december 26, 2007
Miami, FL, december 26, 2007
Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva
President of Brazil
Fax (61) 3411-2222
c.c. Minister of Justice Tarso Genro, fax: (61) 3322-6817
For five years now the Inter American Press Association (IAPA) has been investigating the murders of people working in the news media in the Western Hemisphere and has come to the conclusion that in some cases not even the right to justice has been observed and in others negligence, apathy and irregularities in the official investigations have been obstacles contributing to those guilty of the crimes continuing to go unpunished.
Determined to put an end to such impunity and in unison with the international community we wish to draw your attention to the case of Ivan Rocha, a reporter with radio station Alvorada AM, who disappeared on April 22, 1991 in Teixiera de Freitas, Bahia state, after having announced in his radio broadcast that he would be delivering to local District Attorney’s Office a report on organized crime. His body has not been found and the case was shelved in 1994, despite the fact that there were eye-witnesses to his abduction and irregularities in the police investigation were confirmed.
We would ask you, Mr. President, to use your good offices so that the relevant action be taken for the case to be reopened and the investigation is pursued until the guilty are duly punished, so that this disappearance does not become just one more statistic in the list of unsolved crimes in the Americas.