles and efforts.
To have your signature stamped on both documents, I have brought two "Immortal Pencils" - symbolizing IAPA's perpetual tribute to all the journalists who have been murdered in the exercise of their mission in Latin America - which I hope you will keep as living testimony of this historic commitment.
The uniqueness of these pencils is that the graphite used to craft them is infused with the genetic codes of the martyrs of journalism: Irma Flaquer, from Guatemala; Carlos Lajud, from Colombia; and Alfredo Jiménez Mota, from Mexico - whose crimes have gone unpunished.
With these pencils we are launching a broad international campaign to win the solidarity of free societies in demanding that the perpetrators be brought to justice, and that adequate safeguards be implemented to protect the rights and work of journalists - as well as their lives.
It is of immense significance that you - who have repeatedly proven your respect for freedom of the press - formally join today in this supreme and vital effort, which we hope will translate into a solid and unwavering policy of your government - as a valuable example of respect for democracy and the values of a civilized society.
Thank you very much!