Miami (July 11, 2022) - The Colombian press is among the most punished and stigmatized in the continent, the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) recalled today in rejecting the statement of an insurgent group that called several of the media outlets in the country "mercenaries."
Yesterday a FARC dissident group called Segunda Marquetalia accused the traditional media Caracol Radio, Caracol TV, RCN Radio, RCN TV, El Tiempo, El Espectador, and Semana of being mercenaries and "faithful allies" of the government of Iván Duque.
The FARC group spoke out against the media after announcing that its commander, Iván Márquez, is alive after several days of speculation about his condition following an alleged attack by the Army and Police. "These news agencies are information mercenaries. They demonize those who think differently and worship their masters," the message added.
IAPA President Jorge Canahuati, CEO of Grupo Opsa of Honduras, rejected as paradoxical the insults to journalism by FARC dissidents. "Due to the violence of the FARC and its activities with drug trafficking, many media had to close, and journalists had to censor themselves."
The chairman of the IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, Carlos Jornet, said that the guerrilla's offenses represent a new example of how power groups, whether public, private, or organized crime, stigmatize journalism to undermine its credibility.
Canahuati and Jornet, the editor of La Voz del Interior of Argentina, added, "everyone knows that Colombian journalism, despite the violence suffered, deaths, kidnappings, and extortions, has always been the main institution to support democracy and the rule of law."
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.