MIAMI, Florida (December 26, 2008)—The Inter American Press Association (IAPA) recounted today in an announcement published in more than 350 newspapers throughout the Americas that during 2008 a total of 13 journalists were murdered in the region and it called on those responsible for the deaths to be punished with the full weight of the law.
The IAPA call, in listing the journalists slain in the 12-month period, stressed that the murder of a member of the press and the lack of punishment of the guilty severely restrict freedom of expression and the public’s right to know. During the year now coming to an end, one regarded as tragic for the press, the largest number of crimes against journalists in the region were committed in Mexico.
The list of those killed is made up of: Armando Rodríguez, Alejandro Fonseca, Miguel Angel Villagómez, Mauricio Estrada, Bonifacio Cruz, Alfonso Cruz, David García, Felicitas Martínez and Teresa Bautista Merino, Mexico; Jorge Mérida, Guatemala; Carlos Quispe, Bolivia; Raúl Rodríguez, Ecuador; and Pierre Fould, Venezuela.
Since 1995 and with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation the IAPA has been conducting a program consisting of the training of reporters working in danger zones, the monitoring of the state of freedom of the press in the Americas, and a hemisphere-wide campaign against impunity surrounding crimes against journalists.