Jorge Canahuati. Closing Speech


78th General Assembly

October 27 – 30, 2022

Madrid, Spain


IAPA President, Jorge Canahuati

Madrid, Spain

October 30, 2022

It is not easy for me to say goodbye. It was a two-year adventure in which I learned a lot thanks to the support of all of you.

I had an incredible team that made any challenge seem simple. But nothing was ever simple, especially in times of a pandemic - when we had to be very creative to keep our mission afloat.

I especially want to thank the team that stood shoulder to shoulder with me. First of all, to the person who led the work in favor of freedom of the press everywhere - in many cases working virtually.

I am referring to Carlos Jornet, a passionate and professional press freedom advocate who did his job with integrity and dedication. We had the opportunity to be in several missions together - some of them virtual and others face-to-face.

I would also like to thank Martín Etchevers with whom we worked closely - through his leadership - on the sustainability of the media.

I also thank several colleagues who joined the team, such as Gabriela Vivanco, María Eugenia Mohme, the tireless Leonor Mulero, Martha Ramos and Laura Puertas .... and I am especially grateful for the leadership and support of the second vice-president, Roberto Rock - now the first - and the president of the Executive Committee, José Roberto Dutriz - now second vice-president of the IAPA.

I am grateful for the important work of our dear colleagues Armando Castilla, Juan Francisco Ealy Lanz-Duret, Miguel Henrique Otero, Juan Pablo Illanes, Pedro Rivero, Sebastián Pastor, Ernesto Kraiselburd and Gilberto Urdaneta.

And I cannot fail to mention the persevering, meticulous and professional work of the Miami office team - which has accomplished a lot with limited resources. Thank you, Ricardo, Melba, Paola, Martha, Ana María, Mariana and Horacio.

When one looks at the IAPA from the outside, one assumes that the work is done almost as if by inertia or automatically. It is not so. In these two years I was able to see that it is an effort by hundreds of people working together towards a common goal. From the tireless work of the regional vice presidents of the Commission on Freedom of the Press and Information, to the awards jury, the coordinators of the Chapultepec Index... or the volunteers who join the missions convinced that to fight for press freedom is to fight for justice, human rights and democracy.

My great gratitude to the former presidents who preceded me and who continue to work selflessly with the IAPA. I will be one more of you now - and I hope to contribute as you do through your example.

I want to insist and repeat what I already knew - but now have experienced firsthand. The strength of this organization lies in the will, responsibility and commitment of each and every one of you, the members. You all give generously of your time, money and commitment to our common cause.

Michael, it will be a pleasure to join you as the new president of this institution. You have my commitment. Your human qualities, your wisdom in media affairs, the experience you have acquired over the years and the support you will have from the most important media on this planet - The New York Times - will undoubtedly be your attributes to continue to lead our beloved institution in the right direction.

I wish you all the best. I assure you that this will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your career.

Congratulations to the new president of the IAPA!