Resolution of the IAPA Midyear Meeting
April 20-23, 2021

WHEREAS, since the October, 2020 General Assembly, eight journalists have been murdered for apparent reasons related to their professional work, four in Mexico, and one each in Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Honduras, and one journalist continues to be missing in Mexico

WHEREAS, in Mexico, Jaime Castaño - director of the PrensaLibreMx portal, and photojournalist, municipality of Jerez, Zacatecas - was murdered on December 9, 2020; Israel Vázquez - reporter for El Salmantino portal, Salamanca, Guanajuato - was murdered on November 9, 2020; Jesús Alfonso Piñuelas - contributor to various local media outlets, Cajeme, Sonora - on November 2, 2020, and Arturo Alba Medina - newscaster for Multimedios Channel 6, Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua - on October 29, 2020, and that the whereabouts of Pablo Romero Chávez - who works in the crime section of the newspaper El Vigía and in the mobile unit of radio station FM 105, Guaymas, Sonora - remain unknown since March 25, 2021.

WHEREAS, in Colombia, Andrés Felipe Guevara - a journalist with the newspaper Q'hubo, of the publishing house El País, Cali - was the victim of an attack on December 21, 2020, and died on December 23 from his wounds - the authorities' investigation will determine whether the motives for this crime are related to his profession

WHEREAS, in Ecuador, Efraín Ruales - actor and host of a variety show on Ecuavisa channel, Guayaquil - was assassinated on January 27, 2021

WHEREAS, in Guatemala, Mario Ortega - director of San José Total Canal 12, Escuintla, Escuintla, Guatemala - was the victim of an attack on November 10, 2020, and died on November 14 from his wounds

WHEREAS, in Honduras, Pedro Arcángel Canelas - owner of Radio Bambi and presenter of the news program "Correo Informativo," municipality of Dulce Nombre de Culmí, Olancho - was assassinated on December 19, 2020

WHEREAS, in Colombia, due to lack of progress in the criminal proceedings, the statute of limitations expired in this period for the murders of the following journalists in 2000: Juan Camilo Restrepo Guerra, on October 31; Gustavo Ruiz Cantillo, on November 15; Guillermo León Agudelo, on November 30; and Alfredo Abad López, on December 13, and that in the coming months the statute of limitations may also expire for the murders of Flavio Iván Bedoya, Yesid Marulanda Romero, Edgar Tavera Gaona, Pablo Emilio Parra Castañeda, Arquímides Arias Henao, Jorge ("Jose") Enrique Urbano Sánchez, José Duviel Vásquez, Eduardo Estrada Gutiérrez and Álvaro Alonso Escobar

WHEREAS, in Honduras 29 journalists have sought protection under the General Directorate for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, Journalists, Social Communicators and Justice Operators, due to the violence

WHEREAS, in Mexico, the Protection Mechanism for Human Rights Defenders and Journalists - created in 2012 - has protected 1,342 persons at risk; however, it has been unable to function as an effective national coordinating agency, to encourage the emergence of similar agencies in other states, and to secure specialized personnel and sufficient resources - a situation that places journalists at serious risk

WHEREAS, the IAPA welcomed in Mexico the request from the Executive Branch to promote investigations into the disappearance since 2005 of journalist Alfredo Jiménez Mota - a case being processed at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR))

WHEREAS, the murder and disappearance of journalists and media workers constitutes an extreme form of censorship, that the lack of justice and impunity encourages other acts of violence and leads to self-censorship as a defense mechanism - generating an inhibitory effect on the exercise of freedom of expression

WHEREAS, Principle 4 of the Chapultepec Declaration states: "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 Jaime Castaño, Israel Vázquez, Jesús Alfonso Piñuelas and Arturo Alba Medina, in Mexico; Andrés Felipe Guevara, in Colombia; Efraín Ruales, in Ecuador; Mario Ortega, in Guatemala; Pedro Arcángel Canelas, in Honduras; as well as the disappearance of Pablo Romero Chávez, in Mexico.

To urge the governments of Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala and Honduras to assume their responsibility to identify all those responsible for the murders and disappearances, and to apply the corresponding punishments, so that they do not go unpunished.

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

To require the government of Mexico - without ignoring any of over 136 crimes against journalists committed in the country in the last two decades, plus the case of Alfredo Jiménez Mota - to also demand progress from the corresponding entities on the investigations into the unpunished murders of Héctor Félix Miranda, Víctor Manuel Oropeza, Benjamín Flores González and Francisco Ortiz Franco, presented to the IACHR by the IAPA.

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