Miami (October 2, 2023) - The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) condemned the assault by protesters on the headquarters of Semana magazine in Bogotá, which left one injured and material damaged. The organization considered that "this attack against press freedom cannot go unpunished," asking the authorities to apply the law severely.
Dozens of indigenous community members who arrived in Bogotá in support of the government on September 29 broke into the building that houses Semana and other companies for an hour. The protesters injured a security guard, smashed windows, intimidated people in the facilities, and repudiated the outlet's editorial line. The Police arrived at the scene and contained the attack.
Michael Greenspon, IAPA president and Global Head of Licensing and Print Innovation for The New York Times, said that "this act of vandalism is an attack on press freedom" and that "neither the instigators nor the violent should remain unpunished."
Carlos Jornet, president of the Press Freedom Commission and the editor of La Voz del Interior of Argentina, said that although "the right to protest is part of the exercise of freedom of expression in a democracy, the law must be applied with severity against violent attacks since otherwise these actions can be reproduced by other groups and sectors."
Vicky Dávila, director of Semana, expressed on the social media X that the attacks reflect the stigmatization of President Gustavo Petro and some members of his government against the media.
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.