Miami (December 21, 202021) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) strongly condemned the attack against the Argentine newspaper El Chubut, an act of violence that adds to others that occurred this year in that country. The organization made an urgent appeal to the authorities to investigate, determine responsibilities and guarantee the safety of journalists.
Demonstrators protesting mining activities destroyed and set fire to part of the facilities of the newspaper El Chubut, in the city of Trelew, province of Chubut, in the extreme south of the continent. They threw stones and firebombs on Monday night while newspaper staff was inside the building.
IAPA President Jorge Canahuati, CEO of Grupo Opsa of Honduras, said: "We are facing a horrific attack on the lives of the newspaper's workers and press freedom.
Carlos Jornet, president of the Commission on Freedom of the Press and Information and journalistic director of La Voz del Interior of Argentina, expressed his solidarity with the newspaper's staff. He condemned "the use of violence against independent journalism, which affects not only freedom of the press but also democratic coexistence."
Canahuati and Jornet asked the authorities to "investigate, clarify responsibilities and guarantee the safety of the journalists."
According to local media, in a call to protest through social media, the organizers had proposed to "attack El Chubut" for its position in favor of mining exploitation. The governor of the Patagonian province announced that due to the high level of rejection generated in a sector of society, he would repeal a recently sanctioned law authorizing mining exploitation and call a referendum on the issue.
On November 22, IAPA condemned another attack by a group of anarchists with incendiary bombs against the facilities of the Clarín newspaper in Buenos Aires. Several perpetrators were identified and are prosecuted. Months earlier, union militants had attacked the building of the newspaper Río Negro, also in Argentine Patagonia.
IAPA is a non-profit organization dedicated to defending and promoting freedom of the press and expression in the Americas. It comprises more than 1,300 publications from the western hemisphere; and is based in Miami, Florida, United States.