79 IAPA General Assembly
Mexico City, November 12, 2023
I believe that in IAPA history, my presidency could be remembered as a year of significant changes in the crisis context of our industry and the return to normalcy after the pandemic years.
When Edward Seaton and Diana Daniels invited me three years ago to be nominated to the IAPA presidency, I immediately thought they were doing me a great honor, mainly because, at that time, I was unfamiliar with all the work that awaited me. Today, I can say that, although we often do not immediately see the results we want, this has been one of the most exciting years of my career, so I thank Diana and our latest friend, Edward.
After the extraordinary two-year presidency that Jorge Canahuati gave us, guiding us through great dangers, it was my turn to follow in his footsteps and accelerate into the future.
One of my great experiences was visiting José Rubén Zamora in the prison where he is unjustly being held in Guatemala. Now, with the revocation of his sentence and the new trial, we at IAPA can say that we are fully complying with our mission to protect our colleagues who are victims of repression.
We have also been able to comply with dozens of family members who now have a better sense of justice, thanks to the persistence of the IAPA in not leaving crimes against journalists unpunished.
I must say that I felt and was very well accompanied throughout this adventure, in which I learned a lot from the extraordinary people who sustain this institution.
First, I would like to thank two pillars: Gabriela Vivanco, president of the Executive Committee, and Carlos Jornet, president of the Press Freedom Committee. Their work has been impeccable. With Carlos, we participated in the first face-to-face missions since the pandemic, and with Gabriela, we worked on making critical decisions for the organization.
My thanks also go to all presidents of our committees for your time and dedication. Leonor Mulero, Martín Etchevers, Martha Ramos, Laura Puertas, Armando Castilla, Ernesto Kraiselburd, Sebastián Pastor, Gilberto Urdaneta, Juan Francisco Lanz-Duret, Miguel Otero, and Luciano Pascoe.
Luciano, thank you for organizing this fantastic Assembly, and on your behalf, thanks to the Host Committee and your superiors at Grupo Salinas, Ricardo and Benjamín Salinas. When you proposed in Madrid to organize this event here, I did not realize then that you would host this memorable Assembly.
The transition in the executive direction of IAPA was undoubtedly one of our significant challenges. As you know, our Executive Director, Ricardo Trotti, who led our administration for over three decades, will be replaced today by Carlos Lauría, who was selected through an exhaustive selection process.
It is also worthy to recognize the hard work and passion for our cause of all the members of the Miami team under Ricardo's leadership. Many thanks to Melba Jimenez, Paola Dirube, Martha Estrada, Ana Maria Perez, Mariana Belloso, Horacio Ruiz, and Julieta Long.
As I said at the beginning, we managed to face the negative consequences and the inertia that the three years of pandemics brought to the sustainability of our business. But I believe we are now on the road to recovery, and all we have built over the years with you and Ricardo will continue to grow with Carlos and Roberto Rock.
Regarding Roberto, I can only say that our organization is in excellent hands. Roberto knows IAPA perfectly on all fronts. And in all of them, he has stood out for his ability and loyalty. We have a great leader, and I wish you the best.
Roberto, you and I, and everyone in this room, are convinced that democracy cannot exist without press freedom. And we have no better institution than this one to fight for our convictions and beliefs.
Thank you for this incredible year.