FEPALC in hearing before the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights of the OAS

A radiography of the dangers faced by Latinamerican reporters during 2006 and its effects on the course of democracy, were exposed on behalf of the Federation of Latin American and Caribbean Journalists (FEPALC) by Eduardo Márquez, Ceso-FIP Director, before the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights, in Washington DC, on March 1st.


In addition to highlighting the circumstances in which 37 colleagues in the region were murdered and the level of impunity reigning and surrounding their deaths, Márquez indicated threats, judicial harassment and the degradation of work conditions are the most frequent obstacles to the exercise of press freedom in the continent.


During the closure of the hearing, conferred with the Colombian Commission of Jurists, Márquez submitted the following text with 12 appeals:


“In the most respectful manner, the Federation of Latin American and Caribbean Journalists (FEPALC), the Center of Solidarity of the International Federation of Journalists (Ceso – FIP) in Colombia, presents for your consideration the following appeals:


To the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights to include in their reports a special chapter on labor situation of journalists in Colombia.


To the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights to visit México, Colombia and Venezuela, countries where most of the aggressions registered against journalists on continental level took place in 2006, to produce a special report on the situation of press freedom.


To the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights to urge the States of Latin America to adopt measures guaranteeing social security for journalists, independent from the type of contract.


To the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights to urge the States of Latin America to immediately adopt energic measures to stop the violent attacks against journalists, and concrete and efficient instruments to protect journalists.


To the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights to urge the States of Latin America to adopt measures to avoid impunity in cases of murdered journalists. This should include:


To open special investigation units on cases of journalists murdered, part of the judicial branch. In the Colombian case - reopening the sub unit of the International Human Rights and Human Rights Unit of the Attorney General’s Office.


Serious, impartial and effective criminal investigations on cases of violence against journalists and sanctions for the aggressors.


A periodical provision of information to trade unions of journalists regarding the development of criminal inquiries on threats, attempts against the life of journalists, aggressions, without violating reserved criminal files.


To adopt mechanisms such as truth commissions with the participation of journalists to make the investigations more efficient.



To the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights to urge the States of Latin America to implement sensibilization campaigns on the harmful effects caused to society by any attack against press freedom, in particular, to the citizenship’s right to accurate, balanced and appropriate information.


To the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights to urge the States of Latin America to establish committees where representatives of organizations of journalists, along with branches of several government organs, define a balanced form of distribution of official advertising space, with a follow up from supervision organs.


To the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights urge on the States of Latin America to adjust internal legislation to international standards of civil responsibility of journalists, through the decriminalization of libel, slander or contempt if it has not been done.


To the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights to urge the Colombian State to adopt management and disciplinary measures on the delegate from the Attorney General’s Office, and have the delegate attend the meeting of the Committee of Regulation and Assessment (CRER) of the Ministry of Domestic Affairs and Justice.


To the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights to urge the Colombian government to include in the final report of the Repair and Reconciliation Commission, a chapter on the responsibility of paramilitary groups in offenses committed affecting press freedom in Colombia.


To the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights to urge the Ombudsmen of Colombia to adopt within its internal structure, the establishment of a Office Delegated for Freedom of Expression.


To the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression of the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights to promote a dialogue between judicial authorities and journalists to solve, through dialogue and comprehension of the law and of journalistic routines, the natural tensions emerging between both parties”.




Federation of Latin American and Caribbean Journalists – FEPALC -

Center of Solidarity of the International Federation of Journalists - Ceso FIP -