Latin American Newsletter 1st Edition

Unions Pledge To Campaign Over Journalists’ Rights at Lima Summit

The IFJ’s Latin American unions meeting in Lima on July 23 have agreed to launch a regional-wide campaign to demand that workers’ rights and quality journalism are put at the heart of the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society. The Summit, which will be held in Geneva, Switzerland, in December, will decide on a policy framework for use of the Internet and new information technologies.

Unions from 15 countries in Lima heard from IFJ General Secretary Aidan White and IFJ Executive Committee members Beth Costa (Brazil) and Osvaldo Urriolabeitia (Argentina) about the IFJ’s priorities for the Summit.

The IFJ says the Summit must limit media concentration, provide universal access to new media technologies, guarantee international labour standards to protect information workers and ensure that those human rights, particularly freedom of expression, are fully protected.

The meeting adopted the Lima Declaration, which sets out the demands of Latin American journalists’ groups in detail. (See Lima Declaration). The meeting also agreed to establish media observatories in each country of the region to monitor changes in media.

Model Agreement adopted by Unions

Unions meeting in Lima agreed a model trade union agreement as part of the PISA programme organised by the IFJ and the regional office in Caracas. The agreement, which is still being discussed, will cover all of the basic points that need to be covered in collective bargaining.

Unions Celebrate 75 years of ANP

Latin America’s leading journalists’ unions honoured the membership of the ANP (spell it out in full) at a special session of the Lima Conference on July 23. ANP President, Roberto Mejia Alarcon, a former member of the IFJ Executive Committee, received a number of tributes and awards on behalf of the ANP, which has celebrated its 75th anniversary.

IFJ General Secretary Aidan White told invited guests and ANP members that Peru had a special place in the IFJ as one of the first unions from the region to join the Federation and for its long-time commitment to defence of human rights. “The ANP has come to symbolise the importance of solidarity among journalists, not just here in the region, but world-wide,” he said.

GAL-FIP Steers a New Course to the IFJ Congress and Beyond

The IFJ regional organisation for Latin America GAL-FIP is to review its working programme and to revise its statutes in a planned relaunch as a regional Federation of the IFJ. Changes in the organisation of the regional group were agreed at a special meeting in Lima. Union leaders agreed to:

  • Trade Unions will collect the information relating to the situation of Press Freedom and labour conditions existing in each country in a Committee involving José Leopoldo Insurralde (FATPREN -Argentina), Beth Costa (FENAJ - Brazil), Olivo de León (Dominican Republic) and Adrián Rojas (SNP - Costa Rica)

  • The work that consists in the lodging of complaints about aggressions against journalists will be divided between three regions. Norma Núñez (SPP- Panama) will be in charge of the Central American region, Norma García (SNTP-Venezuela) will work on the Caribbean and the Andeans countries and Luis Curbelo (Uruguay) will be in charge of the southern cone of the continent and Brazil

  • A provisory committee will analyse the possibilities of creating a regional Federation. Roberto Mejía (ANP-Peru), Osvaldo Urriolabeitia (FATPREN-Argentina) and Olivo de León (SNTP-Dominican Republic) will integrate the Committee. Osvaldo Urriolabeitia will write the project.

  • The meeting also agreed to improve the communications between unions in the region and to strengthen the contacts with IFJ head office.

    Your Newsletter

    This is the first in a series of newsletters with information about union work, protests, solidarity and defence of human rights throughout Latin America. If you have information please send it to: Stecy Yghemonos or Robert Shaw